The Fairy Nightingale
Have you ever wondered how the phrase, as good as gold, was coined?
Well, years ago, some fairies dwelt in the forest which grew like a thick beard on the face of Carn Bugail. Most fairies have a shekel or two stashed away and these were the exception. But the fair-folk are not money-grabbers and delight in bestowing their bounty on worthy humans.
A little chap called Idris lived in nearby Fochriw, the village on the cheek of the hill, and, one day, was adverturing in the woodland when he heard a bird carolling. A nightingale, the sweetest songster of all, was perched on the bough of an oak, encircled by ten ash trees, and he addressed Idris thus. Never have I seen you in the forest before, but somehow, I know that you are a good boy, I feel it in my feathers. Service others and the fairies will favour you.
With that, the nightingale disappeared in a flurry of down.
The next day Idris returned to the woods where he crossed paths with a man who was as old as history. Pray young sir, bade the old-timer, show me a kindness, share a crust with one who hungers.
Idris gave half the loaf hed brought for lunch and the old man turned in a trice into a fairy saying, you saw me, yesternoon, in the guise of a nightingale: today I appeared as a hungry old man. You heeded my advice and gave half of what you had without a second thought. One good turn deserves another, so we will share our fairy purse with you. You are a good boy as good as gold.
Key Contact: Rhymney Valley Tales
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