5. ‘Yallery Brown’

Told in first person by a man – when he was 16 or 18 worked at High Farm.

Tom fond his work was hard, his pay good but couldn't abide work. Every Sunday evening , walked back to work – took path across field by spinney and fox covert. The spinney said to be haunted – lots fairy stones and rings along grass edge. It was a beautiful July night, with lots little sounds, grass chattering, soft wind when he heard heart-breaking sound of sobbing like a baby, couldn't locate sound. Sound got louder saw it was under a great big stone by hedge – a 'Strangers Stone' “where the good folk danced on moonlit nights.” He lifted the stone saw a tiddy thing lying on his back blinking up at the moon. No bigger than a year old brat, long clotted hair and beard twisted round body. Hair yellow and shining but face looked hundreds of years old. Skin brown. The creature said “Tom thou's a good lad” and offers to help him by giving him a wife “the rampinest lass in town” or “as much gold as one can carry” but Tom just asked for help with his work. Creature “Yallery Brown” told him never to thank him. The next morning when he went back to work he found everything done and he could sit down with hands in pocket. He would see Yallery Brown in the evenings hopping about. By and by everything began to go ‘arsy-varsy’ and others work began to be undone. He tried to do his own work but tools ran away from him. The others told the master and he was sacked. Tom went to look for the boggart and as soon as he called him “to come out from the mools” he appeared. Tom said to him ‘I’ll thank thee to leave me alone’. The boggart said he would leave him alone, called him a fool and gave him fools luck for the rest of his life. “Work as thou will, thou'll never do well, work as though might, thou'll never gain ought, for harm an' mischance and Yallery Brown, thou let out thyself fro' under the stone.”Tom had bad luck ever since.