Little John A Begging is Child ballad 142 and about Robin Hood. It exists in two variants, one fragmentary.[1][2]


In one variant, Robin Hood sends Little John out, disguised as a beggar. In the fragmentary one, Little John apparently exchanges clothing with a beggar, as the surviving ballads opens with his complaint that they do not fit. In both variants, he meets up with beggars who realize that he is not one of their company. They fight, and Little John wins.[2]

The fragmented version breaks off there, but in the complete one, Little John discovers they were carrying a great deal of money and takes it.[1]


Howard Pyle, in his The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, transferred this adventure to Robin.[3]


  1. ^ a b Child, Francis James, ed. (1890). Little John a Begging. Vol. III Part 1. Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Company. pp. 188–190. Retrieved 2017-11-19. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  2. ^ a b Waltz, Robert B.; Engle, David G. (2012). "Little John a Begging". Folklore The Traditional Ballad Index: An Annotated Bibliography of the Folk Songs of the English-Speaking World. California State University, Fresno. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  3. ^ Pyle, Howard (2003). "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2017-11-19.