See Jack and King Marock page. Richard Chase's Jack Tales Appendix lists many variants of Tale Type 313C, The Girl as Helper in the Hero's Flight. Willie and the Devil has a very similar plot with a girl who instructs Willie in each task; a version from the James Taylor Adams Collection is reprinted at this link in AppLit.


See Jack's Wife - or - Jack and the Three Sillies. In Appalachia as in Europe, the noodlehead tale with three sillies may have either the man or the woman as the foolish main character and either a man or woman is astounded at this noodlehead's foolishness, usually sending him or her off to find equally foolish people.


"Jack's Daughter Annie." Told by Elizabeth Ellis at the 1993 National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough, TN. Recording archived in the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. For details see "The Farmer's Daughter."


"Jack and the Giant." In Perdue, Charles L., Jr. Outwitting the Devil: JACK TALES from Wise County Virginia. Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City, 1987, pp. 53-55. Collected by James Taylor Adams in 1941 from Mrs. Bethel Lee Adams of Big Laurel, VA, who learned it from a Kentucky man. While staying in a haunted house, Jack finds a pretty girl when she wakes up from a sleeping dram given to her by a giant. They scare off the giant and rescue Jack's brothers, who were being fattened up in the giant's cave in the woods. The girl tricks the giant by standing in the road and then bargaining for the lives of the brothers when the giant thinks she's a "haint" and begs for mercy.  On his wedding day, Jack stops being a marked boy who is "half boy and half dog."

Compare with Sleeping Beauty tales and Beauty and the Beast tales (including the Appalachian "Whitebear Whittington" and its variants) and other strong women tales.


"The Time Jack Got the Wishing Ring," in Donald Davis, Jack Always Seeks His Fortune, and Jack and the Fire Dragon by Gail E. Haley. Both Davis and Haley make the girls whom Jack rescues more articulate, level-headed and unselfish advocates of moral strength than the girls in Chase's "Old Fire Dragaman."

See also "Old Fire Dragaman" for variants of the fire dragon tale.

Compare with Grimm Brothers, "The Gnome." Tale Type 301A, The Quest for the Vanished Princesses.


"The Time Jack Solved the Hardest Riddle" in Donald Davis, Jack Always Seeks His Fortune: Authentic Appalachian Jack Tales. Little Rock: August House, 1992. Davis notes that the tale is similar to the one told by the Wife of Bath in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

See Appalachian Riddles page for more on this tale, in the section on Riddles in Folktales.

Compare with parallel tales featuring the "loathly lady," such as:

Hastings, Selina. Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady. Illus. Juan Wijngaard. NY: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1985.

"Gawain and the Lady Ragnell" in Ethel Johnston Phelps's feminist anthology The Maid of the North. While Phelps observes that it is "refreshing" to find a medieval tale with a romantic plot putting a positive emphasis on "a woman's right to freedom of will and choice" (xiv), Donald Davis's Jack tale is remarkable because Jack embraces so spontaneously the woman's idea that friendship is most important between lovers.


"Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole." As told by Leonard Roberts. In Jack in Two Worlds: Contemporary North American Tales and Their Tellers. Ed. William Bernard McCarthy. Chapel Hill:  U of NC Pr, 1994, pp. 168-203. With a photo of Roberts, an essay on Roberts and the tale, and a transcription of the oral tale that notes vocal and non-verbal features and audience responses. McCarthy identifies "Roberts's favorite story" as "a remarkably full version of" Type 313, The Girl as Helper in the Hero's Flight. A pretty girl helps Jack obtain magic help to complete three impossible tasks (including capturing wild horses) and escape from a man who threatens to cut his head off. The girl has learned "a little magic" from the old man while living with him. Jack and the girl need more magic to run away on a horse named Raglif Jaglif and then get married.Anne Shelby adapted this tale as "Molly and Jack," with the focus on her heroine Molly from the beginning of the book and this tale, in The Adventures of Molly Whuppie and Other Appalachian Folktales. Illus. Paula McArdle. Chapel Hill: Univ. of NC Press, 2007. For more on Shelby's book, see Appalachian Folktale Collections K-Z.

"Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole." In Roberts, Leonard (collector).  I Bought Me A Dog, and Other Folktales from the Southern Mountains. Berea, KY: The Council of the Southern Mountains, 1954. Small black and white drawings by Mary Rogers. Roberts notes that this Kentucky version of the story was almost lost during the century before he heard it, until a relative told him the tale that had been passed down through her branch of his family.

"Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole." In Roberts, Leonard (collector). Old Greasybeard: Tales From the Cumberland GapIllus. Leonard Epstein. Detroit: Folklore Associates, 1969. Rpt. Pikeville, KY: Pikeville College Press, 1980. pp. 65-68.

"Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole." Told by Leonard Roberts in Raglif, Jaglif, Tetartlif, Pole [and Other Tales from Apalachian Tradition]. Audiocassette. Berea, KY: Appalachian Center, Berea College, 1993. Side 1. Raglif, Jaglif, Tetartlif, Pole, Irishmen Tales, Jack Outwits the Giant, Riddles. Side 2. Daniel Boone's Hunting Trip, Jack and the Bull Strap, Remarks by Dr. Roberts on Appalachian Region.

"Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole" by Leonard W. Roberts. In Jones, Loyal, ed. Appalachian Folk Tales. Illus. Jim Marsh. Ashland, KY: Jesse Stuart Foundation, 2010.

Davis, Donald. "Something Old, Something New." Audio recording on Jack and Granny Ugly. See Jack and the King's Girl and Jack and King Marock for details. As in "Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole," the girl knows that a magic old tool instead of a new one must be used to accomplish the series of tasks that her father requires him to do. The girl has to keep reminding Jack to follow her advice as he tries the more useful-looking new tool each time. When the king tries to hide her in a group of girls, Jack learns that the one who looks old is the one he wants to marry.

See also The Snake Princess and Cat 'n Mouse for enchanted females who tell their men how to succeed.


In "Jack and Granny Ugly" by Donald Davis (in the same recording listed above), several of Jack's magic helpers, including Shoot Well and Run Well, are females. These roles, as well as Jack, are often played by women when the Jack Tale Players perform "Hardy Hard Head" by R. Rex Stephenson. See Hardy Hard Head. Ed Stivender tells a version of this tale in which three of the magic helpers are women: Seewell, Hearwell, and Smellwell, and jokes are made about Jack's companions not all being "guys."


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