Robert Roberts and the Fairies
One day, as he was crossing a brook, a little man came up to him and said: "Robert Roberts, go up to the holly tree that leans over the road on the Red-hill, and dig below it, and you shall be rewarded."
The very next morning, at daybreak, Robert Roberts set out for the spot, and dug a great hole before anyone was up, when he found a box of gold. He went to the same place twice afterwards, and dug, and found gold each time.
But as he grew rich, he began to boast and hint that he had mysterious friends. One day, when the talk turned on the fairies, he said that he knew them right well and that they gave him money.
Robert Roberts thought no more of the matter until he went to the spot a week afterwards, one evening at dusk. When he got to the tree, and began to dig as usual, big stones came rolling down the bank, just missing him, so that he ran for his life and never went near the place again.
After that day, Ellen walked every Sunday afternoon by the same drain and always found a copper. She was a careful girl and used to hoard her money.
One day her old mother found her pile of pennies and wished to know where she got them.
Ellen told her, but though she walked by the gutter for many a Sunday after, she never found another copper.
The Fairies' Mint
He confided his suspicions to a friend, and they determined to go the next night and watch the mill.
The following night, at about midnight, as they approached the mill that stood on a bare stony hill, they were surprised to find the mill all lit up and at work, the great sails turning in the black night. Creeping up softly to a small window, the miller looked in and saw a crowd of little men carrying small bags and emptying them into the millstones. He could not see, however, what was in the bags, so he crept to another window, when he saw golden coins coming from the mill from the place where the flour usually ran out.
Immediately the miller went to the mill door, and, putting his key into the lock, he unlocked the door, and as he did so, the lights went out suddenly, and the mill stopped working. As he and his friend went into the dark mill, they could hear sounds of people running about, but by the time they lit up the mill again, there was nobody to be seen, but scattered all about the millstones and on the floor were cockle-shells.
After that, many persons who passed the mill at midnight said they saw the mill lit up and working, but the old miller left the fairies alone to coin their money.
Next: The Pellings