Brewery of Eggshells
N Treneglwys there is a certain shepherd's cot known by the
name of Twt y Cymrws because of the strange strife that
occurred there. There once lived there a man and his wife,
and they had twins whom the woman nursed tenderly. One day
she was called away to the house of a neighbour at some
distance. She did not much like going and leaving her little
 all alone in a solitary house, especially as she had
heard tell of the good folk haunting the neighbourhood.
Well, she went and came back as soon as she could, but on
her way back she was frightened to see some old elves of the
blue petticoat crossing her path though it was midday. She
rushed home, but found her two little ones in the cradle and
everything seemed as it was before.
But after a time the good people began to suspect that
something was wrong, for the twins didn't grow at all.
The man said: "They're not ours."
The woman said: "Whose else should they be?"
And so arose the great strife so that the neighbours named
the cottage after it. It made the woman very sad, so one
evening she made up her mind to go and see the Wise Man of
Llanidloes, for he knew everything and would advise her what
So she went to Llanidloes and told the case to the Wise Man.
Now there was soon to be a harvest of rye and oats, so the
Wise Man said to her, "When you are getting dinner for the
reapers, clear out the shell of a hen's egg and boil some
potage in it, and then take it to the door as if you meant
it as a dinner for the reapers. Then listen if the twins say
anything. If you hear them speaking of things beyond the
understanding of children, go back and take them up and
throw them into the waters of Lake Elvyn. But if you don't
hear anything remarkable, do them no injury."
So when the day of the reap came the woman did all that the
Wise Man ordered, and put the eggshell on the fire and took
it off and carried it to the door, and there she stood
 and listened. Then she heard one of the children say to the
Acorn before oak I knew,
An egg before a hen,
But I never heard of an eggshell brew
A dinner for harvest men.
So she went back into the house, seized the children and
threw them into the Llyn, and the goblins in their blue
trousers came and saved their dwarfs and the mother had her
own children back and so the great strife ended.
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