Old Gwilym by Anonymous
Old Gwilym Evans started off one fine morning to walk across the Eagle
Hills to a distant town, bent upon buying some cheese. On his way, in a
lonely part of the hills, he found a golden guinea, which he quickly put
into his pocket.
When he got to the town, instead of buying his provisions, he went into an
alehouse, and sat drinking and singing with some sweet-voiced quarrymen
until dark, when he thought it was time to go home. Whilst he was
drinking, an old woman with a basket came in, and sat beside him, but she
left before him. After the parting glass he got up and reeled through the
town, quite forgetting to buy his cheese; and as he got amongst the hills
they seemed to dance up and down before him, and he seemed to be walking
on air. When he got near the lonely spot where he had found the money he
heard some sweet music, and a number of fairies crossed his path and began
dancing all round him, and then as he looked up he saw some
brightly-lighted houses before him on the hill; and he scratched his head,
for he never remembered having seen houses thereabouts before. And as he
was thinking, and watching the fairies, one came and begged him to come
into the house and sit down.
So he followed her in, and found the house was all gold inside it, and
brightly lighted, and the fairies were dancing and singing, and they
brought him anything he wanted for supper, and then they put him to bed.
Gwilym slept heavily, and when he awoke turned round, for he felt very
cold, and his body seemed covered with prickles; so he sat up and rubbed
his eyes, and found that he was quite naked and lying in a bunch of gorse.
When he found himself in this plight he hurried home, and told his wife,
and she was very angry with him for spending all the money and bringing no
cheese home, and then he told her his adventures.
"Oh, you bad man!" she said, "the fairies gave you money and you spent it
wrongly, so they were sure to take their revenge."