The Mumby Boggart And The Crafty Farmer
A farmer bought a new field, which was inhabited by a squat, hairy boggart, a kind of troll. The boggart refused to allow the farmer to plant anything in the field, claiming it was his and the farmer had no right to it. The farmer, in turn, pointed out that he’d paid good money for the land and by right he ought to be able to use it. The pair argued for a whole day, before finally agreeing that the farmer should plant the field on the condition that they share the crop. The farmer, being a sly old fox however, began to think of a way to keep the whole crop for himself. “Which part of the crop will you take for your share?” asked the farmer “The part that grows below the ground or the part above it?”
The boggart thought for a while, before answering that he would take the part growing above the ground. The farmer therefore planted the field full of potatoes. When harvest time came, the farmer stood over a huge pile of potatoes while the boggart had to make do with the useless part of the crop. Angrily, the boggart announced that the next time, HE would take what grew below the ground.
The sly old farmer agreed, and this time planted the field with wheat. When the harvest time came, the farmer had a fine crop, while the boggart was left with stubble. The boggart, furious at having been cheated twice, demanded that the farmer would sow wheat again, but this time, they would each start at opposite ends of the field and each would only take what they could reap before sunset.
The farmer agreed, but the night before the harvest, the farmer sneaked out and planted several iron rods in the boggart’s side of the field. When the time came, the boggart quickly blunted his scythe, leaving him unable to continue with the harvest, while the farmer easily made his way through the crop. Furious, the boggart stormed off, never to be seen again.
Author: P A McHugh