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A Strange Otter

ONE day two friends went to hunt otters on the banks of the Pennant, in Merionethshire. When they were yet some distance from the river they saw some small creature of a red colour, running fast across the meadows in the direction of the stream. Off they ran after it, but before they could catch it the little animal hid itself beneath the roots of a tree, on the brink of a river. The two men thought it was an otter, but at the same time they could not understand why it was red. They thought they would like to catch such an extraordinary specimen alive, and one of them said to the other, "You go home to get a sack, while I watch." Now, there were two hole under the roots of the tree, and while one held the sack with its mouth open over one of them, the other pushed his stick into the other hole. Presently the creature went into the sack, and the two men set out for home, thinking they had achieved a great feat. Before they had proceeded the width of one field the inmate of the sack spoke in a sad voice, and said: "My mother is calling for me: oh, my mother is calling for me!" This gave the two hunters a great fright, and they at once threw down the sack. Great was their surprise when they saw a little man in a red dress running out of the sack towards the water. He disappeared from their sight in the bushes by the river. The two men were greatly terrified, and felt that it was more prudent to go home than meddle any further with the Fair Family.

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