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A Witch Shot When In The Form Of A Hare


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

The following tale was told me by the Rev. R. Jones, Rector of

An old woman was evicted from a small farm, which she and her family had
held for many years. She was naturally greatly annoyed at such conduct
on the part of the landlord, and of the person who supplanted her.
However, she procured a small cottage close by her late home, and there
she lived. But the interloper did not get on, for she was troubled by a
hare that came nightly to her house. A labouring man, when going to his
work early in the morning, time after time saw a hare going from the farm
towards the cottage occupied by this old woman, and he determined to
shoot this hare. He procured an old gun, and loaded it with pebbles
instead of shot, and awaited the approach of the hare. It came as usual,
the man fired, and the hare rolled over and over, screaming and making a
terrible noise. He, however, did not heed this much, for hares, when
shot, do scream, and so he went to secure the hare, but when he attempted
to seize it, it changed into all shapes, and made horrible sounds, and
the man was so terrified that he ran away, and he was very glad to get
away from the scene of this shocking occurrence. In a few days
afterwards the old woman who occupied the cottage was found dead, and it
was noticed by the woman who laid her out that her arm and shoulder were
riddled with pebbles. It was thought that she was a witch, and that she
had troubled the people who had deprived her of her farm, and that she
did so in the shape of a hare, and no one doubted that the injury
inflicted on the old woman was anything more than the shot of the man,
who supposed that he had killed a hare, when in reality he shot and
killed the old woman. The farmer was never troubled after the death of
the woman whom he had supplanted.

Many variants of this tale are still extant. The parish clerk of
Llangadfan, a mountainous parish in Montgomeryshire, gave me one, which
he located in Nant-yr-eira, but as it is in its main points much like the
preceding, I will not relate it.

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