The Penyrheol Witch
A witch, as most people know, can turn herself, at the drop of her hat, into a rat, frog, newt, snake, or a hare.
Early one morning, a stable of huntsmen were on Penyrheol hillside when their hounds flushed out a hare. With the scent filling their flaming nostrils, the dogs gave chase, and the hare, sensing danger, skedaddled in the direction of Tirbach farmhouse.
With much hornblowing and whipping, tallyhoing, and spurring, the hunters urged their pack after the quarry. They were within a hairs breadth of their prey when the animal leapt up the side of Tirbach cottage and slithered through a slit in the wall; but not before the headmost hound had bitten the hare on its thigh.
The huntsman entered the house but could find no trace of the injured animal, only an old woman resting on her bed. Looking closer he saw that the crone was bleeding from a leg-wound, and began to smell a rat or was it a HARE!
The master, a sucker for superstition, wasted no time in taking his leave in case the witch turned her evil eye on him.
Key Contact: Rhymney Valley Tales
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