Woon Gumpus

THE GUMP (WOON GUMPUS COMMON)

The Gump

This is a barren plain right below Carn Kenidzhek. It is a well known haunt of the fairies, and this wild stretch of perilous land was deftly avoided by everyone for fear of being pixy-led.  One man was crossing The Gump at twilight on a fine summer’s evening when the sweetest music alighted to his ears.  He was drawn to it and followed the sound.  He came upon a fairy gathering with musicians working at their instruments, stalls with beautiful wares tempting him to purchase laden with garlands and flowers.

The old man lay hidden and wiggled closer on the ground to get a good look –  what most attracted his attention were the marvelously fashioned articles laid out on the stalls.  He longed for some and letting good sense fly, threw his hat among the company and made a mad dash for the treasures.  But when he looked at his hat and what he grabbed, it was only a couple of snails and some spider webs with spangled with dew drops.

A far less charming story is also attached to this stretch of land, darker and far more perilous.  There are stories of an old half-starved horse that is ridden hard over the common by the arch-fiend, at night.  He is hunting the lost souls over the heath, up to an old stile where is carven and old ancient evil name where they cannot pass, and he catches them there.

This common is littered with ancient barrows and standing stones and has borne the long ages of folktales and fairy stories associated with it for all this time.

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