The Tailor and his Wife

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The tailor and his wife were short of money - needed £25. He took his scissors and went as travelling tailor, she stayed at home.

There was a knock at door. Was the schoolteacher. He asked, "Will you get into bed with me?"

"It'll cost you £5." So he gave her money, took clothes off, but before he could do anything there was a knock at door. She hid him in bedroom cupboard.

Front door. The doctor. "It'll cost you £5." So he gave her money, took clothes off, but before he could do anything there was a knock at door. She hid him in second cupboard.

Front door. The priest. "It'll cost you £5." So he gave her money, took clothes off, but before he could do anything there was a knock at door. She hid him in third cupboard.

Front door. Was her husband, still carrying his scissors. "Have you made anything?" Yes - £10.

"Is that all? I've made £15."

How?

"By making pictures." Takes him to bedroom, opens cupboard doors. Three men - naked, standing stock still.

"Hmm, they're good pictures, very good likenesses, very realistic. All except those parts there in the middle, you've made them a bit too long - I'll cut them shorter with my scissors."

The three naked men ran for door. Husband and wife looked at each other, smiled, and counted their money.


The story is also on my CD Jack goes Hunting.

Source: Scottish Traditional Tales, ed. A.J. Bruford and D.A. MacDonald (Edinburgh, 1994). They collected it from Alisdair Stewart.

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