English Fairy Tales
By Joseph Jacobs

Presented by

Public Domain Books

The Golden Arm

Here was once a man who travelled the land all over in search of a wife. He saw young and old, rich and poor, pretty and plain, and could not meet with one to his mind. At last he found a woman, young, fair, and rich, who possessed a right arm of solid gold. He married her at once, and thought no man so fortunate as he was. They lived happily together, but, though he wished people to think otherwise, he was fonder of the golden arm than of all his wife’s gifts besides.

At last she died. The husband put on the blackest black, and pulled the longest face at the funeral; but for all that he got up in the middle of the night, dug up the body, and cut off the golden arm. He hurried home to hide his treasure, and thought no one would know.

The following night he put the golden arm under his pillow, and was just falling asleep, when the ghost of his dead wife glided into the room. Stalking up to the bedside it drew the curtain, and looked at him reproachfully. Pretending not to be afraid, he spoke to the ghost, and said: “What hast thou done with thy cheeks so red?”

“All withered and wasted away,” replied the ghost, in a hollow tone.

“What hast thou done with thy red rosy lips?”

“All withered and wasted away.”

“What hast thou done with thy golden hair?”

“All withered and wasted away.”

“What hast thou done with thy Golden Arm?”

“Thou Hast It!”


How to Get Into This Book  •  Preface  •  Tom Tit Tot  •  The Three Sillies  •  The Rose-Tree  •  The Old Woman and Her Pig  •  How Jack Went to Seek His Fortune  •  Mr. Vinegar  •  Nix Nought Nothing  •  Jack Hannaford  •  Binnorie  •  Mouse and Mouser  •  Cap O’ Rushes  •  Teeny-Tiny  •  Jack and the Beanstalk  •  The Story of the Three Little Pigs  •  The Master and His Pupil  •  Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse  •  Jack and His Golden Snuff-Box  •  The Story of the Three Bears  •  Jack the Giant-Killer  •  Jack the Giant-Killer  •  Henny-Penny  •  Childe Rowland  •  Molly Whuppie  •  The Red Ettin  •  The Golden Arm  •  The History of Tom Thumb  •  Mr. Fox  •  Lazy Jack  •  Johnny-Cake  •  Earl Mar’s Daughter  •  Mr. Miacca  •  Whittington and His Cat  •  The Strange Visitor  •  The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh  •  The Cat and the Mouse  •  The Fish and the Ring  •  The Magpie’s Nest  •  Kate Crackernuts  •  The Cauld Lad of Hilton  •  The Ass, the Table, and the Stick  •  Fairy Ointment  •  The Well of the World’s End  •  Master of All Masters  •  The Three Heads of the Well  •  Notes and References