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The Fairies And Their Chest Of Gold


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

The following tale I obtained from the Rev. Owen Jones, Vicar of
Pentrevoelas. The scene lies amongst the wildest mountains of

David, the weaver, lived in a house called Llurig, near Cerniogau Mawr,
between Pentrevoelas and Cerrig-y-Drudion. One day David was going over
the hill to Bala. On the top of the Garn two Fairies met him, and
desired him to follow them, promising, if he would do so, that they would
show him a chest filled with gold, and furthermore, they told him that
the gold should be his. David was in want of money, and he was therefore
quite willing to follow these good natured Fairies. He walked many miles
with them across the bleak, bare mountain, and at last, descending from
the summit, they reached a deep secluded glen, lying at the foot of the
mountain, and there the Fairies exposed to his view a chest, which had
never before been seen by mortal eye, and they informed him that it was
his. David was delighted when he heard the good news, and mentally bade
farewell to weaving. He knew, though, from tradition, that he must in
some way or other, there and then, take possession of his treasure, or it
would disappear. He could not carry the chest away, as it was too heavy,
but to show his ownership thereto he thrust his walking stick into the
middle of the gold, and there it stood erect. Then he started homewards,
and often and again, as he left the glen, he turned round to see whether
the Fairies had taken his stick away, and with it the chest; but no,
there it remained. At last the ridge hid all from view, and, instead of
going on to Bala, he hastened home to tell his good wife of his riches.
Quickly did he travel to his cottage, and when there it was not long
before his wife knew all about the chest of gold, and where it was, and
how that David had taken possession of his riches by thrusting his
walking stick into the middle of the gold. It was too late for them to
set out to carry the chest home, but they arranged to start before the
sun was up the next day. David, well acquainted with Fairy doings,
cautioned his wife not to tell anyone of their good fortune, For, if you
do, said he, we shall vex the Fairies, and the chest, after all, will
not be ours. She promised to obey, but alas, what woman possesses a
silent tongue! No sooner had the husband revealed the secret to his wife
than she was impatient to step to her next door neighbour's house, just
to let them know what a great woman she had all at once become. Now,
this neighbour was a shrewd miller, called Samuel. David went out, to
attend to some little business, leaving his wife alone, and she, spying
her opportunity, rushed to the miller's house, and told him and his wife
every whit, and how that she and David had arranged to go for the chest
next morning before the sun was up. Then she hurried home, but never
told David where she had been, nor what she had done. The good couple
sat up late that night, talking over their good fortune and planning
their future. It was consequently far after sunrise when they got up
next day, and when they reached the secluded valley, where the chest had
been, it had disappeared, and with it David's stick. They returned home
sad and weary, but this time there was no visit made to the miller's
house. Ere long it was quite clearly seen that Samuel the miller had
come into a fortune, and David's wife knew that she had done all the
mischief by foolishly boasting of the Fairy gift, designed for her
husband, to her early rising and crafty neighbour, who had forestalled
David and his wife, and had himself taken possession of the precious

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