Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hello. We're off. We've done everything... I put  down the tents, everything else is packed away,  

  • my Lord's off to the next tournamentNice to see you though. Before we go,  

  • let me tell you one final story...

  • [Music]

  • Once upon a time, not long ago and not far  away, there lived a young man who god and  

  • fortune had blessed for he was handsome, he was  quick-witted, he was loved by his neighbours,  

  • he was a regular attender at the  church but most of all he was rich.  

  • He had a great farm, a beautiful house, stables  for the horses, servants to run around after him.  

  • He didn't have to do a thing for himself. But he  felt that he lacked one thing: he lacked a wife

  • Now it just so happened that his eye had fallen  on the daughter of a local farmer and he found an  

  • excuse in a market to engage in conversation with  this farmer and asked if he might pay a visit to  

  • the farmer and his wife to court their daughterWell of course the farmer was thrilled to bits!  

  • The most eligible bachelor in the county, one  of the richest young men? This suited the farmer  

  • very, very well so he invited the young man  round to meet his daughter that very evening.  

  • The farmer ran home. 'Wifewife!' he said, 'fantastic news!  

  • That young man, the unmarried onethe richest bachelor in the county,  

  • he wants to come and pay court to our daughter! We  must make preparations, he's on his way tonight'.  

  • Well, the wife was a little surprised at the  short notice but dutifully she ran around and  

  • tidied up the house. Then she began cooking  a sumptuous feast. The daughter, meantime,  

  • washed herself as one as she could, brushed out  her long lustrous hair and then took out her  

  • best dress and beat it with a stick  until it was as clean as possible,  

  • perfumed herself with scented water and dressed  herself. Meanwhile the farmer went around to the  

  • local alewife and purchased from her a barrel of  her finest ale. Now I have to say this was very,  

  • very special stuff. She had a reputation  throughout the county. This ale was flavoured  

  • with herbs and honey and nothing compared in  taste to it. That evening as the sun set there  

  • was a tap at the door and sure enough it wasyoung man. The farmer opened the door, introduced  

  • the young man to his wife and then ushered  him in so that he could meet their daughter.  

  • While the young man was very impressed  for their daughter was to give her a due  

  • very, very beautiful and looked very well enough  in her fine dress. The young man went to sit down  

  • and the farmer offered him  the best seat at the table  

  • and then the wife started to bring out dishes  of food. It was a feast fit for a king!  

  • Everything, each dish was better than  the last. 'Well,' the young man thought,  

  • 'this was fantastic'. He had never eaten such fine  food but what made it even better was the farmer  

  • bought out a jug of ale and this ale was the best  ale that this young man had ever tasted in his  

  • life. He couldn't believe it! Well, the young man  fairly quickly got it into his mind that he was  

  • going to ask the farmer a certain question that  very evening and so he turned the conversation  

  • around to the idea of proposals and the farmer  took the hint. Seeing that perhaps the young man  

  • wants some private time with him and his wife the  farmer sent his daughter to take the jug to the  

  • larder to fill it up with more ale and, dutiful  daughter that she was, off she went to do that.

  • When the daughter got into the larder she  looked at the barrel and where the barrel  

  • sat there was a shelf just above it, a rickety  old thing, and on that shelf there was a hammer.  

  • Well she looked at the shelf, she looked  at the hammer and she thought to herself,  

  • 'if I was to marry that young man and we were  to celebrate our wedding and then come here  

  • for the face and he was to come in here with  a jug to fill it up with ale from a barrel  

  • that was placed here and he was to  lean forward and just touch that shelf,  

  • the hammer on that shelf would fall off  and hit him on the back of the head!  

  • He would be killed by the blow! I would bewife and a widow all in the space of one day!'  

  • And with that a big fat tear rolled down her  cheek and then another and another and another  

  • until she sat on the floor crying her eyes outWell, the farmer gave her a bit of time but then  

  • began to become concerned about why his daughter  had not returned so he sent his wife to find her  

  • the wife went into the ladder and was presented  with the sight of her daughter sat on the floor  

  • crying her eyes out. 'Daughter, what's the matter  with you?' cried the farmer's wife. 'Oh mum,' said  

  • the daughter, 'terrible, terrible news. If I was  to marry that young man and on our wedding day we  

  • would have come back here to my father's house  and then that my young man, my new husband, was  

  • to come in here with a jug to fill it up with ale  so we could drink a toast to our future happiness  

  • and as he went forward to feel the jug if that  shelf moved slightly that great heavy hammer  

  • there would fall off hit him on the head, break  his neck, and I would be a wife and a widow all  

  • in the space of one day!' And with that she cried  even harder. Well, the farmer's wife looked at the  

  • shelf and the hammer. She looked at the position  of the barrel. She leant forward and looked up

  • and she realised that her daughter was  right. A tear rolled down her cheek  

  • and she thought of the disaster that was going  to happen when they were wed. Then another tear  

  • and another tear, another tear, until she too  collapsed on the floor crying her eyes out.

  • Well, by now the farmer was getting  a little bit irritated at the uh  

  • the ladies in his house  delaying him so much. So he  

  • made his excuses to the young man and he went to  the larder to see what on earth was keeping them.  

  • Well when he opened the door to the larderwhat did he see his wife and his daughter

  • sat on the floor crying their eyes out. 'What on  earth is the matter with you?' We're trying to  

  • sort out that young man's marriage to our daughter  and you're sat in here crying!' 'Oh husband,'  

  • said the wife, 'come and look at this.'  And with that she pointed to the shelf  

  • where the hammer sat directly  above the barrel full of ale.

  • 'If our daughter was to marry that lovely young  man and he was to come in here on their wedding  

  • day after the ceremony at the church to fill a jug  with ale to take it back to top everybody's cups  

  • before making a toast to their future happiness  together... if that shelf would've moved,  

  • that hammer would fall it would catch him  on the back of the head and break his neck.  

  • Our daughter would be a wife andwidow all in the space of one day!

  • A tear rolled down his cheek.  

  • Then another, then another and another until  he too sat on the floor crying his eyes out.

  • The young man waited on his own for what seemed  like a polite amount of time but he began to fear  

  • that some dreadful accident had befallen everybody  in the larder and that perhaps he ought to go and  

  • see if he could assist. So he went to the door of  the larder and he opened the larder door. And when  

  • he looked inside what did he see? The farmer, his  wife and their daughter sat on the floor crying  

  • their eyes out. 'What... what's the matter?' said  the young man, 'what... what's wrong?' 'Oh son,'  

  • said the farmer, 'terrible, terrible business. If  my daughter was to marry you and on your wedding  

  • day you were to come down here with a jug to fill  it up with ale so you go back to toast your future  

  • happiness with your wife and your new family and  you to lean forward that hammer up there on that  

  • shelf if that were to slip and fall it would  strike you on the back of the head. It would  

  • break your neck! My beautiful daughter, she would  be a wife and a widow all in the space of one day!

  • The young man looked at the hammer. He tried the  shelf and indeed the shelf was very rickety. He  

  • looked at the position of the barrel of ale  and then he reached up to where the hammer  

  • was he took the hammer, felt its weight which  was substantial, and then put it on the floor.  

  • 'There,' he said, 'if I was to come  in here now to fill up a jug with ale  

  • and that hammer were to fall, the worst that  might happen to me is that it might stub my  

  • toe. You three really are the three silliest  people I've ever met in my life. I'm not going  

  • to marry your daughter. I'm going to leave this  place, I'm going to travel out tomorrow to see  

  • if I can find in the space of three days three  people who are more silly than you. And if I can,  

  • I will marry elsewhere. But if I discover  that you are not the three silliest people  

  • in the county then I will return and I will marry  your daughter'. And with that the young man left.

  • Next day the young man got up

  • he had his servant saddle one of his horses  

  • and off he rode to see if indeed he  could find three people more foolish  

  • than the people in his village. Well, as he  was riding along he looked ahead and on the  

  • road ahead he could see just by the side of the  road a cottage, an old and tumbled down place.  

  • As he got closer, however, he could  see something very, very strange for  

  • it appeared to him that there was a cow on the  roof of the cottage. As he got closer he could see  

  • that quite clearly it was indeed a cow gazing out  rather mournfully from the roof of this cottage  

  • a roof of thatch with patches  of grass growing on it  

  • and as he got even closer still he could see  around the neck of the cow there was a rope  

  • a halter and this rope snaked its way up the roof  and then disappeared into a hole at the top of the  

  • roof that he assumed was the uh chimney. Sensing  that something strange was going on the young man  

  • got off his horse and went to the door of the  cottage and uh knocked on the door. The door  

  • opened and a sweet and kindly silver-haired old lady  peered out. 'Can I help you young man?' she said. 'Well,'  

  • said the young man, 'I think perhaps mam it  is me that can help you, for it looks to me  

  • like the local youths have played a trick on you  and they've placed your cow upon your roof.'

  • 'Oh no,' said the sweet old lady, 'no, no, no young man... you  are much mistaken! I... I did that myself this morning'.

  • The young man looked puzzled. 'Ah,' she said, 'well  let me explain. The roof, the thatch on my cottage  

  • you can see is old and worn and in places  great tufts of grass have started to grow.  

  • The pasture where I normally feed my cow isdistance of some mile away so every morning I  

  • must walk the cow to the field so that he can eat  grass before I walk him back again in the evening.  

  • Well I thought to myself I would save myself  the bother and instead the cow could eat the  

  • grass on the roof, that way the roof will be  somewhat strengthened and my cow will be fed  

  • without me having to walk'. 'Very well,' said the  young man, 'but did it not occur to you that  

  • the cow might fall off the roof?' The old lady  looked at the young man. 'Oh you must take me  

  • for an idiot! Of course I thought of that. Well  that is why the cow has a rope about its neck.  

  • The rope goes down through the vent in the  roof and I've tied the other end of the rope  

  • around my waist so that if the cow falls I can  haul up on the rope and stop the cow falling'.  

  • The young man was just about to explain why  this plan might not work when there was a rather baleful  

  • 'MOOOO-UH' from outside. And sure enough the cow fell. Now  the old lady was caught completely by surprise  

  • instead of grabbing hold of the  rope to steady the cow in its fore  

  • she was dragged across the floor of her  cottage and into the fireplace. And then the cow  

  • which by now had fallen from the roof stood up and  started walking towards where his normal pasture  

  • was... as it did so the rope tightened again and the poor  old lady was hauled up and up through the vent  

  • in the roof of her cottage, down across the dirty  thatch, into the mud outside and was then being  

  • dragged along the road. Well the young man acted  very quickly, drew his knife, chased after her,  

  • cut through the rope, grabbed the rope and tied the  cow to a nearby tree stump and then took the poor  

  • old lady back into her house where fortunately he  discovered that she hadn't broken any bones and  

  • managed to clean her up a bit, before going back  to his own horse mounting and going on his way.

  • 'That woman, for all her years and all  her experience,' thought the young man  

  • 'is one of the silliest people I've ever met. Pffh'

  • The young man continued on his way and uh by now  

  • the light was starting to fade so  he'd been riding for many, many hours.  

  • He thought to himself 'well, I don't really want to  go home. I know what, I'll just ride down into the  

  • next town and I'll stay at the inn there, I've stayed  there many times before'. And so that's what he did.  

  • He rode into the next town, which seemed to be very  crowded, and went to the local inn there. He knocked  

  • on the door... the landlord of the inn let him in.  'Come in sir, come in... oh it's you sir! You're always  

  • welcome here'. 'Excellent,' said the young man, 'could  I possibly trouble you for a room for the night?' 

  • 'Oh sir,' said the landlord, 'I wish I could help  you but well it's it's market day sir! Every  

  • room in my inn is taken and I don't  suppose you'll find a room anywhere else.'  

  • 'Oh dear,' said the young man. The landlord thought to himself for a moment.  

  • 'I might be able to help you sir. One of my guests, a  very, very rich businessman, has a room that has a  

  • spare bed in it. I can have a word with him and perhaps  if you come to an arrangement with him about the  

  • room he will offer you the use of that bed. If that  suits you sir?' 'Thank you very much,' said the young  

  • man. And so the landlord went and spoke with this  man of business and came back said, 'he agrees...  

  • if you cover the cost of the room  you're more than welcome to stay.  

  • He'll be very, very quiet and make sure that  he doesn't disturb you'. And with that the young  

  • man went to get something to eat and then  went upstairs to his bed and fell asleep.

  • In the morning, when the young man woke  up, he woke to a very strange sound.  

  • It was the sound of the door to the  room that he was staying in opening  

  • and the sound of somebody running  across the room, then a silence,  

  • then a thud outside and a groan, and then the sound  of somebody running around, running up the stairs  

  • and opening the door. And this series of sounds  repeated itself so at first the young man wondered  

  • if he might be having a dream. But when he opened  his eyes this was the sight that greeted him.  

  • He looked over towards where the window was  where there was light coming into the room  

  • and there hanging up in the  window on a couple of pins  

  • was a set of hose much like thesethese ones that I'm now repairing.  

  • They were hung up in the window with  the top opened as wide as possible.  

  • The young man heard the sound of somebody  coming up the stairs in the door opening  

  • and there stood in the doorway wasman in his shirt. He looked to the window  

  • sized up the hose in the window and then he ran  towards him as fast as he could and leapt at them  

  • legs first. He missed. He fell straight through the  window, plummeted to the ground, hit it with a thud  

  • and groaned before running around opening the  door very quietly and repeating the action again.  

  • Well the young man was amazedhe didn't know what was going on. So  

  • the next time the door opened and the  man stood there the young man said, 'stop... stop!

  • What are you doing my friend?' 'Sorry if i've disturbed you i'm i'm the uh man of business  

  • uh i had higher of this room, you very kindly  offered to pay for it and uh i didn't want  

  • to disturb you this morning but yesterday at  marketplace i purchased a pair of joined leg hose  

  • but I've never worn them before and I wasn't too sure  how to put them on. So I thought I'll hang them in  

  • the window where it's light and then i can sort  of jump into them and that way i won't disturb you'.

  • 'Come and sit down,' said the young man, and he  sat the man of business down on the edge  

  • of his bed. 'Let me show you'. He went to the  window, he plucked the hose off the hooks  

  • and then showed the man of business how to put  them on. He stood in his fine new pair of hose  

  • and was very pleased. 'Thank you!' he said, 'thank... ooh... they're very comfortable and I can still move.  

  • How wonderful! And they're fashionable. Thank  you very much indeed young man. Thank you for  

  • helping me out'. And with that, the young man dressed  himself and left, thinking to himself, 'it's strange...  

  • old age and experience, and now  intelligence and skill in business...  

  • there are no safeguards against sillinessand he went on his way. The young man rode  

  • for the space of the next day, back and forth  around the county, talking to various people. But  

  • truth be told, everybody that  he engaged in conversation with  

  • had very little to say for themselves. But he had  determined that this is what he was going to do.  

  • By the end of the second day, as it was drawing  dark, he was riding along a road by the light of  

  • the moon when ahead he saw a town. 'I shall have  to stay there tonight,' he said, 'before I complete  

  • my labours next day'. So he rode towards the town  which was surrounded by an old wall and been  

  • there since the times of the romans. The young  man approached on horseback and as he did he saw  

  • that the crowd were gazing into the pond, the  pond outside the town gate and looking into it  

  • and murmuring to each other and clearly they were  very concerned about something. 'I wonder if I  

  • can help them,' thought the young man. So he rode over  and hailed them. 'Hello friends... you seem to be in  

  • some consternation. Can I be of any assistance?' 'Ooh,' they said, 'well I don't know, this is a disaster of the  

  • first order. Something terrible has happened!' 'Oh dear,' said the young man, 'what... how can I help?'  

  • 'The moon! The moon has fallen from its orbit and  now resides in our pond. Look, you can see it there  

  • on the surface of the pond! What are we going  to do? We must get the moon out somehow. That's  

  • why we brought our rakes. We're hoping we can rake  at the moon and then perhaps lever it up and then  

  • use a catapult or something that  could throw it back into the air.'  

  • The young man was very confused. 'What?' he said

  • 'But... the moon,' he said looking up into the sky  where you could see the moon quite clearly,  

  • 'the moon is still there, look! I can see  it! Plain as the nose on your face.'  

  • 'No, no, no, no, no,' said the townspeople, 'the moon is there, the moon lies in our pond. We must find some way  

  • of rescuing it or it will be dark foreverBut the young man was very confused. 'Friends,' 

  • he said, 'friends... I promise you the moon is still  in its rightful place in the heavens'. And at that  

  • the mood turned rather ugly. The townspeople  turned on him brandishing their rakes.