A Fable of The Heron, The Cat and The Bramble, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Llanllechid Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: A Fable of The Heron, The Cat and The Bramble


It is from thirty to forty years ago that I heard the fable I am about to relate, and the circumstances under which I heard it are briefly as follows. I was walking towards Bangor from Llanllechid, when I saw a farmer at work hedging. I stopped to chat with him, and a bramble which had fastened itself on his trousers gave him a little trouble to get it away, and the man in a pet said, “Have I not paid thee thy tithe?” “Why do you say those words, Enoch?” said I, and he said, “Have you not heard the story?” I confessed my ignorance, and after many preliminary remarks, the farmer related the following fable:—|The heron, the cat, and the bramble bought the tithe of a certain parish.  The heron bought the hay, mowed it, harvested it, and cocked it, and intended carrying it the following day. But in the night a storm came on and carried the hay away and ever since then the heron frequents the banks of the rivers and lakes, looking for her hay that was carried away, and saying “Pay me my tithe.”| The cat bought the oats, cut them, and even threshed them, and left them in the barn, intending the following day to take them to the market for sale.  But when she went into the barn early the next morning, she found the floor covered with rats and mice, which had devoured the oats. The cat flew at them, fought with them and drove them from the barn, and this is why she is at enmity with rats and mice even to our day.| The bramble bought the wheat and was more fortunate than the heron and cat, for the wheat was bagged, and taken to the market and sold. But the wheat was sold on trust and the bramble never got the money. This is why it takes hold of everyone and says “Pay me my tithe,” for it forgot to whom the wheat had been sold.


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