Molly Whuppie – Elementary Level
Once upon a time there was a father and mother who had too many children. They could not get enough food for them all, so they took the three youngest, who were girls, and left them deep in a forest. The children walked and walked but saw no houses and no people. It began to get dark, and they were cold, tired and hungry.
At last they saw a light and walked towards it; it was a house. They knocked at the door, and a woman came to it. “What do you want?” she asked.
“Please let us in and give us something to eat,” they said.
“I can’t do that,” she said. “My husband is a giant and will kill you if he comes home and finds you here.”
They started to cry and said, “Please let us stop for a little while. We are cold and hungry. We will eat quickly and go away before he comes.” So she took them in, set them down before the fire, and gave them milk and bread.
But just as they had begun to eat there was a loud sound at the door. Then they heard an angry voice. “Fee… fie… fo… fum!” it said. “I can smell the blood of a human one. Who have you there wife?”
“It’s three poor girls who are cold and hungry,” she said. “They will go away soon, and I won’t let you hurt them.”
The giant said nothing. He ate up a big dinner, then told the girls that they could stay the night but must leave in the morning. The giant and his wife had three young girls of their own, and the visitors were to sleep in the same bed as them.
The youngest of the three visitors was called Molly Whuppie, and she was very clever. Before they went to bed, the giant put thick pieces of string round the necks of her and her sisters. Molly noticed that the giant’s daughters had gold chains round their necks. She took care not to sleep when they first went to bed. She waited till she was sure that the other girls were sleeping, and then quietly got out of bed. Molly took the thick string from the necks of herself and her sisters, and took the gold chains from the necks of the giant’s girls. She then put the thick string on the giant’s girls and the gold chains on herself and her sisters, and went back to bed.
Later in the night the giant came quietly into the room, carrying his great sword. It was very dark, and he felt for the necks with the string. Without knowing it, he took his own girls out of bed, put them on the floor, and cut off their heads. Then he went back to his bed, thinking he had done well.
Molly thought it time she and her sisters were out of that house. She woke them and they quietly left. Once outside they ran and ran, and never stopped until morning. As the sun came up they saw a great house before them. It turned out to be a king’s house. The three girls went inside, and Molly told her story to the king.
“You are a clever girl Molly,” said the king, “and you have managed well. But, if you could manage better, I would marry your oldest sister to my oldest son. All you need to do is go back and bring me the giant’s sword that he hangs on the back of his bed.” Molly said that she would try.
So she went back, and managed to get into the giant’s house without being seen and hide under the his great bed. The giant came home, ate up a great dinner, and went to bed. Molly waited until he was sound asleep and snoring. Then she quietly came out from under the bed, reached over the giant and took down the sword. But the sword was very heavy and, just as Molly got it out over the bed, she dropped it. This woke the giant but Molly quickly picked up the sword and ran out of the door carrying it. She ran, and he ran after her, till they came to a small bridge called the “Bridge of One Hair”. It was safe for Molly to go across, but not for the giant. She ran over it, but he couldn’t. Molly took the sword to the king, and her oldest sister was married to his oldest son.
“Well done, Molly!” said the king. “You did manage better! But if you could manage even better than this, I would marry your second sister to my second son. All you need to do is go back and bring me the purse that the giant keeps under his pillow.” And Molly said she would try.
So she set out for the giant’s house, and again managed to get in without being seen and hide under his great bed. As before, Molly waited till the giant had eaten his dinner and was snoring. Then she quietly came out from under the bed, slowly pushed her hand under the pillow, and pulled out the purse. But just as she was leaving the giant woke up and came after her. She ran, and he ran, till they came again to the “Bridge of One Hair”. She ran over it, but he couldn’t. Molly took the purse to the king, and her second sister was married to the king’s second son.
“Well done again, Molly!” said the king. “You did manage better than before! But if you could do better yet, I will give you my youngest son to marry. All you need to do is bring me the giant’s ring that he wears on his finger.” Molly said she would try.
So back she went to the giant’s house, and once more hid herself under his bed. It wasn’t long before the giant came home. After he had eaten a great big dinner, he went to bed and soon was snoring loudly. Molly quietly came out from under the bed. She carefully picked up the giant’s great hand and pulled the ring until she got it off the finger. She dropped it into her pocket and was turning to leave when the giant suddenly opened his eyes, reached out and grabbed her by the arm.
“Now I’ve caught you!” he said. “Now, if I had done as many bad things to you as you have done to me, what would you do to me?”
“I would put you into a big bag,” said Molly. “And I’d put the cat and dog inside with you, together with a needle, some thread and a pair of scissors. Then I’d hang the bag with you inside it up on the wall. After that I’d go into the forest, and find the biggest stick that I could carry. When I came home, I would take down the bag and hit it with the stick till you died.”
“Well, Molly,” says the giant, “That’s just what I’ll do to you.”
He got a big bag and told Molly to get into it. He put the cat and the dog in beside her, and handed her a needle, some thread and a pair of scissors. Then he closed the bag, tied the top with rope, and hung it high up on the wall. After that he went out into the forest to find the biggest stick that he could carry. But before he left, he told his wife to watch the bag carefully to make sure that Molly did not escape.,
Molly waited until the giant could no longer be heard. Then she called out as loudly as she could, “Oh, if you could only see what I see!” .
“What is it!” cried the giant’s wife. “What do you see, Molly?”
Molly said nothing for a short time. Then again she shouted, even louder this time, “Oh, if you could only see what I see!”
The giant’s wife asked Molly over and over to let her up into the bag so that she could she what Molly saw. Finally, Molly agreed. She cut a hole in the bag with the scissors, jumped down, and helped the giant’s wife up into the bag. Then she quickly sewed up the hole with the needle and thread.
The giant’s wife saw nothing special in the bag, and began to ask to get down again. But Molly said nothing and hid herself behind the door. Soon the giant came home with a stick the size of a small tree in his hand. He took down the bag, and began to hit it with the stick. His wife cried, “It’s me!” but the dog and cat were making such a terrible noise that he did not know his wife’s voice. Then Molly came out from behind the door. The giant saw her and stopped hitting the bag. She ran, and he ran, till they came again to the “Bridge of One Hair”. She ran over it, but he couldn’t.”
Molly took the ring to the king, and she was married to his youngest son. And she never saw the giant again.