about it, she was sure to suppose that it was not her own child, but one substituted for it by the Little Underground Folk. In the Western Isles, to the present day, idiots are believed to be changelings. The only redress open to the parents is to place the imp on the beach, below high-water mark, when the tide is out and pay no heed to its screams. Rather than allow her child to be drowned by the rising waters, the elfin mother will make her appearance, carry it away, and restore the child that has been stolen.
Another way, when a mother is convinced that there is a changeling in the cradle in place of her own child, is to heat a poker red hot and ram it down the infant's throat. If it be a fairy brat, the mother will come in at the moment and snatch it away. Again, another mode of testing what the squalling, unsightly imp is, is to throw it on the fire. It is far from improbable that there have been many cases of getting rid of babies that did no credit to their mothers by this means--she fully persuaded that the creature she treated in this barbarous manner was actually not her own.
A fine child at Caerlaverock, in Nithsdale, was observed on the second day after its birth, and before it had been baptised, to