She heard a gleegashing as if a pot-hook were clashing beside a pot. She took wonder, and she stopped striking the tether-pig. Where shall I go with them? Thou wilt see a tuft of grass. If thy couple of calves eat that tuft of grass, thou wilt not be a day without a milk cow as long as thou art alive, because thou hast taken my counsel.
Theee came a woman of peace a fairy the way of the house of a man in the island of Pabaidh, and she had the hunger of motherhood on her. He gave her food, and that went well with her. She staved that night. A woman of peace would come every day to seek the kettle. She would not say a word when she came, but she would catch hold of the kettle.
The due of a kettle is bones, And to bring it back again whole. I will say it. He saw a woman coming and a shadow from her feet, and he took fear of her. He shut the door. He stopped his work. When she came to the door she did not find the door open, and he did not open it for her.
She went above a hole that was in the house. The kettle gave two jumps, and at the third leap it went out at the ridge of the house. The night came, and the kettle came not. I shut the door, and she did not come any mere with it. She reached the knoll, and there wap no man within. It was after dinner, and they were out in the mouth of the night. She went in. She saw the kettle, and she lifted it with her It was heavy for her with the remnants that they left in it.
That came on us from the 'and of chas. Thou man on th' surface o?
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She kept the remnant that was in the kettle, so that if she could get it with her, well, and if the dogs should come that she might throw it at them. She perceived the dogs coming. She put her hand in the kettle. She took the board out of it, and she threw at them a quarter of what was in it. They noticed it there for a while.
She perceived them again, and she threw another piece at them when they closed upon her. She went away walking as well as she might; when she came near the farm, she threw the mouth of the pot downwards, and there she left them all that was in it. The dogs of the town struck up a barking when they saw the dogs of peace stopping. The woman of peace never came more to seek the kettle. The Dracffi are a sort of water-spirits who inveigle women and children into the recesses which they inhabit, beneath lakes and rivers, by floating past them, on the surface of the water, in the shape of gold rings or cups.
The women thus seized are employed as nurses, and after seven years are permitted to revisit earth. Gervase of Tilbury mentions one woman in particular who had been allured by observing a wooden dish, or cup, float by her, while she was washing clothes in the river. Being seized as soon as she reached the depths, she was conducted into one of the subterranean recesses, which she described as very magnificent, and employed as nurse to one of the brood of the hag who had allured her.
Of this power she was, however, deprived by the touch of her ghostly mistress, whom she hail one day incautiously addressed.
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It is a curious fact that this story, in almost all its parts, is current in both the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, with no other variation than the substitution of Fairies for Dracse, and the cavern of a hill for that of a river. Indeed many of the vulgar account it extremely dangerous to touch anything which they may happen to find without saining blessing it, the snares of the enemy being notorious and well-attested.
A poor woman of Teviotdale having been fortunate enough, as she thought herself, to find a wooden beetle, at the very time when she needed such an implement, seized it without pronouncing a proper blessing, and, carrying it home, laid it above her bed to be ready for employment- in the morning.source
At midnight the window of her cottage opened, and a loud voice was heard calling up some one within by a strange and uncouth name. The ter-rilied cottager ejaculated a prayer, which, we may suppose, ensured her personal safety; while the enchanted implement of housewifery, tumbling from the bedstead, departed by the window with no small noise and precipitation. The power of the fairies was not confined to unchristened children alone; it was supposed frequently to be extended to full-grown persons, especially such as in an unlucky hour were devoted to the devil by the execration of parents and of-masters; or those who were found asleep under a rock, or on a green hill, belonging to the fairies, after sunset, or, finally, to those who unwarily joined their orgies.
It is said the king gave him the cup which was found in his hand, and dismissed him. They sought for the top all about the place where it was taken up, but in vain; and it was found afterwards in the churchyard, on the other side of the church.
The following is an account of a fairy frolic said to have happened late in the last century:—The victim of elfin sport was a poor man, who, being employed in pulling heather upon Peatlaw, a hill in Selkirkshire, had tired of his labour, and laid him down to sleep upon a fairy ring. When he awakened, he was amazed to find himself in the midst of a populous eity, to which, as well as to the means of his transportation, he was an utter stranger.
His coat was left upon the Peatlaw; and his bonnet, which had fallen off in the course of his aerial journey, was afterwards found hanging upon the steeple of the church of Lanark. The distress of the poor man was, in some degree, relieved by meeting a carrier, whom he had formerly known, and who conducted him back to Selkirk, by a slower conveyance than had whirled him to Glasgow. That he had been carried off by the fairies was implicitly believed by all who did not reflect that a man may have private reasons for leaving his own country, and for disguising his having intentionally done so.
To which he replied, Yes, sir, as well as any man in Scotland; for every Thursday night I beat all points to a sort of people that used to meet under yonder hill pointing to the great hill between Edenborough and Leith. Now, boy? I, what company have you there? There are, sir, said he, a great company both of men and women, and they are entertained with many sorts of musick, besides my drum; they have, besides, plenty of variety of meats and wine, and many times we are carried into France or Holland in a night, and return again, and whilst we are there wo enjoy all the pleasures the country doth afford.
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I demanded of him how they got under that hill! To which he replied that there was a great pair of gates that opened to them, though they were invisible to others; and that within there were brave large rooms, as well accommodated as most in Scotland. I then asked him how I should know what he said to be true?
Upon which he told me he would read my fortune, saying I should have two wives, and that he saw the forms of them sitting on my shoulders; that both would be very handsome women. As he was thus speaking, a woman of the neighbourhood, coming into the room, demanded of him what her fortune should be? He told her that she had two bastards before she was married, which put her in such a rage that she desired not to hear the rest. The boy came again, at the place and time appointed, and I had prevailed with some friends to continue with me, if possible, to prevent his moving that night.
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He was placed between us, and answered many questions, until, about eleven of the clock, be, was got away unperceived by the company; but I, suddenly missing him, hasted to the door, and took hold of him, and so returned him into the same room; we all watched him, and, of a sudden, he was again got out of doors; I followed him close, and he made a noise in the street as if he had been set upon; but from that, time I could never see him.
About the same time the following year, the same lad went again to the smiddy on the same errand, and this time he took another lad with him, but had the precaution to put the Bible in his pocket. Well, in passing the mill the second time, he heard the same sounds of music and dancing.
This time, having the Bible in his hand, he ventured to look in, when who should he see but his companion whom he had left standing there that day twelvemonths. He handed him the Bible, and the moment he did so the music and dancing ceased, the lights went out, and all was darkness. All of a sudden he fell ill, took to his bed, and moped whole days away. No one could tell what was the matter with him, and the boy himself could not, or would not, tell how he felt. He was wasting away fast; getting thin, old, and yellow; and his father and all his friends were afraid that he would die.
At last one day, after the boy had been lying in this condition for a long time, getting neither better nor worse, always confined to bed, but with an extraordinary appetite,—one day, while sadly revolving these things, and standing idly at his forge, with no heart to work, the smith was agreeably surprised to see an old man, well known to him for his sagacity and knowledge of out-of-the-way things, walk into his workshop. Forthwith he told him the occurrence which had clouded his life.
Get rid as soon as possible of this intruder, and I think I may promise you your son. If it is your own son you have got, he will call out to save him; hut if not, this thing will fly through the roof. On a certain night the old man told him the green round hill, where the fairies kept the boy, would be open. And on that night the smith, having provided himself with a Bible, a dirk, and a crowing cock, was to proceed to the hill. When you are questioned, say you come to seek him, and will not go without him.