The Llanfrothen Legend

: Welsh Folk-lore

I am indebted to the Rev. R. Jones, Rector of Llanycil, Bala, for the

following legend. I may state that Mr. Jones is a native of Llanfrothen,

Merionethshire, a parish in close proximity to the scene of the story.

Mr. Jones's informant was his mother, a lady whose mind was well stored

with tales of by-gone times, and my friend and informant inherits his

mother's retentive memory, as well as her love of ancient lore.

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A certain man fell in love with a beautiful Fairy lady, and he wished to

marry her. She consented to do so, but warned him that if he ever

touched her with iron she would leave him immediately. This stipulation

weighed but lightly on the lover. They were married, and for many years

they lived most happily together, and several children were born to them.

A sad mishap, however, one day overtook them. They were together,

crossing Traethmawr, Penrhyndeudraeth, on horseback, when the man's horse

became restive, and jerked his head towards the woman, and the bit of the

bridle touched the left arm of the Fairy wife. She at once told her

husband that they must part for ever. He was greatly distressed, and

implored her not to leave him. She said she could not stay. Then the

man, appealing to a mother's love for her children, begged that she would

for the sake of their offspring continue to dwell with him and them, and,

said he, what will become of our children without their mother? Her

answer was:--

Gadewch iddynt fod yn bennau cochion a thrwynau hirion.

Let them be redheaded and longnosed.

Having uttered these words, she disappeared and was never seen


No Welsh Taboo story can be complete without the pretty tale of the Van

Lake Legend, or, as it is called, The Myddfai Legend. Because of its

intrinsic beauty and worth, and for the sake of comparison with the

preceding stories, I will relate this legend. There are several versions

extant. Mr. Wirt Sikes, in his British Goblins, has one, the

Cambro-Briton has one, but the best is that recorded by Professor Rhys,

in the Cymmrodor, vol. iv., p. 163, in his Welsh Fairy Tales. There

are other readings of the legend to be met with. I will first of all

give an epitome of the Professor's version.