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Folklore and Legends - Herefordshire

Baby

A Herefordshire mother many years ago was very worried about her infant son, although it had been a beautiful baby at birth it had become very ugly as time went on. It wouldn’t grow no matter how much it was fed, and it never stirred from its cot.
This went on for many years until her eldest son came home on leave from the army, he took one look at the child laying in its cot and realised that it was a changeling and that his baby brother had been taken by the faeries.
So after taking advice from the local wise woman he started to prepare two emptied eggshells which he filled with malt and hops.
These were carefully placed over the fire in a pan. The baby watched the soldier with great interest, and when the mixture began to boil, started to laugh declaring that although he had lived for a thousand years he had never seen beer brewed in eggshells before.
The changeling then realised he had been tricked into revealing his true identity and flew quickly out of the window before the soldier could catch him.
Within minutes the real son walked into the house much to the delight of his mother and brother.

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