Posted on April 8th, 2014 | by Leslie


Wanderling no. 13

(Read my full description of the project here)

Wanderling no. 13 – “Hairy Man is Comin’”

Wiley listens to his mother’s advice and by his/her wits and magic skills saves himself from being captured by the Hairy Man.

Story’s country of origin – United States

Based on the tale “Wiley and the Hairy Man” as retold by Jane Yolen, Favorite Folktales from around the World (New York: Random House, Inc., 1986), pp. 395-400. Based in turn on the version by Virginia Haviland, North American Legends (New York: William Collins Publishers, 1979), pp. 126-33.

Yolen writes in her notes (p. 491): “This tale from the American South is a Devil story: the Hairy Man ‘didn’t have feet like a man but like a cow’ – the cloven hoofs give him away. Employing the same trick as that in ‘The Lad and the Devil’ [i.e. Puss-in-Boots] this is a much more elaborated story.”

Listen, boy, the Hairy Man is comin’ now
Hear me, boy, the Hairy Man is comin’ down
Look out, boy, the Hairy Man is comin’ now
To take you for his own

Mammy, I’m afeared of what
The Hairy Man will do
Wiley, don’t you worry
I know ‘zactly what to do
For I’m a-skilled at conjurin’
So you do what I say
Else you will end up in his sack
Afore the end of day


Mammy, I climbed up a tree
To try to get away
But he began a choppin’
When my hound-dogs ran away
I kep’on a-conjurin’
But he was gainin’ ground
On’y thing ‘at saved me was
My hound-dogs comin’ ‘round


Mammy, I done asked him
To turn into a giraffe
He tol’ me it was easy and
It made him start to laugh
And then I said a gator
Then a possum, like you said
I stuffed him in his sack an’ drowned him
Hopin’ he was dead


Mammy, he’s a-comin’
And I don’ know where to go
Wiley, bring the sucklin’ pig
And hide yourse’f below
You can have my baby, Hairy Man
If you take nothin’ more
I’ve fooled you thrice now get you gone
And don’t come back no more!


For more in the series:
Wanderling no.1 – “But Not Too Bold” –
Wanderling no.2 – “Sedna of the Sea” –
Wanderling no.3 – “The Rift” –
Wanderling no.4 – “Red Bird” –
Wanderling no.5 – “The Last Thing I’ll Beg Thee” –
Wanderling no.6 – “Tantalized” –
Wanderling no.7 – “The Cloud Princess” –
Wanderling no.8 – “My Song is Done” –
Wanderling no.9 – “Vasilisa Trilogy” –
Wanderling no.10 – “Drink Up” –
Wanderling no.11 – “Abandon This” –
Wanderling no.12 – “A Dreadful Thing” –

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