Robyn of the Well
A Farmer who once lived in the parish of Llanfabon, was being plagued by the Hidden People, and in particular, by one pesky creature called Robyn.
The fairies made a fool of the farmer time and again with their bag of fairy tricks. Their favourite piece of hanky panky was to pick his pockets with their light little fingers. They replaced his money with their fairy coins, which vanished like a summer cloud when the farmer went to purchase stock on market day. Their behaviour was enough to make a Parson swear.
The farmer knew that Robyn was the fairy ring-leader, so he hired a soothsayer to root him out. Now, the soothsayer was an old sage whose counsel was sought by all and sundry. He could make physic from flowers, forecast rain and shine, read tomorrow in peoples palms and decipher dreams. But, most important of all, he was a crack hand when it came to catching fairies.
Everyone knows how difficult it is to detect a fairy because they disappear between one blink and the next. Trapping one of the Hidden People is like finding a pin in a haystack, but the soothsayer knew of a way. Holding a four-leaf clover in his hand, he saw through Robyns cloak of invisibility and shut the nuisance in the farmyard well. Nevertheless, the other fairies continued to vex the farmer until he chose to pack his bags and leave his smallholding for good. He heaped all his furniture high on a cart and was preparing to leave when he met a neighbour who asked: Are you moving?
Before he was able to answer a little voice called from the cart: Yes but I know not where. Twirling around, the farmer saw Robyn squatting on his haunches high on a chair in the cart. Gnashing his teeth in a rage the wretched yeoman summoned the soothsayer again. The man of learning advised the farmer to leave milk and bread upon the kitchen table every night as a token of friendship. And from that time forward, Robyn and the farmer became the greatest of pals. As thick as thieves, Robyn joked to his fairy-fellows.
Key Contact: Rhymney Valley Tales
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