Guto and the Faeries, Fairies in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Unknown Wales
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Category: Fairies
Sub Category: Fairies Working for Men
Title: Guto and the Faeries


One day Guto, the Farmer of Corwrion, complained to his wife that he was in need of men to mow his hay and she answered, ‘Why fret about it? Look over there! You have a field full of them at it and stripped to their shirt sleeves.’  When he went to the spot the sham workmen of the Faery family had disappeared.  This same Guto, or somebody else, happened another time to be ploughing, when he heard some person he could not see calling out to him, ‘I have got the bins (that is the vice) of my plough broken.’  ‘Bring it to me,’ said the driver of Guto’s team, ‘that I may mend it.’  When they brought the furrow to an end, there they found the broken vice and a barrel of beer placed near it.  One of the men sat down and mended it.  Then they made another furrow and when they returned to the spot they found there a two-eared dish, filled to the brim with bara a chwrw, or bread and beer.|It was once thought that kind Fairies took compassion on good folk, who were unable to accomplish in due time their undertakings, and finished in the night these works for them; and it was always observed that the Fairy workman excelled as a tradesman the mortal whom he assisted. Many an industrious shoemaker, it is said, has ere this p. 86found in the morning that the Fairies had finished in the night the pair of shoes which he had only commenced the evening before. Farmers too, who had in part ploughed a field, have in the morning been surprised to find it finished. These kind offices, it was firmly believed, were accomplished by Fairy friends.|Milton in L’Allegro alludes to this belief in the following lines:—|Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,To earn his cream-bowl duly set,When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,His shadowy flail hath thresh’d the corn,That ten day-labourers could not end.


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