No Good would come of it, said the neighbours, since she was far too beautiful for her own good. She lived with her widowed mother in a poor cottage in the Teifi valley, not far from Cilgerran. Every day she had the task of driving the family cows back and forth between their grazing meadow and the cowshed milking times but almost every day she angered her mother by loitering on the way, picking flowers, chasing butterflies or sitting and watching rabbits in the fields. Some of the neighbours complained that Mrs Rhys chided the girl too much and that her sharp tongue would lead to trouble.
One day Shui went to fetch the cows early in the morning and did not reappear until bed time, having left her mother to deal with the animals all by herself. Naturally the mother worried terribly about her daughters whereabouts and when the girl got home she got a real telling off. Shui replied am sorry mam but i couldn’t help it have been with the Tylwyth Teg. Mrs Rhys was aghast at this but she knew that there were fairies in the woods between Cilgerran and Cardigan. She urged her daughter to tell her more; reluctantly Shui confessed that the fairies danced around her making music on their tiny little harps. They spoke to her in a language to beautiful to be repeated and although she could not understand the words she knew well enough what they meant.
After that Shui went missing on many occasions but neither her mother nor the neighbours could bring themselves to chide her or shut her into the house for fear of offending the Tylwyth Teg. At last one night Shui did not come home at all. In alarm her mother called out all the neighbours and they searched the woods all the way to Cardigan town but there was no sign of her, she was never to be seen again.
Her mother watched in the cow meadow on the Teir nos ysprydion the three nights of the year when the goblins are said to be out and about. But the beautiful daughter never returned. Years later there was a wild rumour that she had been in some great city in a foreign land but the general opinion was that she had been carried off into fairyland and had decided to stay there to enjoy its constant delights and to escape the sharp tongue of her mother.
Source…the last dragon by Brian john Green croft books 1992.
The beautiful Shui Rhys awakes to the sound of the bird’s chorus,She follows her heart to a sacred place to see the Fairies dance to the rhythm of a harp, laughter echoes across the meadow, inspiring nature to embrace the beautiful maiden, the old oak tree whisper’s wise words against her soft skin,as the leaves brush against her face, she is called upon as the chosen one.
Poetry by Georgia Louise