Another Version of the Gors Goch Changeling Legend, Fairies in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Carno Wales
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Category: Fairies
Sub Category: Changeling Legend
Title: Another Version of the Gors Goch Changeling Legend


When the people of the Gors Goch one night had gone to bed, they heard a great row and disturbance around the house.  One could not at all comprehend what it might be that made a noise that time of night.  Both the husband and the wife had woken up, quite unable to make out what there might be there.  The children also woke but no one could utter a word; their tongues had all stuck to the roofs of their mouths.  The husband, however, at last managed to move, and to ask, ‘Who is there?  What do you want?’ Then he was answered from outside by a small silvery voice, ‘It is room we want to dress our children.’| The door was opened, and a dozen small Fairies came in, and began to search for an earthen pitcher with water. There they remained for some hours, washing themselves.  As the day was breaking they went away, leaving behind them a fine present for the kindness they had received.  Often afterwards did the Gors Goch folks had the company of the Fairies.  But once there happened to be a fine roll of a pretty baby in his cradle.  The Fair Family came and, as the baby had not been baptised, they took the liberty of changing him for one of their own.  They left behind in his stead an abominable creature that would do nothing but cry and scream every day of the week.| The mother was nearly breaking her heart on account of the misfortune and was greatly afraid of telling anybody about it.  But everybody got to see that there was something wrong at Gors Goch, which was proved before long by the mother dying of longing for her child.  The other children died of a broken heart after their mother and the husband was left alone with the little ellyll (elf child) without anyone to comfort him.  But shortly after, the Fairies began to resort again to the hearth of the Gors Goch to dress their children and the gift which had formerly been silver money now came as pure gold.  In the course of a few years the elf became the heir of a large farm in North Wales, and that is why the old people used to say, ‘Shoe the elf with gold and he will grow.’” (e ddaw gwiddon yn fawr ond ei bedoli âg aur.)|It will be observed that this latter version differs in one remarkable incident from the preceding tale. In the other Gorse Goch tale there is no allusion to the fact that the changed child had not been baptized; this omission is specially mentioned as giving power to the Fairies to exchange their own child for the human baby. This preventive carries these tales into Christian days.


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