In the late 12th century Giraldus Cambrensis related the story of a boy by the name of Elidyr (or Elidorus) who ran away at a tender age from a cruel teacher and concealed himself in a hollow beside the River Neath.
Now, whilst in his hiding place, the boy was approached by two little men who led him through a cave into a beautiful land full of riches and whose people were all small but extremely beautiful with silken golden hair. Elidyr was introduced to the King of this otherworld, and later spent his time playing with a golden ball with the King’s son.
After some time Elidyr found his way back to our world and on reaching home and being welcomed by his mother, told her his tale. He was to make many more journeys back and forth. On one of these occasions his poor mother begged her son to bring back with him the golden ball, that they might be rich and so off he went. Playing once again with the King’s son, he stole the ball and made off back towards our world. He was chased at great speed by the two little men who caught him as he stumbled away. They seized back the ball and left him outside the cave chastising him for betraying their trust in him.
After this episode, though he tried many times to re-enter that otherworld he never could find his way back in again. Elidyr eventually did qualify as a priest and as ‘Elidorus’ related this tale to his archbishop some years later.