Midwinter Folk Tales

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Title: Midwinter Folk Tales

Writer: Taffy Thomas

Publishing House: The History Press

Date of Publication: February 1st 2015 (first published October 15th 2014)

Rating: 5 stars

‘’Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fore, it is the time for home.’’

 Edith Sitwell

As we are preparing to say ‘’goodbye’’ to this year’s winter, this collection of folk tales will make us feel warm and cosy. And yes, this may sound cliche and meaningless but Taffy Thomas is like a voice guiding you through mysteries and songs and tales of the olden days. There are tales of St. Nicholas and the Holy Family. The night when Christ came into this world, the cat that wanted to sing a lullaby for Him, the young woman who gave shelter, the old man who led the Holy Family to safety while King Herod was carrying out his monstrous task, the robin and the spider and the fir tree that provided its wood to make a cradle for the Lord.

Tales of great liars and cunning farmers. The Christmas Truce of 1914. The curse of an innocent man convicted of petty theft, the eerie encounter of a driver with an avid chess player. The legend of the Mistletoe Bride, the Ghost Ship of Cumbria, and the cow that ate a piper who was too ‘’smart’’ for his own good. From the Cumbrian Winter Dragon to wassailing and the flames of Up Helly Aa in Shetland, winter is a time of wonders.

  As winter is slowly preparing to bid us adieu, these lovely, moving folk tales remind us of the warmth within the cold and the light within the darkness…

‘’There will come a time of great plenty

  a time of good harvest and song

Til then pit your trust in tomorrow, my friend,

  For Yesterday’s over and done.

And the snow falls

and the wind calls

and the year turns round again.’’

  John Tams