The Red Fairy Book
The Six Sillies
ONCE upon a time there was a young girl who reached the age of thirty-seven without
ever having had a lover, for she was so foolish that no one wanted to marry her.
One day, however, a young man arrived to pay his addresses to her, and her mother,
beaming with joy, sent her daughter down to the cellar to draw a jug of beer.
As the girl never came back the mother went down to see what had become of her, and
found her sitting on the stairs, her head in her hands, while by her side the beer was
running all over the floor, as she had forgotten to close the tap. `What are you doing
there?' asked the mother.
`I was thinking what I shall call my first child after I am married to that young man. All
the names in the calendar are taken already.'
The mother sat down on the staircase beside her daughter and said, `I will think about it
with you, my dear.'
The father who had stayed upstairs with the young man was surprised that neither his
wife nor his daughter came back, and in his turn went down to look for them. He found
them both sitting on the stairs, while beside them the beer was running all over the
ground from the tap, which was wide open.
`What are you doing there? The beer is running all over the cellar.'
`We were thinking what we should call the children that our daughter will have when she
marries that young man. All the names in the calendar are taken already.'
`Well,' said the father, `I will think about it with you.'
As neither mother nor daughter nor father came upstairs again, the lover grew impatient,
and went down into the cellar to see what they could all be doing. He found them all
three sitting on the stairs, while beside them the beer was running all over the ground
from the tap, which was wide open.
`What in the world are you all doing that you don't come upstairs, and that you let the
beer run all over the cellar?'
`Yes, I know, my boy,' said the father, `but if you marry our daughter what shall you call
your children? All the names in the calendar are taken.'
When the young man heard this answer he replied:
`Well! good-bye, I am going away. When I shall have found three people sillier than you
I will come back and marry your daughter.'
So he continued his journey, and after walking a long way he reached an orchard. Then
he saw some people knocking down walnuts, and trying to throw them into a cart with a