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Notes, types and motifs

Notes for the story 'Dafydd Morgan, Pant-y-craf, is Pressed Against the Hedge by a Funeral'

The influence of Cassie Davies' family home on her life was a far-reaching one. 'Well, I'm sure that the greatest influence by far on my life is the family home: what we heard, what we we used to entertain ourselves, entertain each other. No other single influence on my life has been deeper than that. She [her mother, Mary Davies] was most interested in literature...It was she who taught us recitation. And she had a good number of things by heart...riddles and proverbs and verses and old poems. She was rich in that aspect of things. She could sing, mind...But it was my father [John Davies] who was the singer. He was a musician, no doubt of it. He was a musician of genius, I have not one doubt....I said once that, in chapel, a sermon to him was something that came between two hymns, and that harvest was something that came between one eisteddfod and the next.'

Cassie Davies also greatly appreciated the influence of one teacher in particular at Tregaron High School, Samuel Morris Powell. He was a teacher from 1903-45, and Principal of the school from 1937-45. The school had created an awareness in her of 'belonging to a particular locality. There was one teacher who was at least fifty years before his time at this school, Mr Powell...And he made connections between Welsh, History and Geography - those were his subjects. And he did local history, the history of our neighbourhood. Now we knew everything about the legends of this area, the Ystrad Meurig and Ystrad-fflur area, and Llanddewi and Llangeitho and Tregaron, the Roman road in Llanio, and so on.'

Cassie Davies heard the story of Dafydd Morgan seeing a funeral when she was a young girl at home in Cae Tudur, Blaen Caron, from her father, John Davies. He was born in Cae Tudur and his family had lived in the area for generations. It seems her father heard the story from a neighbour. It was a custom in those days for neighbours to call by and tell stories of this kind: 'That's how it would be, you know, somebody, some neighbour would call, and the conversation would turn to this man.' Her father used the word toili for this kind of vision, and Cassie Davies says that he himself believed in the toili and that the time the toili was seen was significant: if the toili was seen early at night, this would be a sign that a young person would die, and seeing a toili later was a portent of an older person's death. Having told this story Cassie Davies goes on to discuss some other signs that were thought to prefigure death, such as the corpse candle, dogs howling, the corpse bird, and hearing a bell ringing in your ear.


ML 4002 (W)Supernatural manifestations.
ML 4031 (W) cGhostly experiences.
ML 4040 (W)Premonitions of death.
ML 4040 (W) cToili (the phantom funeral).


D 1825.7Magic sight of incident before it actually happens.
1825.7.1Person sees phantom funeral procession some time before actual procession takes place.
E 332.2Person meets ghost on road.
E 421.1.1Ghost visible to one person alone.

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