The PINK FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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297
THE MERRY WIVES1
There lay three houses in a row, in one of which there lived a tailor, in another a carpenter, and in a third a smith. All three were married, and their wives were very good friends. They often talked about how stupid their husbands were, but they could never agree as to which of them had the most stupid one; each one stuck up for her own husband, and maintained that it was he.
The three wives went to church together every Sunday, and had a regular good gossip on the way, and when they were coming home from church they always turned into the tavern which lay by the wayside and drank half a pint together. This was at the time when half a pint of brandy cost threepence, so that was just a penny from each of them.
But the brandy went up in price, and the taverner said that he must have fourpence for the half-pint.
They were greatly annoyed at this, for there were only the three of them to share it, and none of them was willing to pay the extra penny.
As they went home from the church that day they decided to wager with each other as to whose husband was the most stupid, and the one who, on the following Sunday, should be judged to have played her husband the greatest trick should thereafter go free from paying, and each of the two others would give twopence for their Sunday's half-pint.
1 From the Danish.
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