Cluster of Nuts, The
DESCRIPTION: Jack and his mistress bet ten guineas on the number of nuts in a cluster. He says twelve; she says eleven. One nut has no kernel; who wins? They leave it to his master to decide; he decides in Jack's favor. She pays the ten guineas.
EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (GreigDuncan7)
KEYWORDS: adultery sex gambling husband wife servant trick
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
GreigDuncan7 1431, "The Cluster of Nits" (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-Thames, pp. 132-133, "The Bunch of Nuts" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 139)
Bodleian, Harding B 16(50c), "Cluster of Nuts" ("As me and my mistress were riding down by the greenwood side"), unknown, no date; also Harding B 11(582), "Cluster of Nuts"
cf. "The Proud Pedlar" (theme: cuckolded husband settles dispute/bet between his wife and her lover)
cf. "The Farm Servant (Rap-Tap-Tap)" (theme: servant describes sex with the master's wife in hidden terms)
NOTES: GreigDuncan7 quoting Mrs Gillespie's explanation to Duncan decodes the story as that the master leaves home with Jack in charge. The bet between Jack and the mistress of the house is how many times Jack will succeed having sex with her. In the morning they disagree on how the count should be made. That explains her answer to Jack's "I'll leave it to my master, when he comes home at night": "Why, you fool," says she, "would you let your master know?" Jack's description of the bet seems not to raise the master's suspicion. - BS
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