4. ‘The Green Mist’

Told to the man by his fathers grandfather when he was a 'tiddy brat' so 100 years old.

People in the old days gave things to the bogles and such to keep them friendly. At night they would carry a light round the houses, saying words to keep them off. They would smear blood on the door sill and bread and salt on the flat stones by the lane, to get a good harvest, spill water in 4 corners of the field if wanted rain and pour wine on door sill at cock crow to bring good luck to New Year.

They believed earth sleeps over the winter bogles get up to mischief and in Spring they lift a spade of earth from the mools, and say strange words. They would stand on doorstep to watch the Green Mist rise on the fields with bread and salt.

130 years ago a family with a girl who had been a rampin' young maid but had grown white and wafflin like a bag of bones till could not stand up. Expressed aloud to her mother wish to “wake the spring with thee again, maybe the Green Mist would make me strong and well” The Green Mist had not arrived and she was weaker and said “If the Green Mist don't come in the morning I can't wait any longer...if I could only...live as long as one of them cowslips as come every year by the gate and die with the first of them when the summers in.”Mother tells her to “whish” as the bogles always gainhand and could hear what is said. Dawn, the next day brought the Green Mist and the girl was carried to the doorsill and crumbled the bread and salt on the earth and said the strange words.

The girl grew strong and by the time the cowslips were budding she was running about, laughing.

Every morning she would water and tend the cowslips and dance to them in the sunshine.

A boy picked a cowslip and gave it to her. She said not a word but by morning she was a wrinkled, white sunken dead thing. Granther said as “twer all true as death.”