The Nanhwynan Version


Once on a time, when a midwife from Nanhwynan had newly got to the

Hafodydd Brithion to pursue her calling, a gentleman came to the door on

a fine grey steed and bade her come with him at once. Such was the

authority with which he spoke, that the poor midwife durst not refuse to

go, however much it was her duty to stay where she was. So she mounted

behind him, and off they went like the flight of a swallow, through

mllan, over the Bwlch, down Nant yr Aran, and over the Gadair to Cwm

Hafod Ruffydd, before the poor woman had time to say 'Oh.' When they had

got there she saw before her a magnificent mansion, splendidly lit up

with such lamps as she had never before seen. They entered the court,

and a crowd of servants in expensive liveries came to meet them, and she

was at once led through the great hall into a bed-chamber, the like of

which she had never seen. There the mistress of the house, to whom she

had been fetched, was awaiting her. She got through her duties

successfully, and stayed there until the lady had completely recovered;

nor had she spent any part of her life so merrily. There was there

nought but festivity day and night: dancing, singing, and endless

rejoicing reigned there. But merry as it was, she found she must go, and

the nobleman gave her a large purse, with the order not to open it until

she had got into her own house; then he bade one of his servants escort

her the same way she had come. When she reached home she opened the

purse, and, to her great joy, it was full of money, and she lived happily

on those earnings to the end of her life.

Such are these tales. Perhaps they are one and all fragments of the same

story. Each contains a few shreds that are wanting in the others. All,

however, agree in one leading idea, that Fairy mothers have, ere now,

obtained the aid of human midwives, and this one fact is a connecting

link between the people called Fairies and our own remote forefathers.