Betty Stogs of Towednack was a very lazy girl indeed. Although married a year, with her own cottage on the moors to look after and a new born baby to nurse, she spent very little time at home. In fact, the little one's most constant companion was the cat, with which it shared its cradle and its food. It distressed everyone except Betty to see the baby so dirty. "Towednack is a windy place an' cold, "she always said. "A good layer of dirt will keep 'n warm."
One evening Betty was particularly late home, dusk having fallen upon the moors and the summer moon risen high. Entering the dark cottage, she could see no baby in the cradle, and no cat. They were nowhere to be found. Frantically Betty searched everywhere, well aware that Jan, her husband, was due home from the mine at any minute and would be very angry. Indeed, he was incensed, shouting at Betty and flinging out of the house to tell the neighbours of the disaster, while she sat down uselessly and cried.
The search for the baby went on throughout the night, everyone joining in. Each croft and hedge, each bush and bank was carefully combed. Then towards the break of day, Betty spied the cat stalking towards her. It turned, and led her to a thicket of fern and furze. To her great relief, upon a patch of grass lay the little child fast asleep. It was naked, pink and clean, and close wrapped in layers of chintz smelling sweetly of herbs and flowers.
The wise ones said the Small People were responsible, having wanted the neglected mite for themselves but that dawn had surprised them before they got the baby clean enough for their liking. They told Betty that the next night the faeries would have to come back for it, a warning which she took much to heart. Thereafter, she cared for the child as devotedly as the Small People would have done themselves.
Betty Stogs as portrayed by Skinners
Adopted by Skinners Brewery of Truro as the
name for one of their flagship Real ales and now it's best seller. Betty
has endeared herself to real ale drinkers throughout the county and
crowned "Cornish Supreme Champion Ale". She won the 'Best Bitter' class at
the 2008 Great British Beer Festival, a truly well deserved win for what I
think is the greatest Real ale in Cornwall!! Well done Skinners Brewery.