A Voyage with the Piskies *

* Suitable for a bedtime story

Porthallow is a hamlet near Talland Bay with a few scattered farmhouses and a Green. One day a young farmhand was sent off on an errand to Polperro to the shop. He was running along on his way back when he heard a voice saying, "I am for Porthallow Green." The young man stopped and enjoying a bit of banter, he echoed, "I am for Porthallow Green" wishing he was there already. And he found himself on the Green surrounded by little laughing piskies.

After a few moments a cry was heard, "I am for Seaton Beach." Thinking this was fun the lad repeated, "I am for Seaton Beach." In an instant he found himself on Seaton Beach. He put his errand down and joined a ring of piskies dancing on the sand. Then the cry came again,"I am for the King of France's Cellar." Hopefully, the lad repeated, "I am for the King of France's Cellar." He found himself being poured a drink of the finest wine in the King of France's very best cellar.

He explored his new surrounding in astonishment for he had never been far from his village. This was a splendid building with a fine table laid out for a feast. Thinking he would like a souvenir of some sort, he quickly pocketed a golden goblet from the table before the cry came again, "I am for Seaton Beach." The lad repeated, "I am for Seaton Beach", not particularly wanting to be left in a foreign land forever, rich as it was. Reaching the beach he was just in time to retrieve his parcel from the tide when the cry came, "I am for Portallow Green" and the lad repeated, "I am for Porthallow Green" and he was soon back in Porthallow.

That night he told his family about his adventure and they looked at one another and said "The boy is mazed." And the boy, knowing they would have thought this, pulled a shining treasure from his pocket. The farm hand's family examined the golden goblet belonging to the King of France in amazement and it stayed in the family for generations.

retold by Anna Chorlton

Reference: 'The History of Polperro' by Jonathan Couch

  • Downderry / Seaton