Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/411

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Folk-lore Miscellanea..

disappeared." Mr. Gould supposes this vision, too, would be ascribed to a too hot sun on the head, but is evidently dissatisfied with that explanation, and asks why a hot sun should call up visions of dwarfs and fairies. It is the fashion now to make light of the tone and sensible avouch of our own eyes, but, railways notwithstanding, fairies may still exist for those who have the gift of seeing them. Mrs. Baring Gould's experience, however, recalls a story current on the eastern border of the Dartmoor, where still stands a farm-house, of which it is told that some years ago the farmer who lived there was coming home from market rather late, and saw in the hedge, not far from his house, a tiny little woman sitting dressed all in green. She was a pixy, and the farmer, probably bold after sundry drops at he market-town, picked her up and carried her home. There he told his wife, who had gone to bed, what he had found, and asked what he should do with her. The wife answered, sleepily: "Tie her to the bed-post with your garter." The farmer did so, and went off to sleep. In the morning he looked at once at the bed-post, and there was his garter as he had tied it the evening before, but no little green lady in it, only a long green leek! Disgusted at this, he seized the leek, and opening the door, threw it out into the yard, when, as it left his hand, it changed back into the woman in green, and he saw himself suddenly surrounded by a swarm of tiny beings, mounted on little horses, who presently vanished, clapping their hands, and crying: "We have got her again! we have got her again!"

M. L. C.


May-Day at Watford, Herts.— On May-Day, in this parish, groups of children, almost entirely girls, go about the streets from door to door, and sing the accompanying verses. They are dressed in white for preference, and decorate themselves with gay ribbons and sashes of various colours; I cannot find that any particular colours are prescribed by tradition. Two of the girls carry between them on a stick what they call "the garland", which, in its simplest form, is made of two circular hoops, intersecting each other at right angles; a more elaborate form has, in addition, smaller semicircles inserted in the four angles formed by the meeting of the hoops at the top of "the garland". These hoops are covered with any wild-flowers in season, and are further ornamented with ribbons. The " garland" in shape reminds me of the "Christmas" which used to form the centre of the Christmas decorations in Yorkshire some few years ago, except that the latter had a bunch of mistletoe inside the hoops.

One of the children generally carries a purse or small bag to hold the coppers which may be collected. The group, of which I have a photograph, was one taken quite at hap-hazard, as it passed the