Three Lazy Brothers

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  • Teideal (Title): Three Lazy Brothers.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840119.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): story.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 24/01/1984.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): evening class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Three bachelor brothers lived together with their father, who was always advising them to get married. None of the brothers particularly wanted to get married, they had life pretty good the way they were, and didn’t much want the trouble of looking after a wife.

One day, the father said that the first woman who passed their door, he would ask her in and one of his sons would have to marry her. Next day, a ‘fine lump of a girl’ passed the house. When they had a look at her, all three of the brothers expressed satisfaction at the idea of marrying her.

Now the father was in a quandry – which of his sons should marry the girl? He sent for a wise old man, who said ‘the laziest one of you will marry this girl.’ So the old man asked each of the sons, in turn, ‘How lazy are you?’

Their answers determined which of them married the girl.


This story corresponds to an international tale-type, AT 1950.