On the banks of the river Fowey, near Lostwithiel, there yet lives a farmer who, possessing intelligence beyond his neighbours, was regarded, thirty years since, as the Solon of his parish, St. Veep. With this person I was spending some holidays; and he kindly placed at my disposal a very beautiful little pony, on which, day after day, I explored the cultivated glades and wild moors of the neighbourhood. The pony was regularly, after having been fed, turned out into a fertile meadow at night. One morning, this little creature was discovered to be ill. It revived, however; and was thought towards evening to be again quite well. Morning after morning ‘pony’ was prostrate – suffering from some intermittent disease. The village farrier was called in; ho at once declared that the pony was ‘pixy ridden’, and it was resolved to watch the field at night. How the watch was kept I have forgotten; but well do I remember two men informing my credulous host – who believed all they said – that they saw five little men like apes, the tallest of whom was not more than six inches high – go into the field and engage in wrestling. The contest was long, and for some time very equally maintained; but at length one of these small men succeeded in throwing, a fair back throw, each of the other four. The victor was then described as jumping on the back of the pony – dancing in the most grotesque manner – and singing very obscene songs; whilst the others, howling with wrath and pain, so terrified the poor animal that, in wild affright, it galloped furiously around the field for upwards of an hour – the little ape-like man in no respect diminishing his zeal, but continuing to dance most furiously, until the poor beast fell panting, exhausted, beside the hedge. Such was the tale believed by a respectable and, as education went in those days, an educated farmer. The pony was kept in the stable at night – the door of the stable being fastened with a green twig of the ‘scow’ (elder tree) to keep out all unnatural intruders: the result of which treatment was, as might have been expected, the gradual abatement of a disease due entirely to cold and exposure (Pixy Rider 1846).