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A Man Who Spent Twelve Months And A Day With The Fairies


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

A young man, a farm labourer, and his sweetheart were sauntering along
one evening in an unfrequented part of the mountain, when there appeared
suddenly before them two Fairies, who proceeded to make a circle. This
being done, a large company of Fairies accompanied by musicians appeared,
and commenced dancing over the ring; their motions and music were
entrancing, and the man, an expert dancer, by some irresistible power was
obliged to throw himself into the midst of the dancers and join them in
their gambols. The woman looked on enjoying the sight for several hours,
expecting every minute that her lover would give up the dance and join
her, but no, on and on went the dance, round and round went her lover,
until at last daylight appeared, and then suddenly the music ceased and
the Fairy band vanished; and with them her lover. In great dismay, the
young woman shouted the name of her sweetheart, but all in vain, he came
not to her. The sun had now risen, and, almost broken-hearted, she
returned home and related the events of the previous night. She was
advised to consult a man who was an adept in the black art. She did so,
and the conjuror told her to go to the same place at the same time of the
night one year and one day from the time that her lover had disappeared
and that she should then and there see him. She was farther instructed
how to act. The conjuror warned her from going into the ring, but told
her to seize her lover by the arm as he danced round, and to jerk him out
of the enchanted circle. Twelve months and a day passed away, and the
faithful girl was on the spot where she lost her lover. At the very
moment that they had in the first instance appeared the Fairies again
came to view, and everything that she had witnessed previously was
repeated. With the Fairy band was her lover dancing merrily in their
midst. The young woman ran round and round the circle close to the young
man, carefully avoiding the circle, and at last she succeeded in taking
hold of him and desired him to come away with her. Oh, said he, do
let me alone a little longer, and then I will come with you. You have
already been long enough, said she. His answer was, It is so
delightful, let me dance on only a few minutes longer. She saw that he
was under a spell, and grasping the young man's arm with all her might
she followed him round and round the circle, and an opportunity offering
she jerked him out of the circle. He was greatly annoyed at her conduct,
and when told that he had been with the Fairies a year and a day he would
not believe her, and affirmed that he had been dancing only a few
minutes; however, he went away with the faithful girl, and when he had
reached the farm, his friends had the greatest difficulty in persuading
him that he had been so long from home.

The next Fairy tale that I shall give akin to the preceding stories is to
be found in Y Brython, vol. iii., pp. 459-60. The writer of the tale
was the Rev. Benjamin Williams, whose bardic name was Gwynionydd. I do
not know the source whence Mr. Williams derived the story, but most
likely he obtained it from some aged person who firmly believed that the
tale was a true record of what actually occurred. In the Brython the
tale is called: Y Tylwyth Teg a Mab Llech y Derwydd, and this title I
will retain, merely translating it. The introduction, however, I will
not give, as it does not directly bear on the subject now under

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