The Three Sillies ( from England)

Once upon a long ago time, a young man asked a young lady to marry him. At the celebration of their engagement, she went to the cellar to get more cider. As she went down the steps she suddenly thought, “What will we name our children? All the names are taken!” She sat on steps to think about it, leaving the cider tap open so that cider ran all over the floor. 

Her mother came looking for her.

“What’s wrong, my daughter?” When the girl told her, the mother sat to think about it too. 

Not long after that, the father came looking for his wife and daughter. “What’s wrong?” he asked. They told him, and he sat down to study on the problem with them.

The young bridegroom-to-be came down the steps to see what the problem was. The cider was still running out of the barrel and the floor was covered with it. When they told him what they were worrying about, he couldn’t believe they were so silly.

“I’m leaving! I won’t come back until I find three people sillier than you are.” And off he went. 

Soon he came upon a walnut grove. People were knocking down walnuts and trying to load them in wagon with a pitchfork. “Why don’t you gather the nuts in a basket and then pour them in the wagon?” he asked. They were amazed at his cleverness.

Next the young man found a man trying to feed acorns to his pigs, but he was making the pigs climb the tree to get the nuts. “You could shake the tree, and the nuts would fall so the pigs can get them,” the young man suggested. “What a brilliant idea!” the man exclaimed.

Soon after, the young man was astounded to see a man trying to put on his trousers by tying them to a tree and jumping into them. “That is so silly! Why don’t you try holding your pants with your two hands and stepping into them that way?”

“How would I do that” the man asked. The young man demonstrated how this could be done. “How smart you are!” the man exclaimed, and gave the young man 100 pieces of gold.

“Well,” said the young man, “ these three were sillier than my girlfriend and her parents, certainly!” And so he went back to that girl and married her. They had many children, but I have no idea what they named them.

Adapted by Susanna Holstein from Joseph Jacobs' telling of the tale.