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Welsh Fairy Tales   By: (1843-1928)

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Welsh Fairy Tales

By

WILLIAM ELLIOT GRIFFIS

1921

A PREFACE LETTER TO MY GRANDFATHER

DEAR CAPTAIN JOHN GRIFFIS:

Although I never saw you, since you died in 1804, I am glad you were one of those Welshmen who opposed the policy of King George III and that you, after coming to America in 1783, were among the first sea captains to carry the American flag around the world. That you knew many of the Free Quakers and other patriots of the Revolution and that they buried you among them, near Benjamin Franklin, is a matter of pride to your descendants. That you were born in Wales and spoke Welsh, as did also those three great prophets of spiritual liberty, Roger Williams, William Penn, and Thomas Jefferson, is still further ground for pride in one's ancestry. Now, in the perspective of history we see that our Washington and his compeers and Wilkes, Barre, Burke and the friends of America in Parliament were fighting the same battle of Freedom. Though our debt to Wales for many things is great, we count not least those inheritances from the world of imagination, for which the Cymric Land was famous, even before the days of either Anglo Saxon or Norman.

W. E. G.

Saint David's and the day of the Daffodil, March 1, 1921.

CONTENTS

I. WELSH RABBIT AND HUNTED HARES

II. THE MIGHTY MONSTER AFANG

III. THE TWO CAT WITCHES

IV. HOW THE CYMRY LAND BECAME INHABITED

V. THE BOY THAT WAS NAMED TROUBLE

VI. THE GOLDEN HARP

VII. THE GREAT RED DRAGON OF WALES

VIII. THE TOUCH OF CLAY

IX. THE TOUCH OF IRON

X. THE MAIDEN OF THE GREEN FOREST

XI. THE TREASURE STONE OF THE FAIRIES

XII. GIANT TOM AND GIANT BLUBB

XIII. A BOY THAT VISITED FAIRYLAND

XIV. THE WELSHERY AND THE NORMANS

XV. THE WELSH FAIRIES HOLD A MEETING

XVI. KING ARTHUR'S CAVE

XVII. THE LADY OF THE LAKE

XVIII. THE KING'S FOOT HOLDER

XIX. POWELL, PRINCE OF DYFED

XX. POWELL AND HIS BRIDE

XXI. WHY THE BACK DOOR WAS FRONT

XXII. THE RED BANDITS OF MONTGOMERY

XXIII. THE FAIRY CONGRESS

XXIV. THE SWORD OF AVALON

I

WELSH RABBIT AND HUNTED HARES

Long, long ago, there was a good saint named David, who taught the early Cymric or Welsh people better manners and many good things to eat and ways of enjoying themselves.

Now the Welsh folks in speaking of their good teacher pronounced his name Tafid and affectionately Taffy, and this came to be the usual name for a person born in Wales. In our nurseries we all learned that "Taffy was a Welshman," but it was their enemies who made a bad rhyme about Taffy.

Wherever there were cows or goats, people could get milk. So they always had what was necessary for a good meal, whether it were breakfast, dinner or supper. Milk, cream, curds, whey and cheese enriched the family table. Were not these enough?

But Saint David taught the people how to make a still more delicious food out of cheese, and that this could be done without taking the life of any creature.

Saint David showed the girls how to take cheese, slice and toast it over the coals, or melt it in a skillet and pour it hot over toast or biscuit. This gave the cheese a new and sweeter flavor. When spread on bread, either plain, or browned over the fire, the result, in combination, was a delicacy fit for a king, and equal to anything known.

The fame of this new addition to the British bill of fare spread near and far. The English people, who had always been fond of rabbit pie, and still eat thousands of Molly Cotton Tails every day, named it "Welsh Rabbit," and thought it one of the best things to eat. In fact, there are many people, who do not easily see a joke, who misunderstand the fun, or who suppose the name to be either slang, or vulgar, or a mistake, and who call it "rarebit." It is like "Cape Cod turkey" (codfish), or "Bombay ducks" (dried fish), or "Irish plums" (potatoes) and such funny cookery with fancy names.

Now up to this time, the rabbits and hares had been so hunted with the aid of dogs, that there was hardly a chance of any of them surviving the cruel slaughter... Continue reading book >>




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