There is an old tale in Cornwall of a failed faerie snatch, it happened in a remote
moorland cottage near Towednack. The mother's name was Betty Stogs; she lived
there with her husband and six month old baby. She was a slovenly neglectful mother
and would leave the baby alone all day in the cottage with just a cat for company.
Her neighbours angrily asked her why she didn't look after the baby better as the
child was getting so dirty but she just replied that the moor was a cold place and a
good layer of dirt kept it warm. One night after being away all day Betty returned
home to find the baby and the cat gone, she and her husband searched the cottage
and then started to search the cold moor but they could find no sign of the child
or the cat. Betty resumed her search the next morning and as she was walking over a
nearby tor spotted the cat in the distance. She hurried after the animal and followed
it into a furze bush where she discovered a bundle of old fashioned chintz, inside was
the baby fast asleep. It was dressed in beautiful silk clothes and scented with sweet
herbs, it's own rags were nowhere to be seen and for the first time it was clean.
When her neighbours heard this declared that the baby had been taken by the faeries
to take back to the faerie realm. However it must have taken them so long to clean it's
filthy little body that they ran out of time before the sun rose and left it hidden in
the furze bush, meaning to come back for it later.