THERE lived once, near Tiis lake, two lonely people, who were sadly plagued with a changeling, given them by the underground-people instead of their own child, which had not been baptised in time. This changeling behaved in a very strange and uncommon manner, for when there was no one in the place, he was in great spirits, ran up the walls like a cat, sat under the roof, and shouted and bawled away lustily; but sat dozing at the end of the table when any one was in the room with him. He was able to eat as much as any four, and never cared what it was that was set before him; but though he regarded not the quality of his food, in quantity be was never satisfied, and gave excessive annoyance to every one in the house.
When they had tried for a long time in vain how they could best get rid of him, since there was no living in the house with him, a smart girl pledged herself that she would banish him from the house. She accordingly, while he was out in the fields, took a pig and killed it, and put it, hide, hair, and all, into a black pudding, and set it before him when he came home. He began, as was his custom, to gobble it up, but when he had eaten for some time, he began to relax a little in his efforts, and at last he sat quite still, with his knife in his hand, looking at the pudding.
At length, after sitting for some time in this manner, he began--" A pudding with hide!--and a pudding with hair! a pudding with eyes!--and a pudding with legs in it! Well, three times have I seen a young wood by Tiis lake, but never yet did I see such a pudding! The devil himself may stay here now for me!" So saying,he ran off with himself; and never more came back again.[a]
Another changeling was got rid of in the following manner. The mother, suspecting it to be such from its refusing food, and being so ill-thriven, heated the oven as hot as possible. The maid, as instructed, asked her why she did it. "To burn my child in it to death," was the reply. When the question had been put and answered three times, she placed the child on the peel, and was shoving it into the oven, when the Troll-woman came in a great fright with the real child, and took away her own, saying, "There's your child for you. I have treated it better than you treated mine," and in truth it was fat and hearty.
[a] Oral. See the Young Piper and the Brewery of Egg-shells in the Irish Fairy Legends, with the notes. The same story is also to be found in Germany where the object is to make the changeling laugh. The mother breaks an egg in two and sets water down to boil in each half shell. The imp then cries out: "Well! I 'm as old as the Westerwald, but never before saw I any one cooking in egg-shells," and bunt out laughing at it. Instantly the true child was returned.--Kinder and Haus--Märchen, iii. 39. Grose also tells the story in his Provincial Glossary. The mother there breaks a dozen of eggs and sets the shells before the child, who says, "I was seven years old when I came to nurse, and I have lived four since, and yet I never saw so many milkpans." See also Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and below, Wales, Brittany, France.