The Piskie Little Folk of Duloe: Much has been said, and written, about Cornwall's small piskie folk, but few of these stories are as enchanting and strange as that of "Peter Treagle". It is this very story that I shall now remember, and write on this page for you all to enjoy. Keep in mind, as you read, that the little folk may hide one or two secrets....
Peter Treagle was a farmer, a good farmer, and honest man. Many years he toiled in the fields, and many years he brought food and love to his wife’s dinner table. Their children were strong, wise, and blessed with their parents good health and nature. Seasons passed, and all was well in the Treagle household.
However, the winter of 1789 brought with it the most wretched of hard frosts, and blasted the land with one mighty icy breath. All winter crop was ruined, with not even a turnip or shriveled carrot to place upon the faithful stove. Poor Treagle did despair. What were they to do? The winter could last a fair few months, and all the family could perish. Reduced to skin and bone, and braving the chilling air, Treagle made his way to the Rounding Stone, up on the hill above the farm. The stone formed part of a ancient circle, whose purpose had long since been forgotten, but legend told that a prayer could be answered, but the Piskie Folk of the glen. Few have seen a piskie, but those that have describe them as "folk, like you and me, but only 3 foot tall. Dressed in a green and gold, with a song in their heart and a cheeky grin". Few still knew of their true purpose in this world, and some would state they are the original owners of the land, who have been driven underground by the oversized newcomers. Treagle did not think on this, on this freezing night, his business was plain to see. He wished the piskies to help him thaw his frozen land, using any powers which the little folk kept secret from ignorant man. It has been told, in hushed tones, that the Piskies were the druids, and have strong connections with the soil and leaf. It was this very talent which Treagle needed, and hoped to high heaven that they would assist him in his mission. He knew the rhyme, and piskie dance, which would be needed to bring them forth. He lit the largest candle which fluttered on the midnight breeze, and began the song...
good, and Piskies freed, come and dance your dance with me.
He sang the song, and danced the jig, but no-one appeared from the glen or pasture. With a heavy heart, Treagle blew out his candle, and turned to leave for home. There his wife would nag and say "I told you so". As he took his first step he heard a sound, the quietest of sounds, not even a whisper. A laugh? A song? Or perhaps a whistle? Treagle could not be sure, but out of the corner of his eye, he saw the smallest little Piskie folk that he could ever have imagined. A rapid movement, from stone to stone, which was hard to follow. With one final leap the figure disappeared back from whence it came. Treagle's heart was lifted, as he thought on the Piskie fellow. Did this mean that they would help him, and feed his starving kind? He returned to the farm, with a smug look upon his face, "lovely Mrs. treagle will not believe a word", the swarthy farmer thought to himself, without a care in the world. For, Treagle knew of one thing, the Piskies had answered his call. A heavy sleep did follow, but the Treagle tummies were still empty.
That was until, that very next morn, Mrs. Treagle opened the farmhouse door. There at her feet, for all to see, were baskets of fruit and fayre. A feast was laid before the town, and all the folk were more than merry. Treagle did not talk of his good fortune, and few had time to ask. For mouths were full, and faces were joyous, so not a soul had intentions to spoil the day.
Once all had departed, and dusk began to fall, Treagle returned to the stone circle, to thank the little folk of the glen. He did not know for certain, if they would hear his words, but he sang them into the growing gloom, like a man with new found life....
folk both fine and fair, I thank you for the pasties, both tasty and belly
was fully aware that his song was pretty awful, but he sang it anyway.
It drifted on the night air, and was answered by the hoot of an owl. He
knew, that before dawn, he would know the cost of the Piskie delivery.
It was at this moment that Treagle had his first doubt, "but what
if the Piskies want something I can not offer"? He lumbered down
the ferny banks, and returned to the farm. All were asleep as he entered,
but he knew he would not sleep. Perhaps he should wait, out in the barn,
to see the Piskies arrive and leave their demand.
Many hours past, and the creatures of the glen came and went, about thier nightly business. Treagle was a patient fellow, and did not mind the wait. Low and behold, he suddenly felt a pulling at his sleeve. The little Piskie fellow was sitting by his side...
who do you wait, old Treagle, who do you wait for this night,
gasped in surprise, but soon forgot the fellows size when he saw his pitiful
state. The poor little mite was dressed in rags, and was freezing in the
gloom. How could Treagle have known, of the little fellows plight? He
felt ashamed, with his belly full, and dressed head to toe in leather.
He pleaded with the Piskie, to announce what he wanted in return, but
the Piskie would hear nothing of it, as it was not how things were done.
So, instead, Treagle ran to the house and snatched up a tasty pasty, and
some warm woolen blankets from the fireside. He quickly returned to the
barn, to help the weakling Piskie, but he found only his lamp... and no-one
there. The poor little fellow had gone. With a heavy heart Treagle slumped
into bed, and told his wife his story. She too felt her heart go forth,
and began to think upon what they could do, to help the little creature.
By afternoon, the Treagles all had made the sweetest garment. Using scraps and pieces of the finest leather they had made a Piskie coat, with matching boots and breeches. The youngest Treagle was just finishing off the sweetest of woolen shirts. Ahhh, t’was a fine outfit, and fit for a Piskie King. So, they all set off up the hill, to the stone circle at Duloe. Mrs. Treagle had composed a short song, as she knew her husband was talentless in the musical department, and sang it to the afternoon...
fellow, come forth and see, the present that we have for thee,
all sang to the growing gloom, with all hope that the little piskie would
come forth from out of the glen....
thank you, kind people, why thank you indeed,
with that the Piskie jumped into the air, around Treagles head, and planted
a kiss on his rosy red cheek. Then he jumped again, and planted a kiss
on Mrs. Treagles rosy red cheek. Then, with a twist and a giggle, the
little fellow disappeared back into the glen, never to be seen again.
©Copyright - Jonathan Boakes - 2005 - Taken from 'Dark Fall 2: Lights Out'.
Dark Fall 2: Lights Out is a non-violent ghosthunting adventure game for the PC Home Computer, and published across the globe in 6 languages. More info click here.
Duloe Stone Circle is based in Cornwall, England, and can be visited at all times of the day and year. This ancient druidic circle was the inspiration for 'Barrow Hill', a creepy new adventure game available from Got Game Entertainment (US) or Lighthouse Interactive (EU) from October 2006. More info click here.