JACK WAS a boy who sold butter milk. One day as he was going his rounds he met a witch who asked him for some of his butter milk and told him that if he refused to give it she would put him into a bag that she carried over her shoulders.
Jack would not give the witch any of his butter milk, so she put him into her bag, and walked off home with him. But as she was trudging along she suddenly remembered that she had forgotten a pot of fat that she had bought in ttown. Jack was too heavy to be carried back to town, so the witch asked some men who were brushing the hedge by the roadside if they would take care of her bag till she came back.
But when the witch had gone, Jack called out to them and said, "If you will take me out of this bag and fill it full of thorns I will give you some of my butter milk."
The men took Jack out of the bag and filled it with thorns, and then Jack gave them some butter milk and ran home.
When the witch came back from town she picked up her bag, threw it over her shoulder, and walked away. But she had not gone far before the thorns began to prick her back, and she said, "Jack, I think you have got some pins about you, lad."
As soon as she had got home she emptied the bag on a clean white sheet that she had ready. But when she found that there was nothing in the bag but thorns, she was very angry and said, "I'll catch you tomorrow, Jack, and then I'll boil you."
The next day she met Jack again and asked him for some butter milk. If he would not, she would put him into her bag again. But Jack said he would give her no butter milk. Then she put him into her bag, but once again she remembered that she had forgotten something and would have to go back to town for it.
This time she left the bag with some men who were mending the road. When the witch had gone Jack called out to them and said, "If you will take me out and fill this bag full of stones I will give you some of my butter milk."
Then the men took Jack out of the bag, and he gave them the butter milk.
When the witch came back she threw the bag over her shoulder as before, and when she heard the stones grinding and rattling she chuckled and said, "Jack, your bones crack a lot."
When she got home she emptied the bag on the white sheet again. But when she saw the stones she was very angry and swore that she would boil Jack when she caught him.
Next day she went out as before and met Jack again. When she asked for some butter milk, Jack said, "No" again, so she put him into her bag and went straight home with him, and threw him out on the white sheet.
When she had done this she went out of the house and locked Jack in. She had in mind to boil him when she came back. But while she was away Jack opened all the cupboards in the house and filled the bag with all the pots that he could find. After he had done this, he escaped through the chimney and got home safe.
When the witch came back she emptied the bag on the sheet again, and broke all the pots she owned. After this she never caught Jack any more.
[Type: AT 327c]