Friday Night Folklore: The Priest's Little Box

Once upon a time there was a priest who was thought to be a white wizard with the power to exorcise and bind demons. Once he was riding out on an errand and had taken a young serving boy with him. They had ridden for a while when the priest suddenly remembered that he had forgotten to take with him a little box he always carried with him and sent the boy back home to get it, warning him not to open the box.

The boy rode home and found the box where his master had told him. But as he was riding back with it he was overcome with curiosity about the contents of the box and opened it to have a look inside. Out flew a myriad of midges, in a cloud so thick that he could not see the sky for it. He heard it buzz into his ear: “What to do, what to do?”

The boy realised that they must be imps and could easily harm him. But he was a quick thinker and answered: “Braid me a rope from the sand.”

After some time the midges came back and buzzed: “It is done, what to do now?”

“Go back in the box,” said the boy, and the midges obeyed.

Shortly after this he caught up with his master, who asked if the had done what he was told, but the boy had to admit that he had not, and told him everything that had happened. The priest was impressed by his quick thinking and said the deserved to be allowed to have some schooling.

The place where the imps braided the sand can still be seen to this day.


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