Nix Nought Nothing

A fairy tale reaching back thousands of years

The tale, belonging to Aarne-Thompson folktale type 313, is best known from Joseph Jacob’s version in English Fairy Tales (1898). This was based on folklorist Andrew Lang’s “Nicht Nought Nothing”, which he collected in Scotland.
My telling is modified by notes I found on my computer, probably posted on the Storytell listserv years ago, and, annoyingly, saved without further attribution. If anyone can throw light on other versions, I’d be very grateful for further information.

Andrew Lang’s essay on the story, “A Far-Travelled Tale” (in Custom and Myth, 1884), points to the parallels with the Greek myths of Jason and Medea.

More deep tales

The video gallery has become very extensive. So if you would enjoy more tales like this which explore the depths of the human psyche, here are a few suggestions.


The video clips here are all amateur quality, shot in various theatres or, as here, in my home studio.

Their intention is just to show the range of my storytelling and give a flavour of a live performance.

Permission is granted for use in non-commercial educational contexts.

The videos are © Richard Martin.

Professionally recorded CDs and DVDs are available here.

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Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling