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Story Of A Man Who Spent Twelve Months In Fairyland


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

In Mathavarn, in the parish of Llanwrin, and the Cantrev of Cyveilioc,
there is a wood which is called Ffridd yr Ywen (the Forest of the Yew);
it is supposed to be so called because there is a yew tree growing in the
very middle of it. In many parts of the wood are to be seen green
circles, which are called 'the dancing places of the goblins,' about
which, a considerable time ago, the following tale was very common in the

Two servants of John Pugh, Esq., went out one day to work in the 'Forest
of the Yew.' Pretty early in the afternoon the whole country was so
covered with dark vapour, that the youths thought night was coming on;
but when they came to the middle of the 'Forest' it brightened up around
them and the darkness seemed all left behind; so, thinking it too early
to return home for the night, they lay down and slept. One of them, on
waking, was much surprised to find no one there but himself; he wondered
a good deal at the behaviour of his companion, but made up his mind at
last that he had gone on some business of his own, as he had been talking
of it some time before; so the sleeper went home, and when they inquired
after his companion, he told them he was gone to the cobbler's shop. The
next day they inquired of him again about his fellow-servant, but he
could not give them any account of him; but at last confessed how and
where they had both gone to sleep. Alter searching and searching many
days, he went to a 'gwr cyvarwydd' (a conjuror), which was a very
common trade in those days, according to the legend; and the conjuror
said to him, 'Go to the same place where you and the lad slept; go there
exactly a year after the boy was lost; let it be on the same day of the
year, and at the same time of the day, but take care that you do not step
inside the Fairy ring, stand on the border of the green circles you saw
there, and the boy will come out with many of the goblins to dance, and
when you see him so near to you that you may take hold of him, snatch him
out of the ring as quickly as you can.' He did according to this advice,
and plucked the boy out, and then asked him, 'if he did not feel hungry,'
to which he answered 'No,' for he had still the remains of his dinner
that he had left in his wallet before going to sleep, and he asked 'if it
was not nearly night, and time to go home,' not knowing that a year had
passed by. His look was like a skeleton, and as soon as he had tasted
food he was a dead man.

A story in its main features similar to that recorded in the Cambrian
Magazine was related to me by my friend, the Rev. R. Jones, Rector of
Llanycil. I do not think Mr. Jones gave me the locality where the
occurrence is said to have taken place; at least, if he did so, I took no
note of it. The story is as follows:--

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