Saturday, January 16, 2010

In which we celebrate Saturday Stories : a sleepy kind of tale

It's that sleepy time of year. Wouldn't you like the perfect bed to sleep in until it's spring again? I found this story in a book called A Bed Just So. The author's notes say that the book is based on an old story, but I've never been able to track down the original "old story." Nevertheless, I've changed and adapted the story to suit myself. The book is now out of print, and the price Amazon.com is outrageous, but sometimes you can find a copy in libraries.--A

A Bed Just So

Once there was a little tailor who fell asleep at his work every day. He was always sleepy because he could never sleep at night.

He could never sleep at night because someone—or something!—pulled the cover off his bed.

He couldn’t sleep because something—or someone!—yanked his pillow this way and that way.

He couldn’t sleep because a little voice somewhere was always grumbling and complaining and pacing back and forth.

The tailor finally went to see the wisest woman in the village to ask for help.

“I think I’ve been cursed,” he told her.

“No, you haven’t been cursed,” she told him. “If you had been cursed, you’d fall over furniture, and drop your scissors and scald your tongue on the morning tea.”

“Well, then, I think I’ve been bewitched,” he said.

“No, you haven’t been bewitched,” she told him. “If you had been bewitched, your feet would walk backwards and your buttons would all come off as soon as you’d buttoned them and your broom would sweep all by itself.”

“Then what?” he asked.

“A hudgin,” she told him.

“A hudgin?”

“A hudgin.”

“What do I do with a hudgin?” asked the tailor.

“Make a bed for him,” suggested the woman. “Then he will sleep all night and leave you alone.”

So the tailor bought a fine oaken bed, much finer than his own. He made it up with fine linen sheets and covered it with warm woolen blankets.

“Now,” thought the tailor, “the hudgin has his bed and I have mine. We can both sleep the whole night long.”

But as soon as he lay down to sleep, the tailor’s bedcover was pulled away, and his pillow was yanked this way and that way, and he could hear the hudgin grumbling:

Too high and too hard!
Too high and too hard!
I want a bed, a bed just so!


The next night the tailor made a low bed and covered it with ferns and feathers. “Now,” thought the tailor, “the hudgin has his bed and I have mine. We can both sleep the whole night long.”

But as soon as he lay down to sleep, the tailor’s bedcover was pulled away, and his pillow was yanked this way and that way, and he could hear the hudgin grumbling again:

Too itchy and too tickly!
Too itchy and too tickly!
I want a bed, a bed just so!


The next night the tailor made a bed in the cupboard, and filled it with pillows and perfume. “Now,” thought the tailor, “the hudgin has his bed and I have mine. We can both sleep the whole night long.”

But as soon as he lay down to sleep, the tailor’s bedcover was pulled away and his pillow was yanked this way and that way, and he could hear the hudgin grumbling again:

Too dark and too stuffy!
Too dark and too stuffy!
I want a bed, a bed just so!


Every night the tailor made a new bed for the hudgin. Big beds, small beds, soft beds, hard beds, tall beds and small beds. But every night that little voice kept him awake.

That poor tailor couldn’t find a bed just so. He was getting very tired.

Finally one night, he cracked open a walnut to eat with his dinner. He looked at the walnut shell in his hand. “Why not?” he asked himself. “I’ve tried everything else.”

He lined the walnut shell with cotton and put a maple leaf for the blanket. He put it on the hearth.

That night as he lay down to sleep, the tailor heard a new sound.

A happy, humming sound.

He looked over at the walnut shell, but he couldn’t see anything. He shut his eyes tight to listen, and just as he fell asleep, he heard a contented little voice say:

Just so. Just so.
I have a bed just so!

5 comments:

  1. I wish I had a bed just so. It's kind of like the story of my Tucker saddle...


    WV = thedudd
    Not an editorial comment

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  2. That was a fun story! Made me excited for my "bed just so" tonight. :) Gotta love hittin' the sheets in the winter. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment on my vitamin post! I love your horse hair suggestion. Aren't horses the answer to every predicament after all? :)

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  3. Oh, P.S. Lytha said I might be able to get some info from you on where to find geotiles in our area. I really want to get a better handle on the mud around my place!

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  4. OOooo. I love stories! I'm going off to my bed just so on this stormy, blustery, rainy winter night!

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