A Witch Who Was Refused A Goose And Her Revenge


A witch called at a farm when they were feathering geese for sale, and

she begged much for one. She was refused, but it would have been better,

according to the tale, had her request been granted, for they could not

afterwards rear geese on that farm.

Another version of the preceding tale is, that the same witch called at a

farm when the family was seated at dinner partaking of a goose; she

requested a t
ste, but was refused, when leaving the house door she was

heard to mutter, Let there be no more geese at . . . and her curse

became a fact.

A Witch refused Butter, and the consequence.

An old hag called at a farm and begged the wife to sell her a pound of

butter. This was refused, as they wanted to pot the butter. The witch

went away, therefore, empty handed. The next day when the maid went to

the fields for the cows she found them sitting like cats before a fire,

with their hind legs beneath them. I am indebted to my friend Mr. Lloyd

Williams for this tale. A friend told me the following tale.

A Witch's Revenge, and her Discomfiture.

An old beggar woman was refused her requests by a farmer's wife, and it

was noticed that she uttered words that might have been a threat, when

going away from the door, and it was also observed that she picked up a

few straws from the yard and carried them away with her. In the course

of a few days, a healthy calf died, and the death of several calves

followed in rapid succession. These misfortunes caused the wife to

remember the old woman whom she had sent away from her door, and the

farmer came to the conclusion that his cattle had been witched by this

old woman, so he went to a conjuror, who told him to cut out the heart of

the next calf that should die, and roast it before the fire, and then,

after it had been properly roasted, he was to prick it all over with a

fork, and if anyone should appear as a beggar, they were to give her what

she asked. The instructions were carried out literally, and just as the

heart was being pricked, the old woman whom the wife had driven away came

up to the house in a dreadful state, and rushing into the house,

said--In the name of God, what are you doing here? She was told that

they were doing nothing particular, and while the conversation was being

carried on, the pricking operation was discontinued and the old hag

became less excited, and then she asked the farmer kindly to give her a

few potatoes, which he gladly did, and the old woman departed; and no

more calves died after that.

Tales of the kind related above are extremely common, and might be

multiplied to almost any extent. It would seem that the evil influence

of witches was exerted not only at times when they were refused favours,

but that, at will, they could accomplish mischief. Thus I have heard it

said of an old woman, locally supposed to be a witch, that her very

presence was ominous of evil, and disaster followed wherever she went; if

she were inclined to work evil she was supposed to be able to do so, and

that without any provocation.

I will give one tale which I heard in Garthbeibio of this old hag's