Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Fairy Banquet

"A man one time was led by invisible musicians for several miles together, and not being able to resist the harmony, followed till it conducted him to a large common, where were a great number of little people sitting round a table, and eating and drinking in a very jovial manner. Among them were some faces whom he thought he had formerly seen, but forbore taking any notice, or they of him, till the little people offering him drink, one of them, whose features seemed not unknown to him, plucked him by the coat, and borbade him whatever he did to taste anything he saw before him, "For if you do," added he, "you will be as I am, and return no more to your family." The poor man was much affrighted, but resolved to obey the injunction. Accordingly, a large silver cup, filled with some sort of liquor, being put into his hand, he found an opportunity to throw what it contained on the ground. Soon after, the music ceasing, all the company disappeared, leaving the cup in his hand, and he returned home, though much wearied and fatigued. He went the next day, and communicated to the minister of the parish all that had happened, and asked his advice, how he should dispose of the cup, to which the parson replied, he could not do better than to devote it to the service of the church, and this very cup, they say, is that which is now used to the consecrated wine in Kirk Merlugh."

Story from the Scottish Highlands, as found in Thomas Keightley's Fairy Mythology.

Image by John Anster Fitzgerald.

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