I HEARD last week of three fairies having been seen in Zennor very recently. A man who lived at the foot of Trendreen Hill, in the valley of Treridge, I think, was cutting furze on the hill. Near the middle of the day be saw one of the small people, not more than a foot long, stretched at full length and fast asleep, on a bank of griglans (heath), surrounded by high brakes of furze. The man took off his furze cuft and slipped the little man into it, without his waking up; went down to the house; took the little fellow out of the cuff on the hearthstone, when he awakened, and seemed quite pleased and at home, beginning to play with the children, who were well pleased with the small body, and called him Bobby Griglans.
The old people were very careful not to let Bob out of the house, or be seen by the neighbours, as he promised to show the man where the crocks of gold were buried on the hill. A few days after he was brought from the hill, all the neighbours came with their horses (according to custom) to bring home the winter's reek of furze, which had to be brought down the bill in trusses on the backs of the horses. That Bob might be safe and out of sight, he and the children were shut up in the barn. Whilst the furze-carriers were in to dinner, the prisoners contrived to get out, to have a "courant" round the furze-reek, when they saw a little man and woman, not much larger than Bob, searching into every hole and corner among the trusses that were dropped round the unfinished reek. The little woman was wringing her hands and crying: "Oh, my dear and tender Skillywidden, wherever canst ah (thou) be gone to? Shall I ever cast eyes on thee again?" "Go 'e back," says Bob to the children; "my father and mother are come here too." He then cried out: "Here I am, mammy!" By the time the words were out of his mouth, the little man and woman, with their precious Skillywidden, were nowhere to be seen, and there has been no sight nor sign of them since. The children got a sound thrashing for letting Skillywidden escape.
1 Robert Hunt, Popular Romances of the West of England, 2nd series, p. 265.