THE VENGEANCE OF THE FAIRIES

THE VENGEANCE OF THE FAIRIES


Overlooking the sea that washes the beautiful coast of the Gower
Peninsula in Glamorganshire stands the ruined castle of Pennard. All
about it is a waste of sandhills, beneath which, so the old stories have
it, a considerable village lies buried. For it is told that in the old
days, when the lands about Pennard were fertile and populous, the lord
of the castle was holding a great feast one day to rejoice over the
wedding of his daughter.

This happy event was being celebrated by the villagers too, and, unknown
to lord or serf, by the "Tylwyth Teg," or the fairy folk who abounded in
the neighbourhood, for the little people enjoy an innocent merry-making
as much as do mere mortals.

And that night, long after the villagers had gone to bed, the
festivities in the castle were continued. Wine flowed free and the
revellers became more and more boisterous. From mere jesting they came
to quarrelling, and, in the midst of their drunken orgy, there was heard
an alarm. A sentry on the walls of the castle reported that he heard
stealthy movements in the distance as of a large number of people
approaching with care.

The frenzied warriors, fearing a surprise from their enemies, armed
themselves and rushed from the castle to attack the intruders. They,
too, could hear a gentle murmur in the valley below, and towards it they
charged, uttering terrible threats, striking right and left with their
swords at the unseen foe. But, apart from a few shadowy forms that
quickly faded away into the undergrowth, nothing was to be seen, and at
length the knights and soldiers returned rather crestfallen, and much
more sober, to their stronghold.

Now the truth of the whole matter was that the alarm had been caused
by the festivities of the fairies, and they were so deeply incensed at
having their party broken up by this violent intrusion of wine-maddened
men that they determined to be revenged.

That very night the whole family set out for Ireland, where they
descended upon a huge mountain of sand, and each one of the small
people, loading himself with as much sand as he could carry, returned
to Pennard and deposited it upon the village at the base of the castle,
intending to bury both village and castle in sand.

To and fro the fairies went, intent upon their task of vengeance, and,
when morning broke, those in the castle looked out to see what they
thought was a violent sand-storm raging. By mid-day the village below
the castle was overwhelmed, and those in the stronghold began to fear
that it too would be smothered. But fortunately for them the Irish
sand-mountain gave out, and the fairies' complete vengeance was
thwarted. Still, they had destroyed the rich and valuable lands that
belonged to the castle, and from that day its fortunes and those of its
lords began to decline.

In proof of this story the old Irish records maintain that an
extraordinary storm arose that night and blew away a whole
sand-mountain.

Few tourists ever explore the beauties of the little Gower Peninsula,
save holiday-makers from the neighbouring town of Swansea; yet it is
a country of amazing charm, with a glorious coast and high ridges of
heather and moorland. It is only about eighty square miles in extent,
but it has over fifty miles of coast.

Remote from the world, this country, with its churches, castles, and
many prehistoric remains, is an ideal holiday land.

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Główna Czytelnia Literatura Legendy THE VENGEANCE OF THE FAIRIES
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