Hudden and Dudden and Donald O’Neary

hudden and duddenNo one can make fun of themselves like the Irish. This quite funny is about about two rich but stupid farmers who will do anything to get their hands on a small piece of land between their two farms that is owned by a poor but clever farmer named Donald O’Neary. Of course, in the end good wins over evil at the expense of Donald’s greedy neighbours. Or does it?

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Simplified English story which are not in our Pre-Intermediate level 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

General Comments on the Story

The message of the story can best be summed up in the English : “The more you get, the more you want.” As usually happens in folktales, the greedy s (Hudden and Dudden) come to a bad end. However, there is an interesting in this story. Donald O’Neary is clearly the and “winner” in the story, but he is hardly a . He rises from to riches through trickery. First, he tricks a greedy man into buying a worthless cow-skin for a bag of gold. Next, he tricks Hudden and Dudden into unnecessarily killing all of their cows and getting a beating when they take the skins to market. Then, he tricks another greedy farmer into taking his place as Hudden and Dudden are carrying him away to be killed. And finally, he tricks Hudden and Dudden into jumping to their deaths in a lake. I think it would have been nice if the folktale was longer and had a fitting end to Donald.

Many folktales can be found around the world that follow similar s to those of other cultures. In many cases there are enough differences to show that this has probably happened by chance. However, sometimes parts of stories are so similar as to make it appear as if either one is taken from the other, or they both developed from a common earlier story. The great Danish poet and writer Hans Christian Andersen wrote that a small number of his stories were developed from Danish folktales he had heard as a child. One of these is Little Clause and Big Clause, which contains the same (unlikely) major events as Hudden and Dudden but is very different in much of the detail. Researchers have examined the history of both stories. It appears the of both was an eleventh century Latin poem, Unibos, which found its way into the culture of the Celts in Ireland and then spread from Ireland to Europe. We have included a copy of Little Clause and Big Clause above for interest.

celtic talesOur source for Hudden and Dudden and Donald O’Neary was a children’s book called Celtic Folk and Fairy Tales by Australian folktale collector Joseph Jacobs, first published in 1892. The book can be downloaded in various forms from Project Gutenberg here. An is available from Librivox here.


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(n: folktale pl folktales) A story that is part of the traditions of a group of people and was handed down in spoken form before books and printing. (นิทานชาวบ้าน) 9000
(adj: folk) Of or relating to the traditions of the common people of a country or region. (เกี่ยวกับขนบประเพณีของชาวบ้าน) 2000
(n: tale pl tales) A story about real or imaginary events; an exciting or dramatic story that may not be completely true. (นิทาน) 3000

bone(n: bone pl bones) The hard substance forming the skeleton of man, animals etc. (กระดูก) 2000

calf(n: calf pl calves) The young of various large animals such as cow, elephant, whale etc. (ลูกวัว) 5000

cart(n: cart pl carts) A vehicle with two wheels that is pulled by an animal such as a horse or donkey. The farmer packed the vegetables into his cart to take them to market. (เกวียน) 3000

cattle(n: cattle, noncount) A group of cows, bulls, or steers that are kept on a farm for meat or milk. (วัวควาย) 4000
(n: cattle-dog pl cattle-dogs) A special breed of dog developed in Australia for driving cattle over long distances across rough country.

fresh(adj: fresh, fresher, freshest) 1. (of food) Newly made, gathered, arrived; not frozen, canned, etc. (สดใหม่) 2000

hen(n: hen pl hens) An adult female chicken. (แม่ไก่) 3000

jewel(n: jewel pl jewels) A precious stone (such as a diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire) that has been cut and polished. (อัญมณี)
(n: jewels, plural) An ornament or pieces of jewelry containing a precious stone or stones. She loved dressing up in her jewels.
(adj: jeweled or jewelled) Covered in jewels. (ที่ประดับด้วยเพชรพลอย) 3000

knot(n: knot pl knots) 1. A part that forms when you tie a piece of rope, string, fabric, etc., to itself or to something else. 2. A part where something has become twisted or wrapped around itself. (ปม) 3000

lick(v: lick, licks, licked, licking) To pass the tongue over something so as to make it wet or eat it. (เลีย) 4000

palace(n: palace pl palaces) A very large and beautiful house, especially one lived in by a member of a royal family such as a king, queen, sultan, etc. (พระราชวัง) 4000
The picture on the left shows Buckingham Palace in London where the Queen of England lives.

pole(n: pole pl poles) A long, straight piece of wood, metal, etc., often placed into or on the ground so that it stands straight up to hold or support something. (เสา) 3000

sale(n: sale pl sales) 1. The act of selling something. (การขาย) 2. [in a shop etc] An offer of goods at lowered prices for a short time. (การขายสินค้าลดราคา) 3. An event at which goods are sold. An auction/book sale. (การขาย) 1000
(n:ˈsalesman plˈsalesmen; saleswoman plˈsaleswomen) A person who sells, or shows, goods to customers in a shop etc. (พนักงานขาย) 4000

scales(n: scale or scales pl scales) A measuring instrument that is used for weighing people or things (to show how heavy they are). He stepped onto the bathroom scale (U.S.) or scales (U.K). (ตาชั่ง) 2000

weigh(v: weigh, weighs, weighed, weighing) To find how heavy someone or something is; to measure the weight of someone or something. (วัดน้ำหนัก) 1000

weight(n: weight, weights) 1. A measurement that indicates how heavy a person or thing is. Please indicate your height and weight on the form. 2. A heavy object that is lifted during exercising. A 10-pound weight. (หน่วยวัดน้ำหนัก) 3. Something that causes worry or sadness. When I heard he was safe, I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my mind. (น้ำหนัก) 1000

whiskey(n: whiskey pl whiskeys; British wiskey) A strong alcoholic drink made from a grain such as corn, rye, or barley; usually contains 40-50% alcohol by volume. (วิสกี้) 3000

(n: proverb pl proverbs) An old but well-known saying that either gives advice about how people should live, or expresses an idea that is generally thought to be true. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A rolling stone gathers no moss. (สุภาษิต) 6000

villain(n: villain pl villains) 1. A person who is wicked or of very bad character. (วายร้าย) 2. A character in a story, movie, etc., who does bad things. (ตัวโกง) 6000

twist(v: twist, twists, twisted, twisting) 1. To wrap or wind (something) around something. (บิด) 2. To turn in a circular motion. (บิดเป็นเกลียว)
(n: twist pl twists) A change in direction or unexpected outcome of a story etc. (เปลี่ยนเรื่อง) 3000

(n: protagonist pl protagonists) The main character in a story, play, movie, etc. whose conflict starts the plot in motion. Often but not always the hero or "good guy". (ตัวเอก) 12000

hero(n: hero pl heroes) A person admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. (วีรชน)
(adj: heroic) Used to describe someone who acts like a hero or the kind of brave things that heroes do. (กล้าหาญ) 3000
'Hero' can refer to either a man or a woman, but it is often used to refer specifically to a man. The word for a woman who is brave and admired is 'heroine'.

poor(n: poverty, noncount) The state of having little money or owning few things; the state of being poor. (ความจน) 4000

(n: theme pl themes) In literature, a central idea that is communicated in a story. Note that a theme may be an idea that the writer wishes to convey, or another idea that a reader or group of readers interpret into the story. Most themes are implied through the plot rather than stated directly. (หัวข้อ) 4000

(n: origin pl origins) 1. The point or place where something begins or is created; the source or cause of something. (ที่มา) 2. A person's place of birth, family background etc. (จุดกำเนิด) 3000

(adj: anonymous) Not named or identified; written, made or done by someone unknown. (นิรนาม) 3000

e-book(n: e-book pl e-books) A book whose contents are in an electronic format so that it can be downloaded and read.

audiobook(n: audiobook pl audiobooks) A book that is read out loud and recorded on a CD or as a computer file so that it can be listened to. (หนังสือเสียง)

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