The First Mole of Cornwall

Alice was a beautiful girl but proud and vain, she was the only daughter of her widowed mother and they lived together in the Coombe, Morwenstowe. One day they had been invited to a grand banquet at Stow, home of Sir Beville Grenville, the King's general, and his very, very, very tall bodyguard Anthony Payne. Now Alice really liked their host and she had dressed up in her best velvet dress and cloak. She hung lots of jewels round her neck and from her ears, and she put a big diamond ring on her finger.


Her Mother said,

“All evening I will be praying he likes you as much as you do him.”

And Alice said,

“I see in the mirror, I look so lovely I will not need your prayer.”


All of a sudden, Alice cried out and she fell to the ground and disappeared forever.


The next day, the Coombe gardener discovered a small, unknown hillock with a sparkling ring on the top. The ring was the one Alice had worn but it had a new inscription on it,


“The earth must hide

Both eyes with pride.”


As he said the words there was a small cry at his feet and a creature clothed in velvet, groped around in darkness. She was the first mole of Cornwall.


Retold by Anna Chorlton


  • Boscastle, Bude and Beyond