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The Gore Goch Changeling Legend


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

The tale rendered into English is as follows:--There was once a happy
family living in a place called Gors Goch. One night, as usual, they
went to bed, but they could not sleep a single wink, because of the noise
outside the house. At last the master of the house got up, and
trembling, enquired 'What was there, and what was wanted.' A clear sweet
voice answered him thus, 'We want a warm place where we can tidy the
children.' The door was opened when there entered half full the house of
the Tylwyth Teg, and they began forthwith washing their children. And
when they had finished, they commenced singing, and the singing was
entrancing. The dancing and the singing were both excellent. On going
away they left behind them money not a little for the use of the house.
And afterwards they came pretty often to the house, and received a hearty
welcome in consequence of the large presents which they left behind them
on the hob. But at last a sad affair took place which was no less than
an exchange of children. The Gors Goch baby was a dumpy child, a sweet,
pretty, affectionate little dear, but the child which was left in its
stead was a sickly, thin, shapeless, ugly being, which did nothing but
cry and eat, and although it ate ravenously like a mastiff, it did not
grow. At last the wife of Gors Goch died of a broken heart, and so also
did all her children, but the father lived a long life and became a rich
man, because his new heir's family brought him abundance of gold and

As I have already given more than one variant of the same legend, I will
supply another version of the Gors Goch legend which appears in Cymru
Fu, pp. 177-8, from the pen of the Revd. Owen Wyn Jones, Glasynys, and
which in consequence of the additional facts contained in it may be of
some value. I will make use of Professor Rhys's translation. (See Y
Cymmrodor, vol. v., pp. 79-80.)

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