Well, my grandmother she told me that in them auld days a ewe might be your mother. It is a very lucky thing to have a black ewe.
A man married again, and his daughter, Ashey Pelt, was unhappy. She cried alone, and the black ewe came to her from under the greystone in the field and said, “Don’t cry. Go and find a rod behind the stone and strike it three times, and whatever you want will come.”
So she did as she was bid.
She wanted to go to a party. Dress and horses and all came to her, but she was bound to be back before twelve o’clock or all the enchantment would go, all she had would vanish.
The sisters they did na’ like her, she was so pretty, and the stepmother she kept her in wretchedness just.
She was most lovely. At the party the prince fell in love with her, and she forgot to get back in time. In her speed a-running she dropped her silk slipper, and he sent and he went over all the country to find the lady it wad fit. When he came to Ashey Pelt’s door he did not see her. The sisters was busy a-nipping and a-clipping at their feet to get on the silk slipper, for the king’s son he had given out that he loved that lady sae weel he wad be married on whaever could fit on that slipper.
The sisters they drove Ashey Pelt out bye to be out of the road, and they bid her mind the cows. They pared down their feet till one o’ them could just squeeze it on. But she was in the quare agony I’m telling you.
So off they rode away; but when he was passing the field the voice of the auld ewe cried on him to stop, and she says, says she:
Nippet foot, and clippet foot
Behind the king’s son rides,
But bonny foot, and pretty foot
Is with the cathering hides.
So he rode back and found her among the cows, and he married her, and if they lived happy, so may you and me.
Author note: “The following tale was told me by a woman now living, a native of Ulster, aged about sixty.”