The Fairy Gold E:180
When a greedy old man trespasses onto fairy ground, he decides to try and steal their gold, but it does not end well for him. (duration 20 minutes) An episode from storytelling podcast, Journey with Story, for kids ages 4-10.
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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this Enchanting Tale of the Fairies
The Fairy Gold
E180 – March 17, 2022
Do you believe in fairies? Have you ever seen a fairy? What do you imagine a fairy would look like?
Hello everyone. I’m Kathleen Pelley. Welcome to Journey with Story. Today’s story is about a greedy old man who spies on some fairies and decides to steal their gold…which as you might imagine, does not end well, because it is never a good idea to steal from anyone – human or fairy. And of course, this is a perfect story today when we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, because the reason St. Patrick was able to bring Christianity to the Irish people was that they already believed in “other worlds” and the fairy folk and that sometimes what we cannot see might just be as real as what we can see. And to this day, the Celtic people still have a fierce fondness for the fairy folk.
Before we begin – big announcement for all of our listeners – gather round everyone – get the grown ups too please, mums and dads – definitely want you to join us for this.
So, I know all of you loyal listeners out there must enjoy podcasts, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be listening to me right now. But it seems like there are a ton of podcasts out there and it must be hard as mums and dads to find the best ones for your particular family, so how do you find those hidden gems?
Well, here at Journey with Story, we are very proud to be a part of an organization called Kids Listen which supports a great community of podcasts like JWS – we have all kinds of podcasts in our community – kids news podcasts, music podcasts, mindfulness, and other storytelling podcasts too. And on March 20th – the first day of Spring, Kids Listen will be airing a special podcast called Mash-ups as a way of introducing you to some fabulous podcasts that you and your children might really enjoy.
and that episode will be airing on April 17th, but don’t worry, I will give you a reminder just before so you can be sure to tune in and learn all about another great storytelling podcast.
For now, just tune in on March 20th for the very first episode of Mash-ups from Kids Listen – look at the episode notes for those links – oh and take a listen to this preview that explains what to expect…
Doesn’t that sound like fun? Check out the episode notes for more details….
So, let’s take a journey with…The Fairy Gold.
Not far from Cape Cornwall and the sea, is a small hill, — or a very large mound would, perhaps, be the truer description, — called “The Gump,” where the Little People used to hold their merry-making , and where our grandfathers and grandmothers used to be allowed to stand and look on and listen.
In those good old times fairies and ordinary people were all good friends together, and it is because they were all such friends and trusted one another, that our grandfathers and grandmothers were able to tell their grandchildren so many tales about fairies, and piskies, and goblins, and all the rest of the Little People.
People believed in the Fairies in those days, so the Fairies in return often helped the people, and did them all sorts of kindnesses. Indeed, they would do so now if folks had not grown so learned and disbelieving. All this new knowledge has led folks to doubt that Fairies exist, because now they have neither the eyes nor the minds to see them.
And of course, no one could expect these sensitive little creatures to appear if people sneer and scoff at them.. All the same, they are all around us, as close to us as they ever were, and if you or I, who actually do believe in the Little People, were to go to the Gump on the right nights at the right hour, we should see them feasting and dancing and holding their revels just as of old. If, though, you do go, you must be very careful to keep at a distance and not to trespass on their fairy ground, for that is a great offence, and woe be to you if you offend them!
There was, once upon a time, a grasping, mean old fellow who did just that – he trespassed on the fairy ground, and pretty well he was punished for his daring. It is his story I am going to tell you, but I will not tell you his name, for that would be unpleasant for his descendants.
Well, this old man used to listen to the tales the people told of the Fairies and their riches, and their wonderful treasures, until he could scarcely bear to hear any more, he longed so to have some of those riches for himself; and at last his greed grew so great, he said to himself he must and would have some, or he should die of frustration.
So one night, when the Harvest Moon was at the full, he started off alone, and very stealthily, to walk to the Gump, for he did not want his neighbours to know anything at all about his plans. He was very nervous, for it is a very desolate spot, but his greed was greater than his fear, and he made himself go forward, though he longed all the time to turn tail and hurry home to the safe shelter of his house and his bed.
As he drew near he heard delightful music, which seemed to come from inside the hillock. The notes were now slow and solemn, and now quick and gay, so that the old man had to weep and laugh in one breath. Then before he knew it, he began to dance to the Fairy measure. He was forced by some unseen power to whirl round and round; but in spite of this he kept his wits about him, and watched to see what would happen.
Suddenly there was a crashing sound, and a door in the hillock opened. Instantly the old man saw that everything about him was ablaze with coloured lights. Each blade of grass was hung with tiny bright lamps, and every tree and bush was illuminated with stars.
Out of the opening in the hillock marched a band of Goblins, as if to clear the way. Then came a number of Fairy musicians playing on every kind of musical instrument. These were followed by troop after troop of Elfin soldiers, carrying waving banners.
The soldiers arranged themselves in two files on either side of the door; but the Goblins, much to the old man’s disgust, placed themselves close behind him. As they were no bigger than his thumb, he thought to himself: “If
they bother me, I can easily step on them and crush them with my foot.”
Next from the hillock came a crowd of Elfin servants carrying pitchers of silver and gold, and goblets cut out of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other precious stones.
Servants followed bearing aloft gold and silver platters heaped high with the richest meats, pastries, candies, and glowing fruits. A number of Elfin boys, clad in crimson, then set out small tables made of ivory curiously carved, and the servants arranged the feast with order.
Then out of the hillock came crowding thousands and thousands of lovely winged Fairies clad in gossamer robes of every colour, like the rainbow.
Troop after troop they came, more than I can describe, or you could remember, only I must tell you that the last of all were the most lovely.
The ladies, all of whom had dark hair, were clad in white velvet lined with the palest violet silk, while round the hems of the skirts and on the bodices were bands of soft white swansdown. Swansdown also edged the little violet cloaks which hung from their shoulders.
I cannot describe to you how beautiful they looked, with their rosy, smiling faces, and long black curls. On their heads they wore little silver crowns set with amethysts, amethysts, too, sparkled on their necks and over their gowns. In their hands they carried long rails of the lovely blossom of the wistaria. Their companions were clad in white and green, and in their left hands they carried silver rods with emerald stars at the top.
Then the music suddenly changed to low, delicate notes, and the old man found that he was no longer forced to dance and whirl about. And as he stood still, the perfume of a thousand rich flowers filled the air, and the whole vast host of Fairies began to sing a song as clear and sweet as the tinkle of silver bells.
Then from the hillock issued forth line after line of Elfin boys dressed in green and gold, and behind them on an ivory throne, borne aloft by a hundred Fairies, came the King and Queen of Fairyland blazing with beauty and jewels.
The throne was placed upon the hillock, which immediately bloomed with lilies and roses. Before the King and Queen was set the most beautiful of all the little tables laden with gold and silver dishes and precious goblets. The Fairies took their places at the other tables, and began to feast with a will.
“Now,” thought the old man, “my time is come! If only I can creep up, without being seen, to the Fairy King’s table, I shall be able to snatch enough gold to make me rich for life.”
And with his greedy mind set on this, he crouched down, and began very slowly to creep toward the throne. But he did not see that thousands of Goblins had cast fine threads about his body, and were holding the ends in their hands. Then, bringing up his hat, as a boy does to catch a butterfly, he was just going to bring it down on the silken platform and capture the king and queen’s table, gold dishes and all, when hark! A shrill whistle sounded.
The old man’s hand, with the hat in it, was paralysed in the air, so that he could not move it backwards or forwards, and in an instant every light went out, and all was pitchy darkness.
There were a whir-r-r and a buzz, and a whir-r-r, as if a swarm of bees were flying by him, and the old man felt himself fastened so securely to the ground that, do what he would, he could not move an inch, and all the time he felt himself being pinched, and pricked, and tweaked from top to toe, so that not an inch of him was free from torment.
He was lying on his back at the foot of the Gump, though how he got there he could never tell. His arms were stretched out and fastened down, so that he could not do anything to drive off his tormentors, his legs were so secured that he could not even relieve himself by kicking, and his tongue was tied with cords, so that he could not call out.
There he lay, no one knows how long, for to him it seemed hours, and no one else but the fairies knew anything about it. At last he felt a lot of little feet running over him, but whose they were he had no idea until something perched on his nose, and by the light of the moon he saw it was a goblin. His wicked old heart sank when he realized that he had got into their clutches, for all his life he had heard what wicked little creatures they were.
The little imp on his nose kicked and danced and stamped about in great delight at finding himself perched up so high.
We all know how painful it is to have one’s nose knocked, even ever so little, so you may imagine that the old miser did not enjoy himself at all. The goblin did, though. He roared with laughter, as though he were having a huge joke, until at last, rising suddenly to his feet and standing on the tips of his tiny toes, he shouted sharply, “Away! away! I smell the day!” and to the old man’s great relief off he flew in a great hurry, followed by all his mischievous companions who had been playing games, and running races all over their victim’s body.
Left at last to himself, the mortified old man lay for some time, thinking over all that had happened, trying to collect his senses, and wondering how he should manage to escape from his bonds, for he might lie there for a week without any human being coming near the place.
Till sunrise he lay there, trying to think of some plan, and then, what do you think he saw? Why, that he had not been tied down by ropes at all, but only by thousands of gossamer webs! And there they were now, all over him, with the dew on them sparkling like the diamonds that the fairies had worn the night before.
And those dewdrop diamonds were all the jewels he got for his night’s work.
When he made this discovery he turned over and groaned and wept with rage and shame, and never, to his dying day, could he bear to look at sparkling gold or gems, for the mere sight of them made him feel quite ill.
At last, afraid lest he should be missed, and searchers be sent out to look for him, he got up, brushed off the dewy webs, and putting on his battered old hat, crept slowly home. He was wet through with dew, cold, full of rheumatism, and very ashamed of himself, and very good care he took to keep that night’s experience to himself. No one must know his shame.
Some years later, though, when he had become a changed man, and repented of his former greediness, he told the story bit by bit-to be a lesson to others, until his friends and neighbours, who loved to listen to anything about fairies, had gathered it all as I have told it to you here. And you may be quite sure it is all true, for the old man was not clever enough to invent it.
Well – the story souvenir is an easy one – isn’t it? Yes, do not trespass on Fairy Ground and definitely do not even try to steal anything from the fairies.
I can’t wait to see some of your drawings from listening to this story? Please do get busy and send us your drawings of how you think these fairies look – you can send us them on our website, www.journeywithstory.com or on IG @journeywithstory.
Oh, and don’t forget to rate and review us and share with a friend or two.
Cheerio then, join us next time for Journey with Story.