Sir Gammer Vans

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Sir Gammer Vans is an English fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs in More English Fairy Tales.[1]

It is Aarne-Thompson 1965, Lying Tales, and includes an episode of 1890, the lucky shot.[2]


In a sequence of events most of which are self-contradictory, the narrator goes to visit Sir Gammer Vans in his house -- "a brick house, built entirely of flints, standing alone by itself in the middle of sixty or seventy others just like it" -- is fed breakfast -- "a slice of beer, and a cup of cold veal" -- and goes hunting with him. He shoots a deer, breaking its ribs without hurting it, finds the arrow in a beehive, and shoots partridges when they jump out -- 18 they say, but he claims 36.


The references to arrows and venison point to its being an old tale, which may indicate the "sir" is a title for a clerical honor, rather than a knight.