Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/210

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Folk-Lore of the Wye Valley.

witches disappeared, leaving him behind a prisoner in the house.

This story is, of course, a "commonplace," but it is interesting to find it accepted amongst our local tales, just as a story, without name or place given. Here is a Devil-legend of the same type, which has, however, been localized, though even there the actors are nameless.

"Did you never hear tell of the shoemaker and the Devil? Well, Miss, they do tell this tale. One night there was a shoemaker going up the Gloucester road, very late it was, and there he did meet a stranger, and they two did get a-talking as they went along. And by and bye, finding as how he was a shoemaker, the stranger asks will he make him a pair of boots. So down he kneels in the road to take the measure, but when he had done one foot, there weren't no other, only a claw! And the poor man he makes as though he didn't notice, and the stranger went off, saying meet him there when the boots was done. The shoemaker went home half frighted to death. Early the next morning him did go to the parson and told him all about it, and what should he do? And he said, 'Make him the boots, but don't you go for to take no money for them, not on no account' So when the boots were ready he went to meet the stranger, and the parson, he did come with him to pray. But the parson he stayed at the turn of the road, out of sight behind the hedge, him did. So there stood the stranger, and he gave him the boots. But when the money was offered, the shoemaker he wouldn't take it. And there was a great crash in the hedge, and the stranger rose up in the air and fled away, and there's a great big hole in the hedge to this day. Yes, Miss, him did take the boots." The Devil has a great deal of property in our parts—kitchens and pulpits, and even a portion of St. Briavel's Churchyard, a waste piece where few are buried, save suicides and such like.