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A Witch Who Turned A Blue Dye Into A Red Dye


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

An old hag went to a small farmhouse in Clocaenog parish, and found the
farmer's wife occupied in dyeing wool blue. She begged for a little wool
and blue dye. She was informed by Mrs. --- that she was really very
sorry that she could not part with either, as she had only just barely
enough for her own use. The hag departed, and the woman went on with her
dyeing, but to her surprise, the wool came out of the pot dyed red
instead of blue. She thought that possibly it was the dye that was to
blame, and so she gave up for the night her employment, and the next day
she went to Ruthin for a fresh supply of blue to finish her work, but
again she failed to dye the wool blue, for red, and not blue, was the
result of her dyeing. She, in surprise, told a neighbour of her
unaccountable failure to dye her wool blue. This neighbour asked her if
she had been visited by anyone, and she in answer told her that old so
and so had been at her house begging. Ah, was the response, I see how
it is you can never dye that wool blue, you have been witched, send the
red wool and the part that you have not touched here to me, and I will
finish the work for you. This was done, and the same colour was used by
both women, but now it became blue, whilst with the other, it was red.

This tale was told me by a gentleman who does not wish his name to appear
in print, as it would lead to the identification of the parties
mentioned, and the descendants of the supposed witch, being respectable
farmers, would rather that the tale of their canny grandmother were
forgotten, but my informant vouches for the truth of the tale.

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