Once upon a time, in the Mawddy Valley, lived a poor widow women named Mari and her baby son Robert.
This part of Montgomeryshire was renown for its wicked sprites that haunted and molested its people, rich and poor alike.
Out of necessity, poor Mari took her one and only cow to market, selling it for a goodly sum. On returning home to her little cottage, she counted the monies over and over again before hiding her treasure within the chimney.” Although still poor I can now pay the rent”she said to her baby son who smiled as though he understood.
Before going to bed that evening, she decided to count her gold again. To her dismay, she found the nook in the chimney empty.
I have not left the house all day, she said, so it must be here somewhere.
In great distress,she ran from room to room and found nothing, she then tried the outhouses. More misfortune awaited. Her two calves, all her poultry and bees had also disappeared.
She sat on her small stool in the hearth, brooding, when there came a knock on the door. It was getting dark, but Mari could see her visitor quite clearly.
Wearing a long green cloak with red lining was a very tall old lady leaning on a stick. ” Why are you crying” she asked.
Mari told her the full story.
“Take comfort” the old lady said,”I have much gold,enough to pay your rent and replace your farm stock”. She took out of her cloak a large purse and emptied it on the table. You can have all this gold if you give me what I ask.
Mari had never see so much gold. I will give you anything you ask , replied Mari, delighted at the thought of paying the rent and restocking her small farm.
“I only ask for this small child lying here in this cradle”.
On hearing this, Mari understood that the old lady was a witch and that it was the wicked sprites that had stolen her monies.
Before leaving the old witch declared that she would return the day after tomorrow. If you wanted the gold , “if you still want the gold give me the baby or discover my name”
The next day ,Mari visited the nearby town, seeking help from her relatives. But they were just as poor, having been raided by those wicked sprites.
On her way back home, she came across a band of fairies, dancing in the wood. Hidden,she stopped to watch. When unexpectedly the old lady in her red lined green cloak turned up and joined in the festivities. In fright, the fairies escaped into the trees, but the old witch carried on enjoying herself, dancing and singing,
“The sprites of Glen Mawddy
Will ring my old neck
It the widow discovers
I’m Twittin Glyn Hec”
The following day the old witch returned to Mari’s cottage,emptied her large purse on the kitchen table
“Give me the baby or tell me my name”
Your name is Twittin Glyn Hec, shouted Mari,which produced a wild scream, the old witch flew up the chimney followed by the sprites of Glen Mawddy.
With all the gold on the kitchen table, Mari restocked her small farm, prospered and was never bothered by those wicked sprites ever again.