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A Fairy Borrowing

THE fairies were in the habit of borrowing things from the old woman of Hafod Rugog. They continually came for her padell and gradell. (The gradell is a sort of round flat iron on which the dough is put: the padell is the pan put over it. This method of baking makes beautiful bread.) By way of payment they used to leave money or a loaf in her kitchen at night.

One day she went to her peat stack to get fuel for, her fire, and one of the little women came to ask her for her troell bach, or wheel, for spinning flax. "I am tired of lending you my things," said the old woman, who was in a bad temper that day, "but you shall have what you want if you grant me two things, that the first thing I put my hand on at the door break, and the first thing I put my hand on in the house be lengthened half a yard."

Now this is why the old crone made these requests: there was a grip stone (carreg afael), as it is called, in the wall near the door of her house, and she wanted to break it; and in the house she had a piece of flannel which she wanted to make into a jerkin but it was half a yard too short. The little woman promised to grant her two demands, and was told to take the troell.

The old woman put her creel of peat on her back and started home. As she came near the door she slipped on a stone and nearly twisted her ankle: she put her hand on it to rub it, when the joint broke and she fell on her nose. Dragging herself into the house, she rubbed her injured beak, and it immediately shot out half a yard.

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