Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Notes, types and motifs

Notes for the story 'Little Yellow Cheese Fetches Yeast for his Mother'

Gwilym Roberts heard this story many times at home in Cae-gwyn, a farm in Dolwyddelan. His father, Richard Owen Roberts, who was born in Llanrhychwyn, near Trefriw, Caernarfonshire, used to tell this story, and he in turn may have heard it from his father, a native of the same area. 'I was the oldest of five, you see, and then Dad used to tell it to Gwen, my sister, and Jean [and me].' Sometimes on Sunday night but, most often, on Saturday night: 'We had to go to Sunday School, you see, on Sunday, and then you had to wash, in a zinc tub, there was no bath in those days. We'd all get into the zinc tub in our turn. And then we'd sit in a row on the sofa, you see, before having our gruel, with a lump of butter in it. We were ready to go to bed now. Dad would tell us the story of the Little Yellow Cheese. He was...[He would] sit on the chair facing us...And then he used to sing: 'Mae Iesu Grist o'n hochor ni,/Fe gollodd Ef ei waed yn lli...' ['Jesus Christ is on our side,/He spilt his blood most copiously...'] before we went to our beds.'

Gwilym Roberts tells the story three times on the tape, with only minor variations. This is the text of the third version. Only in this version is it mentioned that the Little Yellow Cheese went on 'quite a long journey' to fetch yeast. Although Gwilym Roberts told the story three times on the tape, he admitted that he no longer perfectly remembered the exact progression of the tale, especially the opening. In the section which tells of the two men cutting grass and cutting a hedge we see, then (in comparing the written and oral versions) that some words have been added and the order of one sentence changed.


Types

AT 2030The old woman and her pig.

Motifs

B 210Speaking animals.
B 210.1Person frightened by animals successively replying to his remarks.
B 211.2.2Speaking lion.
D 1030Magic food.
D 1036.1.59Magic cheese.
D 1610Magic speaking object.
Z 10Formulistic framework for tales.
Z 18Formulistic conversations.
Z 41The old woman and her pig.


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