When Mamgu was but a mite, Ifan and his wife, Lleugu, lived in a farmhouse in Gilfach Fargoed.
One evening, Lleugu was up to her eyes baking bread on a slate over the fire when her herb pot dwindled to its dregs. Ifan was puffing his pipe on a hearthside couch and heard his wife say: Keep an eye on the bread, my dear, while I go and fetch some herbs.
Lleugu tended a herbage in a nearby meadow for medicine and mess and she grew sage and sorrel, bay and borage, chicory, caper and clove.
The moon was big in the sky and Lleugu fancied she could hear noises. At first she thought that it was the stars snoring but then saw the tylwyth teg capering inside their circle. One of the folk spotted Lleugu and said: Welcome, goodwife. Join our feast and forget the world and its woe.
The fairy fluttered a golden wand and Lleugu crossed the threshold of their circle all of a goggle. Great was her welcome and Lleugu was as proud as a peahen when the tylwyth sang songs in her honour.
She spent a year and a day in their midst; but to her it seemed no more than a single chime of her grandfather clock. The fairies bade Lleugu farewell and she returned home clutching a cluster of herbs in her hand.
Ifan was smoking his briar by the fire when his wife walked in. He couldnt believe his eyes because hed long given her up for dead. But before he could utter a word, Lleugu asked: Did you remember to turn the bread, Ifan, or have you been loafing there since I left?
Key Contact: Rhymney Valley Tales
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