The Fairies And Their Chest Of Gold





The following tale I obtained from the Rev. Owen Jones, Vicar of

Pentrevoelas. The scene lies amongst the wildest mountains of

Merionethshire.



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

chest.





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