1. ‘Tiddy Mun’

Told by an old woman, a life-long dweller of the Carrs who used to carry out the ritual herself though she would “not confess to it within the hearing of her grandchildren, whose indifference and disbelief shocked her greatly”.

Out on the Carrs, Boggarts, will o'tha wykes, todlowries dancing on tussocks, witches riding on black snags. People carried witches pink and bible ball for protection. The people suffered with ague at the timea nd would shake and sup gin or eat opium. They knew that the ague came form the marshes and that they would be drained but they didn't want the work done as “bad's bad, but meddling's worse.” Locals would not give 'the Dutchies' bed or board. Tiddy Mun lived in the water holes and would come out in the evening. White beard, grey clothes, no bigger than a three year old bairn. “Tiddy Mun wi-out a name, white heed, walkin' lame; while the watter teems the fen, Tiddy Mun 'll harm nane.” He walked limpelty-lobelty to the sound of the peewype screetch. When the water coming up to the doorsills people would go out at the time of the first New Moon and call out to tiddymun for help “Tiddy Mun, wi'out a name, tha watters thruff.” By morning the water would be down. People were bothered when the drainage was carried out. Dutchies would disappear. Cows pined, pigs starved, ponies lame, brats sick, lambs dwined, milk craddled. Thatch fell in and walls burst out. All 'arsy-varsy'. The people realised they needed to call for the help of Tiddy Mun and went out at the next new moon. They found that the boggarts and the Jack o' Lanterns had gone with the drainage. They all brought a stoup of fresh water at the dyke edge looking over the new River and called out “Tiddy Mun, wi'out a name, Here's watter for thee, tak tha spell undone!” They poured the water out and heard a wailing and a whimpering all around them, and the mothers heard and felt their dead children. Then all went still and quiet and they went home and things got better. But every New Moon they went out again to the nearest dyke-edge and poured water in the dykes. She had seen Tiddy Mun her self, but not for a long time. He's gone now.