Couch from "Notes and Queries"
is a farmhouse of some antiquity with which my family have a close
connection; and it is this circumstance, more than any other, that has
rendered this tradition concerning it more interesting to us, and
better remembered than many other equally romantic and authentic.
to this house, one day, a little miserable-looking bantling was
discovered alone, unknown, and incapable of making its wants
understood. It was instantly remembered by the finder, that this was
the way in which the piskies were accustomed to deal with those infants
of their race for whom they sought human protection; and it would have
been an awful circumstance if such a one were not received by the
individual so visited. The anger of the piskies would be certain, and
some direful calamity must be the result; whereas, a kind welcome would
probably be attended with great good fortune. The miserable plight of
this stranger, therefore, attracted attention and sympathy. The little
unconscious one was admitted as one of the family. Its health was
speedily restored, and its renewed strength, activity, intelligence,
and good-humour, caused it to become a general favourite.
It is true
the stranger was often found to indulge in odd freaks; but this was
accounted for by a recollection of its pedigree, which was not doubted
to be of the piskie order. So the family prospered, and had banished
the thought that the foundling would ever leave them.
There was to
the front door of this house, a hatch, which is a half-door, that is
kept closed when the whole door behind it is open, and it then serves
as a guard against the intrusion of dogs, hogs, and ducks, while air
and light are freely admitted. This little being was one day leaning
over the top of this hatch, and looking wistfully outward, when a clear
voice was heard to proceed from a neighbouring part of the townplace,
calling "Coleman Gray, Coleman Gray!"
The piskie immediately started
up, and with a sudden laugh clapped its hands, exclaiming, "Aha! my
daddy is come!" It was gone in a moment, never to be seen again.