THE PISKIES' CHANGELING.
THIS story is told by Mr T. Q. Couch, as an example of the folk-lore of a Cornish village, in "Notes and Queries," under the name of" Coleman Gray: "--
"There is a farmhouse of some antiquity with which my family have a close connection; and it is this circumstance, more than any other, that has rendered this tradition concerning it more interesting to us, and better remembered than many other equally romantic and authentic. Close to this house, one day, a little miserable-looking banding was discovered alone, unknown, and incapable of making its wants understood. It was instantly remembered by the finder, that this was the way in which the piskies were accustomed to deal with those infants of their race for whom they sought human protection; and it would have been an awful circumstance if such a one were not received by the individual so visited. The anger of the piskies would be certain, and some direful calamity must be the result; whereas, a kind welcome would probably be attended with great good fortune. The miserable plight of this stranger, therefore, attracted attention and sympathy. The little unconscious one was admitted as one of the family. Its health was speedily restored, and its renewed strength, activity, intelligence, and good-humour, caused it to become a general favourite. It is true the stranger was often found to indulge in odd freaks; but this was accounted for by a recollection of its pedigree, which was not doubted to be of the piskie order. So the family prospered, and had banished the thought that the foundling would ever leave them. There was to the front door of this house, a hatch, which is a half-door, that is kept closed when the whole door behind it is open, and it then serves as a guard against the intrusion of dogs, hogs, and ducks, while air and light are freely admitted. This little being was one day leaning over the top of this hatch, and looking wistfully outward, when a clear voice was heard to proceed from a neighbouring part of the townplace, calling, 'Coleman Gray, Coleman Gray!' The piskie immediately started up, and with a sudden laugh, clapped its hands, exclaiming, 'Aha! my daddy is come!' It was gone in a moment, never to be seen again."