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The Draiglin' Hogney

from The Scottish Fairy Book





There was once a man who had three sons, and very little money to
provide for them. So, when the eldest had grown into a lad, and saw that
there was no means of making a livelihood at home, he went to his father
and said to him:

"Father, if thou wilt give me a horse to ride on, a hound to hunt with,
and a hawk to fly, I will go out into the wide world and seek my
fortune."

His father gave him what he asked for; and he set out on his travels. He
rode and he rode, over mountain and glen, until, just at nightfall, he
came to a thick, dark wood. He entered it, thinking that he might find a
path that would lead him through it; but no path was visible, and after
wandering up and down for some time, he was obliged to acknowledge to
himself that he was completely lost.

There seemed to be nothing for it but to tie his horse to a tree, and
make a bed of leaves for himself on the ground; but just as he was about
to do so he saw a light glimmering in the distance, and, riding on in
the direction in which it was, he soon came to a clearing in the wood,
in which stood a magnificent Castle.

The windows were all lit up, but the great door was barred; and, after
he had ridden up to it, and knocked, and received no answer, the young
man raised his hunting horn to his lips and blew a loud blast in the
hope of letting the inmates know that he was without.

Instantly the door flew open of its own accord, and the young man
entered, wondering very much what this strange thing would mean. And he
wondered still more when he passed from room to room, and found that,
although fires were burning brightly everywhere, and there was a
plentiful meal laid out on the table in the great hall, there did not
seem to be a single person in the whole of the vast building.

However, as he was cold, and tired, and wet, he put his horse in one of
the stalls of the enormous stable, and taking his hawk and hound along
with him, went into the hall and ate a hearty supper. After which he sat
down by the side of the fire, and began to dry his clothes.

By this time it had grown late, and he was just thinking of retiring to
one of the bedrooms which he had seen upstairs and going to bed, when a
clock which was hanging on the wall struck twelve.

Instantly the door of the huge apartment opened, and a most
awful-looking Draiglin' Hogney entered. His hair was matted and his
beard was long, and his eyes shone like stars of fire from under his
bushy eyebrows, and in his hands he carried a queerly shaped club.

He did not seem at all astonished to see his unbidden guest; but, coming
across the hall, he sat down upon the opposite side of the fireplace,
and, resting his chin on his hands, gazed fixedly at him.

"Doth thy horse ever kick any?" he said at last, in a harsh, rough
voice.

"Ay, doth he," replied the young man; for the only steed that his father
had been able to give him was a wild and unbroken colt.

"I have some skill in taming horses," went on the Draiglin' Hogney,
"and I will give thee something to tame thine withal. Throw this over
him"--and he pulled one of the long, coarse hairs out of his head and
gave it to the young man. And there was something so commanding in the
Hogney's voice that he did as he was bid, and went out to the stable and
threw the hair over the horse.

Then he returned to the hall, and sat down again by the fire. The moment
that he was seated the Draiglin' Hogney asked another question.

"Doth thy hound ever bite any?"

"Ay, verily," answered the youth; for his hound was so fierce-tempered
that no man, save his master, dare lay a hand on him.

"I can cure the wildest tempered dog in Christendom," replied the
Draiglin' Hogney. "Take that, and throw it over him." And he pulled
another hair out of his head and gave it to the young man, who lost no
time in flinging it over his hound.

There was still a third question to follow. "Doth ever thy hawk peck
any?"

The young man laughed. "I have ever to keep a bandage over her eyes,
save when she is ready to fly," said he; "else were nothing safe within
her reach."

"Things will be safe now," said the Hogney, grimly. "Throw that over
her." And for the third time he pulled a hair from his head and handed
it to his companion. And as the other hairs had been thrown over the

horse and the hound, so this one was thrown over the hawk.

Then, before the young man could draw breath, the fiercesome Draiglin'
Hogney had given him such a clout on the side of his head with his
queer-shaped club that he fell down in a heap on the floor.

And very soon his hawk and his hound tumbled down still and motionless
beside him; and, out in the stable, his horse became stark and stiff, as
if turned to stone. For the Draiglin's words had meant more than at
first appeared when he said that he could make all unruly animals quiet.

Some time afterwards the second of the three sons came to his father in
the old home with the same request that his brother had made. That he
should be provided with a horse, a hawk, and a hound, and be allowed to
go out to seek his fortune. And his father listened to him, and gave him
what he asked, as he had given his brother.



And the young man set out, and in due time came to the wood, and lost
himself in it, just as his brother had done; then he saw the light, and
came to the Castle, and went in, and had supper, and dried his clothes,
just as it all had happened before.

And the Draiglin' Hogney came in, and asked him the three questions, and
he gave the same three answers, and received three hairs--one to throw
over his horse, one to throw over his hound, and one to throw over his
hawk; then the Hogney killed him, just as he had killed his brother.

Time passed, and the youngest son, finding that his two elder brothers
never returned, asked his father for a horse, a hawk, and a hound, in
order that he might go and look for them. And the poor old man, who was
feeling very desolate in his old age, gladly gave them to him.

So he set out on his quest, and at nightfall he came, as the others had
done, to the thick wood and the Castle. But, being a wise and cautious
youth, he liked not the way in which he found things. He liked not the
empty house; he liked not the spread-out feast; and, most of all, he
liked not the look of the Draiglin' Hogney when he saw him. And he
determined to be very careful what he said or did as long as he was in
his company.

So when the Draiglin' Hogney asked him if his horse kicked, he replied
that it did, in very few words; and when he got one of the Hogney's
hairs to throw over him, he went out to the stable, and pretended to do
so, but he brought it back, hidden in his hand, and, when his unchancy
companion was not looking, he threw it into the fire. It fizzled up like
a tongue of flame with a little hissing sound like that of a serpent.

"What's that fizzling?" asked the Giant suspiciously.

"'Tis but the sap of the green wood," replied the young man carelessly,
as he turned to caress his hound.

The answer satisfied the Draiglin' Hogney, and he paid no heed to the
sound which the hair that should have been thrown over the hound, or the
sound which the hair that should have been thrown over the hawk, made,
when the young man threw them into the fire; and they fizzled up in the
same way that the first had done.

Then, thinking that he had the stranger in his power, he whisked across
the hearthstone to strike him with his club, as he had struck his
brothers; but the young man was on the outlook, and when he saw him
coming he gave a shrill whistle. And his horse, which loved him dearly,
came galloping in from the stable, and his hound sprang up from the
hearthstone where he had been sleeping; and his hawk, who was sitting on
his shoulder, ruffled up her feathers and screamed harshly; and they all
fell on the Draiglin' Hogney at once, and he found out only too well how
the horse kicked, and the hound bit, and the hawk pecked; for they
kicked him, and bit him, and pecked him, till he was as dead as a door
nail.

When the young man saw that he was dead, he took his little club from
his hand, and, armed with that, he set out to explore the Castle.

As he expected, he found that there were dark and dreary dungeons under
it, and in one of them he found his two brothers, lying cold and stiff
side by side. He touched them with the club, and instantly they came to
life again, and sprang to their feet as well as ever.

Then he went into another dungeon; and there were the two horses, and
the two hawks, and the two hounds, lying as if dead, exactly as their
Masters had lain. He touched them with his magic club, and they, too,
came to life again.

Then he called to his two brothers, and the three young men searched the
other dungeons, and they found great stores of gold and silver hidden in
them, enough to make them rich for life.

So they buried the Draiglin' Hogney, and took possession of the Castle;
and two of them went home and brought their old father back with them,
and they all were as prosperous and happy as they could be; and, for
aught that I know, they are living there still.





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Previous: The Milk-white Doo



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