The Tale of the Hoodie

The Tale of the Hoodie is a Scottish fairy tale, collected by John Francis Campbell in his Popular Tales of the West Highlands.[1] Andrew Lang included it, as The Hoodie-Crow, in The Lilac Fairy Book.[2]

It is Aarne-Thompson type 425A, the search for the lost husband. Others of this type include The Black Bull of Norroway, The Brown Bear of Norway, The Daughter of the Skies, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Enchanted Pig, The King of Love, Master Semolina, The Enchanted Snake,The Sprig of Rosemary, and White-Bear-King-Valemon.[3]

Plot summary

A farmer's three daughters are each wooed in turn by a hoodie crow. The older two repulse it because it is ugly, but the youngest accepts it, saying it is a pretty creature. After they marry, the crow asks whether she would rather have it be a crow by day and a man by night, or the other way around. She chooses a man by day, and during the day, he becomes a handsome man.

She has a son. One night, after music puts everyone to sleep, the baby is stolen. The next two years, it happens again, with two more babies. The hoodie crow takes her, with her sisters, to another house. He asks if she has forgotten anything. She has forgotten her coarse comb. The coach becomes a bundle of faggots, and her husband becomes a crow again. He flies off, but his wife chases him. Every night, she finds a house to stay in, in which a woman and a little boy live; the third night, the woman advises her that if the crow flies into her room in the night, she should catch him. She tries, but falls asleep. The crow drops a ring on her hand. It wakes her, but she is only able to grab one feather.

The woman tells her that the crow flew over the hill of poison and she will need horseshoes to follow him, but if she dresses as a man and goes to a smithy, she will learn how to make them. She does so and with the shoes, crosses the hill.

She arrives at a town to find that her husband is to marry a daughter of a great gentleman. A cook asks her to cook the wedding feast, so that he can see a race, and she agrees. She puts the ring and the feather in the broth. He finds them and demands to see the cook, and then declares he will marry her.

They go back and retrieve their three sons from the houses where she had stayed.

See also


  1. John Francis Campbell, Popular Tales of the West Highlands, "The Tale of the Hoodie"
  2. Andrew Lang, The Lilac Fairy Book, "The Hoodie-Crow"
  3. Heidi Anne Heiner, "Tales Similar to East of the Sun & West of the Moon"
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