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The Welsh Fairy Book

Ever wonder why the red dragon is the emblem of Wales? Or why the robin’s breast is red? Perhaps you need to know how to get rid of fairies…or maybe you’re looking for a curse. The Welsh Fairy Book holds the answers, assuming you believe in fairy tales.

Originally published in 1908 by W. Jenkyn Thomas, the collection of illustrated fairy stories has fallen into the public domain. The book comprises more than 80 stories; most of them, short morality tales or legends. Among the intriguing tales are “Striking a Corpse Candle,” “The Fairy Password,” “The Power of St. Tegla’s Well,” “The Drowning of the Bottom Hundred,” “The Forbidden Fountain,” and “The Devil’s Bridge.”

Looking for decidedly Welsh stories? Try “Cadwaladr and his Goat,” “Lyn Cym Llwch,” “Tudor ap Einion,” “Pedws Ffowk and St. Elian’s Well,” “Nansi Llwyd and the Dog of Darkness,” or “The Pwca of the Trwyn.” Don’t worry, the book contains a section on Welsh pronunciation.

Here’s a curse from “Goronwy Tudor and the Witches of Llanddons”:

May he wander for ages many,
And at every step, a stile,
At every stile, a fall;
At every fall, a broken bone,
Not the largest nor the least bone,
But the chief neck bone, every time.

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