A Fairy Borrowing A Gridiron
: FAIRY MOTHERS AND HUMAN MIDWIVES.
The following Fairy legend was told to Mr. W. W. Cobb, of Hilton House,
Atherstone, by Mrs. Williams, wife of Thomas Williams, pilot, in whose
house he lodged when staying in Anglesey:--Mary Roberts, of Newborough,
used to receive visits once a week from a little woman who used to bring
her a loaf of bread in return for the loan of her gridiron (gradell) for
baking bread. The Fairy always told her not to look after her when she
left the house, but one day she transgressed, and took a peep as the
Fairy went away. The latter went straight to the lake--Lake
Rhosddu--near the house at Newborough, and plunged into its waters, and
disappeared. This took place about a century ago. The house where Mary
Roberts lived is still standing about 100 yards north of the lake.
Compare the preceding with the following lines:--
If ye will with Mab finde grace,
Set each platter in its place;
Rake the fire up and set
Water in ere sun be set,
Wash your pales and cleanse your dairies,
Sluts are loathsome to the Fairies;
Sweep your house; who doth not so,
Mab will pinch her by the toe.
Herrick's Hesperides, 1648. (See Brand, vol. ii., p. 484.)