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The Elf Dancers Of Cae Caled






Category: FAIRY TRICKS WITH MORTALS.

Source: Welsh Folk-lore

Dr. Edward Williams, under the year 1757, writes as follows:--

I am now going to relate a circumstance in this young period of my life
which probably will excite an alternate smile and thoughtful reflection,
as it has often done in myself, however singular the fact and strong the
evidence of its authenticity, and, though I have often in mature age
called to my mind the principles of religion and philosophy to account
for it, I am forced to class it among my unknowables. And yet I may
say that not only the fact itself, but also the consideration of its
being to my own mind inexplicable, has afforded some useful reflections,
with which this relation need not be accompanied.

On a fine summer day (about midsummer) between the hours of 12 at noon
and one, my eldest sister and myself, our next neighbour's children
Barbara and Ann Evans, both older than myself, were in a field called Cae
Caled near their house, all innocently engaged at play by a hedge under a
tree, and not far from the stile next to that house, when one of us
observed on the middle of the field a company of--what shall I call
them?--Beings, neither men, women, nor children, dancing with great
briskness. They were full in view less than a hundred yards from us,
consisting of about seven or eight couples: we could not well reckon
them, owing to the briskness of their motions and the consternation with
which we were struck at a sight so unusual. They were all clothed in
red, a dress not unlike a military uniform, without hats, but their heads
tied with handkerchiefs of a reddish colour, sprigged or spotted with
yellow, all uniform in this as in habit, all tied behind with the corners
hanging down their backs, and white handkerchiefs in their hands held
loose by the corners. They appeared of a size somewhat less than our
own, but more like dwarfs than children. On the first discovery we
began, with no small dread, to question one another as to what they could
be, as there were no soldiers in the country, nor was it the time for May
dancers, and as they differed much from all the human beings we had ever
seen. Thus alarmed we dropped our play, left our station, and made for
the stile. Still keeping our eyes upon them we observed one of their
company starting from the rest and making towards us with a running pace.
I being the youngest was the last at the stile, and, though struck with
an inexpressible panic, saw the grim elf just at my heels, having a
full and clear, though terrific view of him, with his ancient, swarthy,
and grim complexion. I screamed out exceedingly; my sister also and our
companions set up a roar, and the former dragged me with violence over
the stile on which, at the instant I was disengaged from it, this warlike
Lilliputian leaned and stretched himself after me, but came not over.
With palpitating hearts and loud cries we ran towards the house, alarmed
the family, and told them our trouble. The men instantly left their
dinner, with whom still trembling we went to the place, and made the most
solicitous and diligent enquiry in all the neighbourhood, both at that
time and after, but never found the least vestige of any circumstance
that could contribute to a solution of this remarkable phenomenon. Were
any disposed to question the sufficiency of this quadruple evidence, the
fact having been uniformly and often attested by each of the parties and
various and separate examinations, and call it a childish deception, it
would do them no harm to admit that, comparing themselves with the scale
of universal existence, beings with which they certainly and others with
whom it is possible they may be surrounded every moment, they are but
children of a larger size. I know but few less credulous than the
relator, but he is no Sadducee. 'He who hath delivered will yet
deliver.'

My friend, Mr. R. Prys Jones, B.A., kindly informs me that he has several
intelligent boys in his school, the Boys' Board School, Denbigh, from
Bodfari, and to them he read the preceding story, but not one of them had
ever heard of it. It is singular that the story should have died so soon
in the neighbourhood that gave it birth.





Next: Fairy Tricks With Mortals

Previous: A Three Hours Fairy Dance Seeming As A Few Minutes



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