The Wedding Of Robin Redbreast And Jenny Wren
: The Scottish Fairy Book
There was once an old grey Pussy Baudrons, and she went out for a stroll
one Christmas morning to see what she could see. And as she was walking
down the burnside she saw a little Robin Redbreast hopping up and down
on the branches of a briar bush.
"What a tasty breakfast he would make," thought she to herself. "I must
try to catch him."
So, "Good morning, Robin Redbreast," quoth she, sittin
down on her tail
at the foot of the briar bush and looking up at him. "And where mayest
thou be going so early on this cold winter's day?"
"I'm on my road to the King's Palace," answered Robin cheerily, "to sing
him a song this merry Yule morning."
"That's a pious errand to be travelling on, and I wish you good
success," replied Pussy slyly; "but just hop down a minute before thou
goest, and I will show thee what a bonnie white ring I have round my
neck. 'Tis few cats that are marked like me."
Then Robin cocked his head on one side, and looked down on Pussy
Baudrons with a twinkle in his eye. "Ha, ha! grey Pussy Baudrons," he
said. "Ha, ha! for I saw thee worry the little grey mouse, and I have no
wish that thou shouldst worry me."
And with that he spread his wings and flew away. And he flew, and he
flew, till he lighted on an old sod dyke; and there he saw a greedy old
gled sitting, with all his feathers ruffled up as if he felt cold.
"Good morning, Robin Redbreast," cried the greedy old gled, who had had
no food since yesterday, and was therefore very hungry. "And where
mayest thou be going to, this cold winter's day?"
"I'm on my road to the King's Palace," answered Robin, "to sing to him a
song this merry Yule morning." And he hopped away a yard or two from the
gled, for there was a look in his eye that he did not quite like.
"Thou art a friendly little fellow," remarked the gled sweetly, "and I
wish thee good luck on thine errand; but ere thou go on, come nearer me,
I prith'ee, and I will show thee what a curious feather I have in my
wing. 'Tis said that no other gled in the country-side hath one like
"Like enough," rejoined Robin, hopping still further away; "but I will
take thy word for it, without seeing it. For I saw thee pluck the
feathers from the wee lintie, and I have no wish that thou shouldst
pluck the feathers from me. So I will bid thee good day, and go on my
The next place on which he rested was a piece of rock that overhung a
dark, deep glen, and here he saw a sly old fox looking out of his hole
not two yards below him.
"Good morning, Robin Redbreast," said the sly old fox, who had tried to
steal a fat duck from a farmyard the night before, and had barely
escaped with his life. "And where mayest thou be going so early on this
cold winter's day?"
"I'm on my road to the King's Palace, to sing him a song this merry Yule
morning," answered Robin, giving the same answer that he had given to
the grey Pussy Baudrons and the greedy gled.
"Thou wilt get a right good welcome, for His Majesty is fond of music,"
said the wily fox. "But ere thou go, just come down and have a look at a
black spot which I have on the end of my tail. 'Tis said that there is
not a fox 'twixt here and the Border that hath a spot on his tail like
"Very like, very like," replied Robin; "but I chanced to see thee
worrying the wee lambie up on the braeside yonder, and I have no wish
that thou shouldst try thy teeth on me. So I will e'en go on my way to
the King's Palace, and thou canst show the spot on thy tail to the next
So the little Robin Redbreast flew away once more, and never rested
till he came to a bonnie valley with a little burn running through it,
and there he saw a rosy-cheeked boy sitting on a log eating a piece of
bread and butter. And he perched on a branch and watched him.
"Good morning, Robin Redbreast; and where mayest thou be going so early
on this cold winter's day?" asked the boy eagerly; for he was making a
collection of stuffed birds, and he had still to get a Robin Redbreast.
"I'm on my way to the King's Palace to sing him a song this merry Yule
morning," answered Robin, hopping down to the ground, and keeping one
eye fixed on the bread and butter.
"Come a bit nearer, Robin," said the boy, "and I will give thee some
"Na, na, my wee man," chirped the cautious little bird; "for I saw thee
catch the goldfinch, and I have no wish to give thee the chance to catch
At last he came to the King's Palace and lighted on the window-sill, and
there he sat and sang the very sweetest song that he could sing; for he
felt so happy because it was the Blessed Yuletide, that he wanted
everyone else to be happy too. And the King and the Queen were so
delighted with his song, as he peeped in at them at their open window,
that they asked each other what they could give him as a reward for his
kind thought in coming so far to greet them.
"We can give him a wife," replied the Queen, "who will go home with him
and help him to build his nest."
"And who wilt thou give him for a bride?" asked the King. "Methinks
'twould need to be a very tiny lady to match his size."
"Why, Jenny Wren, of course," answered the Queen. "She hath looked
somewhat dowie of late, this will be the very thing to brighten her
Then the King clapped his hands, and praised his wife for her happy
thought, and wondered that the idea had not struck him before.
So Robin Redbreast and Jenny Wren were married, amid great rejoicings,
at the King's Palace; and the King and Queen and all the fine Nobles and
Court Ladies danced at their wedding. Then they flew away home to
Robin's own country-side, and built their nest in the roots of the briar
bush, where he had spoken to Pussie Baudrons. And you will be glad to
hear that Jenny Wren proved the best little housewife in the world.