THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE
It is a good many years since Mrs. Mary Jones, Corlanau, Llandinorwig, Carnarvonshire, told me the following tale. The scene of the story is the unenclosed mountain between Corlanau, a small farm, and the hamlet, Rhiwlas. There is still current in those parts a tale of a hidden golden chair, and Mrs. Jones said that it had once been seen by a young girl, who might have taken possession of it, but unfortunately she did not do so, and from that day to this it has not been discovered. The tale is this:
There was once a beautiful girl, the daughter of poor hardworking parents, who held a farm on the side of the hill, and their handsome industrious daughter took care of the sheep. At certain times of the year she visited the sheep-walk daily, but she never went to the mountain without her knitting needles, and when looking after the sheep she was always knitting stockings, and she was so clever with her needles that she could knit as she walked along. The Fairies who lived in those mountains noticed this young woman’s good qualities. One day, when she was far from home, watching her father’s sheep, she saw before her a most beautiful golden chair. She went up to it and found that it was so massive that she could not move it. She knew the Fairy-lore of her neighbor-hood, and she understood that the Fairies had, by revealing the chair, intended it for her, but there she was on the wild mountain, far away from home, without anyone near to assist her in carrying it away.
And often had she heard that such treasures were to be taken possession of at once, or they would disappear forever. She did not know what to do, but all at once she thought, if she could by attaching the yarn in her hand to the chair connect it thus with her home, the chair would be hers’ forever. Acting upon this suggestion she forthwith tied the yarn to the foot of the chair, and commenced unrolling the ball, walking the while homewards. But long before she could reach her home the yarn in the ball was exhausted; she, however, tied it to the yarn in the stocking which she had been knitting, and again started towards her home, hoping to reach it before the yarn in the stocking would be finished, but she was doomed to disappointment, for that gave out before she could arrive at her father’s house. She had nothing else with her to attach to the yarn. She, however, could now see her home, and she began to shout, hoping to gain the ear of her parents, but no one appeared. In her distress she fastened the end of the yarn to a large stone, and ran home as fast as she could. She told her parents what she had done, and all three proceeded immediately towards the stone to which the yarn had been tied, but they failed to discover it. The yarn, too, had disappeared.
They continued a futile search for the golden chair until driven away by the approaching night. The next day they renewed their search, but all in vain, for the girl was unable to find the spot where she had first seen the golden chair. It was believed by everybody that the Fairies had not only removed the golden chair, but also the yarn and stone to which the yarn had been attached, but people thought that if the yarn had been long enough to reach from the chair to the girl’s home then the golden chair would have been hers’ forever.
Such is the tale. People believe the golden chair is still hidden away in the mountain, and that someday or other it will be given to those for whom it is intended. But it is, they say, no use anyone looking for it, as it is not to be got by searching, but it will be revealed, as if by accident, to those fated to possess it.
TITLE: Welsh Folk-Lore (1887)
BY: Elias Owen