: Europa's Fairy Book

Once upon a time, though it was not in my time nor in your time nor in

anybody else's time, there lived a cobbler named Tom and his wife

named Joan. And they lived fairly happily together, except that

whatever Tom did Joan did the opposite, and whatever Joan thought Tom

thought quite contrary-wise. When Tom wanted beef for dinner Joan

liked pork, and if Joan wanted to have chicken Tom would like to have

duck. And so it
went on all the time.

Now it happened that one day Joan was cleaning up the kitchen and,

turning suddenly, she knocked two or three pots and pans together and

broke them all. So Tom, who was working in the front room, came and

asked Joan, "What's all this? What have you been doing?" Now Joan had

got the pair of scissors in her hand, and sooner than tell him what

had really happened she said, "I cut these pots and pans into pieces

with my scissors."

"What," said Tom, "cut pottery with your scissors, you nonsensical

woman; you can't do it!"

"I tell you I did with my scissors!"

"You couldn't."

"I did."

"You couldn't."

"I did."







At last Tom got so angry that he seized Joan by the shoulders and

shoved her out of the house and said, "If you don't tell me how you

broke those pots and pans I'll throw you into the river." But Joan

kept on saying, "It was with the scissors"; and Tom got so enraged

that at last he took her to the bank of the river and said, "Now for

the last time, will you tell me the truth; how did you break those

pots and pans?"

"With the scissors."

And with that he threw her into the river, and she sank once, and she

sank twice, and just before she was about to sink for the third time

she put her hand up into the air, out of the water, and made a motion

with her first and middle finger as if she were moving the scissors.

So Tom saw it was no use to try to persuade her to do anything but

what she wanted. So he rushed up the stream and met a neighbour who

said, "Tom, Tom, what are you running for?"

"Oh, I want to find Joan; she fell into the river just in front of our

house, and I am afraid she is going to be drowned."

"But," said the neighbour, "you're running up stream."

"Well," said Tom, "Joan always went contrary-wise whatever happened."

And so he never found her in time to save her.