A Witch In The Form Of A Hare In A Churn

In the Spectator, No. 117, are these words:--

If the dairy-maid does not make her butter come so soon as she would

have it, Moll White (a supposed witch) is at the bottom of the


Until very lately I had thought that the milk only was considered

bewitched if it could not be churned, and not that the witch herself was

at the bottom of the churn. But I have been disabused of this false

notion, for the Rector of Llanycil told me the following story, which was

told him by his servant girl, who figures in the tale. When this girl

was servant at Drws-y-nant, near Dolgelley, one day, the milk would not

churn. They worked a long time at it to no purpose. The girl thought

that she heard something knocking up and down in the churn, and splashing

about. She told her master there was something in the churn, but he

would not believe her; however, they removed the lid, and out jumped a

large hare, and ran away through the open door, and this explained all

difficulties, and proved that the milk was bewitched, and that the witch

herself was in the churn in the shape of a hare.

This girl affirmed that she had seen the hare with her own eyes.

As the hare was thought to be a form assumed by witches it was impossible

for ordinary beings to know whether they saw a hare, or a witch in the

form of a hare, when the latter animal appeared and ran before them along

the road, consequently the hare, as well as the witch, augured evil. An

instance of this confusion of ideas was related to the writer lately by

Mr. Richard Jones, Tyn-y-wern, Bryneglwys.

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