THE FAIRY GIFT
A FARMER in Strathspey was one day engaged in sowing one of his fields and singing at his work. A fairy damsel of great beauty came up to him and requested him to sing for her a favourite old Gaelic song named NighanDonne na Bual. He complied, and she then asked him to give her some of his corn. At this he demurred a little and wished to know what she would give him in return. She replied with a significant look that his seed would never fail him. He then gave to her liberally and she departed. He went on sowing, and when he had finished a large field, he found that his bag was as full and as heavy as when he began. He then sowed another field of the same size, with the same result, and satisfied with his day's work, he threw the bag on his shoulder and went home. Just as he was entering the barn-door he was met by his wife, a foolish talkative body with a tongue as long, and a head as empty as the church bell, who, struck with the appearance of the bag after a day's sowing, began to ask him about it. Instantly it became quite empty. "I'll be the death of you, you foolish woman," roared out the farmer; "if it were not for your idle talk, that bag was worth its weight in gold."