There was a parcel of children picking primroses and one of them wandered off down into Goblin Combe. She were only a tot and didn’t know better. So she was lost and she cried till the tears ran down like rain and she threw herself down on the ground and her bunch of primroses struck a rock. All at once the rock opens and out comes the fairies to tend to her tears. Then they gave her a golden ball and led her safe home, on account of that she was carrying primroses.
It was the wonder of the village that she was brought home safe but the conjuror he got the notion that he could be going after a golden ball or two. So off he went with a bunch of primroses to Goblin Combe and he got to the rock not without a fright or two on the way and dashed the flowers against it. Well it wasn’t the right day, nor the right number of primroses, and he wasn’t no dear little soul either – so they took him!
Primroses, culver-keys and forget-me-nots, are all magic spring worts, but you have to have the right number in the bunch.
Collected by Ruth Tongue who heard the account from two old ladies who related it in chorus : Clevedon, Somerset 1945.