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Believed to be Indian in origin – An Excerpt from Oriental Folklore and Legends
Once Upon a Time, During the reign of a mighty rajah named Guddeh Sing, a celebrated, and as it is now supposed, deified priest, or hutteet, called Dhurrumnath, came, and in all the characteristic humility of his sect established a primitive and temporary resting-place within a few miles of the rajah’s residence at Runn, near Mandavie. He was accompanied by his adopted son, Ghurreeb Nath.
From this spot Dhurrumnath despatched his son to seek for charitable contributions from the inhabitants of the town. To this end Ghurreeb Nath made several visits; but being unsuccessful,
and at the same time unwilling that his father should know of the want of liberality in the city, he at each visit purchased food out of some limited funds of his own. At length, his little hoard failing, on the sixth day he was obliged to confess the deceit he had practised.
Dhurrumnath, on being acquainted with this, became extremely vexed, and vowed that from that day all the rajah’s putteen cities should become desolate and ruined. The tradition goes on to state that in due time these cities were destroyed; Dhurrumnath, accompanied by his son, left the neighbourhood, and proceeded to Denodur. Finding it a desirable place, he determined on performing Tupseeah, or penance, for twelve years, and chose the form of standing on his head.
On commencing to carry out this determination, he dismissed his son, who established his Doonee in the jungles, about twenty miles to the north-west of Bhooj. After Dhurrumnath had remained Tupseeah for twelve years, he was visited by all the angels from heaven, who besought him to rise; to which he replied, that if he did so, the portion of the country on which his sight would first rest would become barren: if villages, they would disappear; if woods or fields, they would equally be
destroyed. The angels then told him to turn his head to the north-east, where flowed the sea. Upon this he resumed his natural position, and, turning his head in the direction he was told, opened his eyes, when immediately the sea disappeared, the stately ships became wrecks, and their crews were destroyed, leaving nothing behind but a barren, unbroken desert, known as the Runn.
Dhurrumnath, too pure to remain on the earth, partook of an immediate and glorious immortality, being at once absorbed into the spiritual nature of the creating, the finishing, the indivisible, all-pervading Brum.
* * * * * * *
This self-imposed penance of Dhurrumnath has shed a halo of sanctity around the hill of Denodur, and was doubtless the occasion of its having been selected as a fitting site for a Jogie establishment, the members of which, it is probable, were originally the attendants on a small temple that had been erected, and which still remains, on the highest point of the hill, on the spot where the holy Dhurrumnath is said to have performed his painful Tupseeah.
Once Upon a time, In the old days when London Bridge was lined with shops from one end to the other, and salmon swam under the arches, there lived at Swaffham, in Norfolk, a poor pedlar. He’d much ado to make his living, trudging about with his pack at his back and his dog at his heels, and at the close of the day’s labour was but too glad to sit down and sleep. Now it fell out that one night he dreamed a dream, and therein he saw the great bridge of London town, and it sounded in his ears that if he went there he should hear joyful news. He made little count of the dream, but on the following night it came back to him, and again on the third night.
Then he said within himself, ‘I must needs try the issue of it,’ and so he trudged up to London town. Long was the way and right glad was he when he stood on the great bridge and saw the tall houses on right hand and left, and had glimpses of the water running and the ships sailing by. All day long he paced to and fro, but he heard nothing that might yield him comfort. And again on the morrow he stood and he gazed — he paced afresh the length of London Bridge, but naught did he see and naught did he hear.
Now the third day being come as he still stood and gazed, a shopkeeper hard by spoke to him.
‘Friend,’ said he, ‘I wonder much at your fruitless standing. Have you no wares to sell?’
‘No, indeed,’ quoth the pedlar.
‘And you do not beg for alms?’
‘Not so long as I can keep myself.’
‘Then what, I pray thee, dost thou want here, and what may thy business be?’
‘Well, kind sir, to tell the truth, I dreamed that if I came hither, I should hear good news.’
Right heartily did the shopkeeper laugh.
‘Nay, thou must be a fool to take a journey on such a silly errand. I’ll tell thee, poor silly country fellow, that I myself dream too o’ nights, and that last night I dreamt myself to be in Swaffham, a place clean unknown to me, but in Norfolk if I mistake not, and methought I was in an orchard behind a pedlar’s house, and in that orchard was a great oak tree. Then me-seemed that if I digged I should find beneath that tree a great treasure. But think you I’m such a fool as to take on me a long and wearisome journey and all for a silly dream. No, my good fellow, learn wit from a wiser man than thyself. Get thee home, and mind thy business.’
When the pedlar heard this he spoke no word, but was exceeding glad in himself, and returning home speedily, digged underneath the great oak tree, and found a prodigious great treasure. He grew exceeding rich, but he did not forget his duty in the pride of his riches. For he built up again the church at Swaffham, and when he died they put a statue of him therein all in stone with his pack at his back and his dog at his heels.
And there it stands to this day to witness if I lie.
An excerpt from “Myths and Folklore of Ireland”
Once upon a time, it was the custom with Fin MacCumhail and the Fenians of Erin, when a stranger from any part of the world came to their castle, not to ask him a question for a year and a day.
On a time, a champion came to Fin and his men, and remained with them. He was not at all pleasant or agreeable.
At last Fin and his men took counsel together; they were much annoyed because their guest was so dull and morose, never saying a word, always silent.
While discussing what kind of man he was, Diarmuid Duivne offered to try him; so one evening when they were eating together, Diarmuid came and snatched from his mouth the hind-quarter of a bullock, which he was picking.
Diarmuid pulled at one part of the quarter, – pulled with all his strength, but only took the part that he seized, while the other kept the part he held. All laughed; the stranger laughed too, as heartily as any. It was the first laugh they had heard from him.
The strange champion saw all their feats of arms and practised with them, till the year and a day were over. Then he said to Fin and his men:
“I have spent a pleasant year in your company; you gave me good treatment, and the least I can do now is to give you a feast at my own castle.”
No one had asked what his name was up to that time. Fin now asked his name. He answered:
“My name is Fear Dubh, of Alba.”
Fin accepted the invitation; and they appointed the day for the feast, which was to be in Erin, since Fear Dubh did not wish to trouble them to go to Alban. He took leave of his host and started for home.
When the day for the feast came, Fin and the chief men of the Fenians of Erin set out for the castle of Fear Dubh.
They went, a glen at a step, a hill at a leap, and thirty-two miles at a running leap, till they came to the grand castle where the feast was to be given.
They went in; everything was ready, seats at the table, and every man’s name at his seat in the same order as at Fin’s castle. Diarmuid, who was always very sportive, – fond of hunting, and paying court to women, was not with them; he had gone to the mountains with his dogs.
All sat down, except Conan Maol MacMorna (never a man spoke well of him); no seat was ready for him, for he used to lie on the flat of his back on the floor, at Fin’s castle.
When all were seated the door of the castle closed of itself. Fin then asked the man nearest the door, to rise and open it. The man tried to rise; he pulled this way and that, over and hither, but he couldn’t get up. Then the next man tried, and the next, and so on, till the turn came to Fin himself, who tried in vain.
Now, whenever Fin and his men were in trouble and great danger it was their custom to raise a cry of distress (a voice of howling), heard all over Erin. Then all men knew that they were in peril of death; for they never raised this cry except in the last extremity.
Fin’s son, Fialan, who was three years old and in the cradle, heard the cry, was roused, and jumped up.
“Get me a sword! “ said he to the nurse. “My father and his men are in distress; I must go to aid them.”
“What could you do, poor little child.”
Fialan looked around, saw an old rusty sword-blade laid aside for ages. He took it down, gave it a snap; it sprang up so as to hit his arm, and all the rust dropped off; the blade was pure as shining silver.
“This will do,” said he; and then he set out towards the place where he heard the cry, going a glen at a step, a hill at a leap, and thirty-two miles at a running leap, till he came to the door of the castle, and cried out.
Fin answered from inside, “Is that you, my child?”
“It is,” said Fialan.
“Why did you come?”
“I heard your cry, and how could I stay at home, hearing the cry of my father and the Fenians of Erin!”
“Oh, my child, you cannot help us much.”
Fialan struck the door powerfully with his sword, but no use. Then, one of the men inside asked Fin to chew his thumb, to know what was keeping them in, and why they were bound.
Fin chewed his thumb, from skin to blood, from blood to bone, from bone to marrow, and discovered that Fear Dubh had built the castle by magic, and that he was coming himself with a great force to cut the head off each one of them. (These men from Alba had always a grudge against the champions of Erin.)
Said Fin to Fialan: “Do you go now, and stand at the ford near the castle, and meet Fear Dubh.”
Fialan went and stood in the middle of the ford. He wasn’t long there when he saw Fear Dubh coming with a great army.
“Leave the ford, my child,” said Fear Dubh, who knew him at once. “I have not come to harm your father. I spent a pleasant year at his castle. I’ve only come to show him honour.”
“I know why you have come,” answered Fialan. You’ve come to destroy my father and all his men, and I’ll not leave this ford while I can hold it.”
“Leave the ford; I don’t want to harm your father, I want to do him honour. If you don’t let us pass my men will kill you,” said Fear Dubh.
“I will not let you pass so long as I ‘m alive before you,” said Fialan.
The men faced him; and if they did Fialan kept his place, and a battle commenced, the like of which was never seen before that day. Fialan went through the army as a hawk through a flock of sparrows on a March morning, till he killed every man except Fear Dubh. Fear Dubh told him again to leave the ford, he didn’t want to harm his father.
“Oh!” said Fialan, “I know well what you want.”
“If you don’t leave that place I’ll make you leave it” said Fear Dubh. Then they closed in combat; and such a combat was never seen before between any two warriors. They made springs to rise through the centre of hard gray rocks, cows to cast their calves whether they had them or not. All the horses of the country were racing about and neighing in dread and fear, and all created things were terrified at the sound and clamour of the fight till the weapons of Fear Dubh went to pieces in the struggle, and Fialan made two halves of his own sword.
Now they closed in wrestling. In the first round Fialan put Fear Dubh to his knees in the hard bottom of the river; the second round he put him to his hips, and the third, to his shoulders.
“Now,” said he, “I have you,” giving him a stroke of the half of his sword, which cut the head off him.
Then Fialan went to the door of the castle and told his father what he had done.
Fin chewed his thumb again, and knew what other danger was coming. “My son,” said he to Fialan, “Fear Dubh has a younger brother more powerful than he was; that brother is coming against us now with greater forces than those which you have destroyed.”
As soon as Fialan heard these words he hurried to the ford, and waited till the second army came up. He destroyed this army as he had the other, and closed with the second brother in a fight fiercer and more terrible than the first; but at last he thrust him to his armpits in the hard bottom of the river and cut off his head.
Then he went to the castle, and told his father what he had done. A third time Fin chewed his thumb, and said: “My son, a third army more to be dreaded than the other two is coming now to destroy us, and at the head of it is the youngest brother of Fear Dubh, the most desperate and powerful of the three.”
Again Fialan rushed off to the ford; and, though the work was greater than before, he left not a man of the army alive. Then he closed with the youngest brother of Fear Dubh, and if the first and second battles were terrible this was more terrible by far; but at last he planted the youngest brother up to his armpits in the hard bottom of the river, and swept the head off him.
Now, after the heat and struggle of combat Fialan was in such a rage that he lost his mind from fury, not having any one to fight against; and if the whole world had been there before him he would have gone through it and conquered it all.
But having no one to face him he rushed along the river-bank, tearing the flesh from his own body. Never had such madness been seen in any created being before that day.
Diarmuid came now and knocked at the door of the castle, having the dog Bran with him, and asked Fin what had caused him to raise the cry of distress.
“Oh, Diarmuid,” said Fin, “we are all fastened in here to be killed. Fialan has destroyed three armies and Fear Dubh with his two brothers. He is raging now along the bank of the river; you must not go near him, for he would tear you limb from limb. At this moment he wouldn’t spare me, his own father; but after a while he will cease from raging and die down; then you can go. The mother of Fear Dubh is coming, and will soon be at the ford. She is more violent, more venomous, more to be dreaded, a greater warrior than her sons. The chief weapon she has are the nails on her fingers; each nail is seven perches long, of the hardest steel on earth. She is coming in the air at this moment with the speed of a hawk, and she has a kŭŕan (a small vessel), with liquor in it, which has such power that if she puts three drops of it on the mouths of her sons they will rise up as well as ever; and if she brings them to life there is nothing to save us.
Go to the ford; she will be hovering over the corpses of the three armies to know can she find her sons, and as soon as she sees them she will dart down and give them the liquor. You must rise with a mighty bound upon her, dash the kŭŕan out of her hand and spill the liquor.
“If you can kill her save her blood, for nothing in the world can free us from this place and open the door of the castle but the blood of the old hag. I’m in dread you’ll not succeed, for she is far more terrible than all her sons together. Go now; Fialan is dying away, and the old woman is coming; make no delay.”
Diarmuid hurried to the ford, stood watching a while; then he saw high in the air something no larger than a hawk. As it came nearer and nearer he saw it was the old woman. She hovered high in the air over the ford. At last she saw her sons, and was swooping down, when Diarmuid rose with a bound into the air and struck the vial a league out of her hand.
The old hag gave a shriek that was heard to the eastern world, and screamed: “Who has dared to interfere with me or my sons?”
“I,” answered Diarmuid; “and you’ll not go further till I do to you what has been done to your sons.”
The fight began; and if there ever was a fight, before or since, it could not he more terrible than this one; but great as was the power of Diarmuid he never could have conquered but for Bran the dog.
The old woman with her nails stripped the skin and flesh from Diarmuid almost to the vitals. But Bran tore the skin and flesh off the old woman’s back from her head to her heels.
From the dint of blood-loss and fighting, Diarmuid was growing faint. Despair came on him, and he was on the point of giving way, when a little robin flew near to him, and sitting on a bush, spoke, saying:
“Oh, Diarmuid, take strength; rise and sweep the head off the old hag, or Fin and the Fenians of Erin are no more.”
Diarmuid took courage, and with his last strength made one great effort, swept the head off the old hag and caught her blood in a vessel. He rubbed some on his own wounds, – they were cured; then he cured Bran.
Straightway he took the blood to the castle, rubbed drops of it on the door, which opened, and he went in.
All laughed with joy at the rescue. He freed Fin and his men by rubbing the blood on the chairs; hut when he came as far as Conan Maol the blood gave out.
All were going away. “Why should you leave me here after you;” cried Conan Maol, “I would rather die at once than stay here for a lingering death. Why don’t you, Oscar, and you, Gol MacMorna, come and tear me out of this place; anyhow you’ll be able to drag the arms out of me and kill me at once; better that than leave me to die alone.”
Oscar and Gol took each a hand, braced their feet against his feet, put forth all their strength and brought him standing; but if they did, he left all the skin and much of the flesh from the back of his head to his heels on the floor behind him. He was covered with blood, and by all accounts was in a terrible condition, bleeding and wounded.
Now there were sheep grazing near the castle. The Fenians ran out, killed and skinned the largest and best of the flock, and clapped the fresh skin on Conan’s back; and such was the healing power in the sheep, and the wound very fresh, that Conan’s back healed, and he marched home with the rest of the men, and soon got well; and if he did, they sheared off his back wool enough every year to make a pair of stockings for each one of the Fenians of Erin, and for Fin himself.
And that was a great thing to do and useful, for wool was scarce in Erin in those days. Fin and his men lived pleasantly and joyously for some time; and if they didn’t, may we.
No. 18.–The Golden Children
Once Upon a Time, There were three princesses, and they vaunted themselves before the three princes. One vaunted that she will make him a golden boy and girl. And one vaunted that she will feed his army with one crust of bread. And one vaunted that she will clothe the whole army with a single spindleful of thread. The time came that the princes took the three maidens. So she who had vaunted that she will bear the golden boy and girl, the time came that she grew big with child, and she fell on the hearth in the birth-pangs. The midwife came and his mother, and she brought forth a golden boy and girl. And her man was not there. And the midwife and his mother took a dog and a bitch, and put them beneath her. And they took the boy and the girl, and the midwife threw them into the river. And they went floating on the river, and a monk found them.
So their father went a-hunting, and their father found the lad. ‘Let me kiss you.’ For, he thought, My wife said she would bear a golden lad and girl like this. And he came home and fell sick; and the midwife noticed it and his mother.
The midwife asked him, ‘What ails you?’
He said, ‘I am sick, because I have seen a lad like my wife said she would bear me.’
Then she sent for the children, did his mother; and the monk brought them; and she asked him, ‘Where did you get those children?’
He said, ‘I found them both floating on the river.’
And the king saw it must be his children; his heart yearned towards them. So the king called the monk, and asked him, ‘Where did you get those children?’
He said, ‘I found them floating on the river.’
He brought the monk to his mother and the midwife, and said, ‘Behold, mother, my children.’
She repented and said, ‘So it is.’ She said, ‘Yes, darling, the midwife put them in a box, and threw them into the water.’
Then he kindled the furnace, and cast both his mother and also the midwife into the furnace. And he burnt them; and so they made atonement. He gathered all the kings together, for joy that he had found his children. Away I came, the tale have told.
From Alexander M’Donald, tenant, and others, Barra. July 1859.
Once upon a time, THERE was a herd’s wife in the island of Sanntraigh, and she had a kettle. A woman of peace (fairy) 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. When she would catch the kettle, the woman of the house would say–
A smith is able to make
Cold iron hot with coal.
The due of a kettle is bones,
And to bring it back again whole.
The woman of peace would come back every day with the kettle and flesh and bones in it. On a day that was there, the housewife was for going over the ferry to Baile a Chaisteil, and she said to her man, “If thou wilt say to the woman of peace as I say, I will go to Baile Castle.” “Oo! I will say it. Surely it’s I that will say it.” He was spinning a heather rope to be set on the house. 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. The wife came back over the ferry, and she did not see a bit of the kettle within, and she asked, “Where was the kettle?” “Well then I don’t care where it is,” said the man; “I never took such a fright as I took at it. I shut the door, and she did not come any more with it.” “Good-for-nothing wretch, what didst thou do? There are two that will be ill off–thyself and I.” “She will come to-morrow with it.” “She will not come.”
She hasted herself and she went away. She reached the knoll, and there was 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. When the old carle that was within saw her going out, he said,
Silent wife, silent wife,
That came on us from the land of chase,
Thou man on the surface of the “Bruth,”
Loose the black, and slip the Fierce.
The two dogs were let loose; and she was not long away when she heard the clatter of the dogs coming. 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.
Once upon a time, PRINCE LLEWELYN had a favourite grey-hound named Gellert that had been given to him by his father-in-law, King John. He was as gentle as a lamb at home but a lion in the chase. One day Llewelyn went to the chase and blew his horn in front of his castle. All his other dogs came to the call but Gellert never answered it. so he blew a louder blast on his horn and called Gellert by name, but still the greyhound did not come. At last Prince Llewelyn could wait no longer and went off to the hunt without Gellert. He had little sport that day because Gellert was not there, the swiftest and boldest of his hounds.
He turned back in a rage to his castle, and as he came to the gate, who should he see but Gellert come bounding out to meet him. But when the hound came near him, the Prince was startled to see that his lips and fangs were dripping with blood. Llewelyn started back and the grey-hound crouched down at his feet as if surprised or afraid at the way his master greeted him.
Now Prince Llewelyn had a little son a year old with whom Gellert used to play, and a terrible thought crossed the Prince’s mind that made him rush towards the child’s nursery. And the nearer he came the more blood and disorder he found about the rooms. He rushed into it and found the child’s cradle overturned and daubed with blood.
Prince Liewelyn grew more and more terrified, and sought for his little son everywhere. He could find him nowhere but only signs of some terrible conflict in which much blood had been shed. At last he felt sure the dog had destroyed his child, and shouting to Gellert, “Monster, thou hast devoured my child,” he drew out his sword and plunged it in the greyhound’s side, who fell with a deep yell and still gazing in his master’s eyes.
As Gellert raised his dying yell, a little child’s cry answered it from beneath the cradle, and there Llewelyn found his child unharmed and just awakened from sleep. But just beside him lay the body of a great gaunt wolf all torn to pieces and covered with blood. Too late, Llewelyn learned what had happened while he was away. Gellert had stayed behind to guard the child and had fought and slain the wolf that had tried to destroy Llewelyn’s heir.
In vain was all Llewelyn’s grief; he could not bring his faithful dog to life again. So he buried him outside the castle walls within sight of the great mountain of Snowdon, where every passer-by might see his grave, and raised over it a great cairn of stones. And to this day the place is called Beth Gellert, or the Grave of Gellert.
Once upon a time, Tommy Grimes was sometimes a good boy, and sometimes a bad boy; and when he was a bad boy, he was a very bad boy. Now his mother used to say to him: ‘Tommy, Tommy, be a good boy, and don’t go out of the street, or else Mr Miacca will take you.’ But still when he was a bad boy he would go out of the street; and one day, sure enough, he had scarcely got round the corner, when Mr Miacca did catch him and popped him into a bag upside down, and took him off to his house.
When Mr Miacca got Tommy inside, he pulled him out of the bag and sat him down, and felt his arms and legs. ‘You’re rather tough,’ says he; ‘but you’re all I’ve got for supper, and you’ll not taste bad boiled. But body o’ me, I’ve forgot the herbs, and it’s bitter you’ll taste without herbs. Sally! Here, I say, Sally!’ and he called Mrs Miacca.
So Mrs Miacca came out of another room and said: ‘What d’ye want, my dear?’
‘Oh, here’s a little boy for supper,’ said Mr Miacca, ‘and I’ve forgot the herbs. Mind him, will ye, while I go for them.’
‘All right, my love,’ says Mrs Miacca, and off he goes.
Then Tommy Grimes said to Mrs Miacca: ‘Does Mr Miacca always have little boys for supper?’
‘Mostly, my dear,’ said Mrs Miacca, ‘if little boys are bad enough, and get in his way.’
‘And don’t you have anything else but boy-meat? No pudding?’ asked Tommy.
‘Ah, I loves pudding,’ says Mrs Miacca. ‘But it’s not often the likes of me gets pudding.’
‘Why, my mother is making a pudding this very day,’ said Tommy Grimes, ‘and I am sure she’d give you some, if I ask her. Shall I run and get some?’
‘Now, that’s a thoughtful boy,’ said Mrs Miacca, ‘only don’t be long and be sure to be back for supper.’
So off Tommy pelted, and right glad he was to get off so cheap; and for many a long day he was as good as good could be, and never went round the corner of the street. But he couldn’t always be good; and one day he went round the corner, and as luck would have it, he hadn’t scarcely got round it when Mr Miacca grabbed him up, popped him in his bag, and took him home.
When he got him there, Mr Miacca dropped him out; and when he saw him, he said: ‘Ah, you’re the youngster that served me and my missus such a shabby trick, leaving us without any supper. Well, you shan’t do it again. I’ll watch over you myself. Here, get under the sofa, and I’ll set on it and watch the pot boil for you.’
So poor Tommy Grimes had to creep under the sofa, and Mr Miacca sat on it and waited for the pot to boil. And they waited and they waited, but still the pot didn’t boil, till at last Mr
Miacca got tired of waiting, and he said: ‘Here, you under there, I’m not going to wait any longer; put out your leg, and I’ll stop your giving us the slip.’
So Tommy put out a leg and Mr Miacca got a chopper, and chopped it off, and pops it in the pot.
Suddenly he calls out: ‘Sally, my dear, Sally!’ and nobody answered. So he went into the next room to look out for Mrs Miacca, and while he was there Tommy crept out from under the sofa and ran out of the door. For it was a leg of the sofa that he had put out.
So Tommy Grimes ran home, and he never went round the corner again till he was old enough to go alone.
Once upon a time, an old blacksmith lived in an old forge at Craig-y-don, and he used to drink a great deal too much beer.
One night he was coming home from an alehouse very tipsy, and as he got near a small stream a lot of little men suddenly sprang up from the rocks, and one of them, who seemed to be older than the rest, came up to him, and said,
“If you don’t alter your ways of living you’ll die soon; but if you behave better and become a better man you’ll find it will be to your benefit,” and they all disappeared as quickly as they had come.
The old blacksmith thought a good deal about what the fairies had told him, and he left off drinking, and became a sober, steady man.
One day, a few months after meeting the little people, a strange man brought a horse to be shod. Nobody knew either the horse or the man.
The old blacksmith tied the horse to a hole in the lip of a cauldron (used for the purpose of cooling his hot iron) that he had built in some masonry.
When he had tied the horse up he went to shoe the off hind-leg, but directly he touched the horse the spirited animal started back with a bound, and dragged the cauldron from the masonry, and then it broke the halter and ran away out of the forge, and was never seen again: neither the horse nor its master.
When the old blacksmith came to pull down the masonry to rebuild it, he found three brass kettles full of money.