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A Changeling In Nithsdale


In his The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following description of a Changeling in Dumfries and Galloway. ‘In Nithsdale the elf-child displays a superhuman power of work. The mother left it on one occasion in the charge of a servant-girl, who sat bemoaning herself. "Wer't nae for thy girning face I would knock the big, winnow the corn, and grun the meal " "Lowse the cradle band," cried the child, "and tent the neighbours, an' I'll work yere wark." With that he started up, the wind arose, the corn was winnowed, the outlyers were foddered, the hand-mill moved around as by instinct, and the knocking mell did its work with amazing rapidity. The lass and the elf meanwhile took their ease, until, on the mistress's return, he was restored to the cradle and began to yell anew.’



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