So an ugly old crone [or old dottard] visits a wise old mystic seeking beauty.
The mystic thinks and then says: 'visit the shepard of the western hills and ask him to loan you the most attractive member of his flock. When you have tended it for a week look in the mirror again.'
But, nothing happens and the crone is sore vexed.
'Hm,' says the mystic. 'Go back to the shepard and ask him where his oldest female sleep lies down to sleep. Take wool it has shed from its coat and rub its natural lanolin on your face'.
That just gives the crone a rash, and she's really cross.
'Very well,' says the Mystic, 'I see the shepard's cures are too weak for you. Go to the ford where the barge man plies his trade taking cattle across the river and tell him I sent you.'
Grumbling at his useless advice the crone nevertheless does as he says.
She's crossing the river in the barge when suddenly a big animal on board it, turns and jabs her with its horns.
Now she's really angry, but as she steps off the barge she sees her reflection which is beautiful. Wishing to understand how this was done she returned to the mystic.
'Well,' he said, 'when beauty sheep failed, and oil of Ewe-lay couldn't help. There was simply nothing for it but a boat ox injection.'