The Fairy Cup

Ah, the magic of the old stories! We're getting close to March, the season for stories of fairies and the little people. Here's a bit from a story that paints vivid images in my head. A man who stumbles upon a fairy dance, and what ensues.

 “...Seeing a door open in the side of the barrow he went up to it and looked in, and there he beheld a large and luminous house, full of people, women as well as men, who were reclining as at a solemn banquet. One of the attendants, seeing him standing at the door, offered him a cup.

He took it, but would not drink, and pouring out the contents, kept the vessel. A great tumult arose at the banquet on account of his taking away the cup, and all the guests pursued him, but he escaped by the fleetness of the beast he rode, and got into the town with his booty.

Finally this vessel of unknown material, of unusual colour, and of extraordinary form, was presented to Henry the Elder, King of the English,as a valuable gift ; was then given to the Queen's brother, David, King of the Scots, and was kept for several years in the treasury of Scotland. A few years ago, as I have heard from good authority, it was given by William, King of the Scots, to Henry the Second, who wished to see it."

Excerpted from The Fairy Cup, in Folklore and Legends of Scotland by Charles Tibbits.

Image of the Dunvegan Fairy Cup from Wikipedia.