Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/207

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Folk-Lore of the Wye Valley. 171

Then thoughtfully, " If I'd known when she was in the house, I'd have asked to look at the Book, I'd often heard of it."

One charming old farmer told me many wandering stories about witches and their ways. " Witches," he said, " oh, yes, they old witches did go about wi' packs on their backs, and if 'ee did refuse un, or make game o' they, why ee'd be sure to be stopped. They'd say, ' Ah ! never mind, / don't need to touch 'ee ' and they did put a spell on 'ee and curse 'ee ; make children spoonies they did, or club- foot, or bleed to death, and making the poor animals holler and bawl, and oh, my dear ! what should be done to they old women .

" Now, there was old Harriet Wells. She went in the shape of a pig, she did. Just before she died they shot at her twice. They done it twice, wi' marbles in a gun to prevent her going. But they never hit her. She cursed them all, the man, his wife, and they were all struck wi' illness, and prevented their getting their butter, and their beasts was all nesh.^ So him followed her one night after they shot at her, an' offered her a sack o' corn not to do anything to they again. She took the sack o' corn, but before taking it, her said she must come down to the house to see what was the matter wi' they. An' she brought an old pot an' burnt it on the fire, an' they could never tell what was in it. Then she took the pot an' went off, an' said them could send the corn. Oh, she was a dreadful old woman, always tormenting people. Then there was old Witch Harris ; she did go to a farm asking for potatoes, and was refused, and then for cider. The farmer's wife, she said no, she hadn't got no cider. ' O yes you have, plenty of cider.' ' How do you know ? ' 'Never mind, I do know.' 'Well, my husband said I wasn't to give none away.' ' Ah ! have he t He'll be the first to regret it ! as you'll have three children born who'll

' Nesh = tender, delicate. See Engl. Dialect Did., s.v.