As new mothers will, they chatted and exclaimed about one another's infants, though the human woman saw that the Fee's child was nine times finer than her own. She said as much to the Fee.
"Will you exchange them then?" asked the Fee, holding her baby out.
"Oh, 'Madame Fee," said the woman, "though your child be more beautiful than the moon and more glorious than the sun, still I will not change it for my own." And she clutched her baby to her breast and went immediately home.
A few days later, the woman left her child sleeping in the cottage and went outside into her garden to pick some peas. When she returned she saw that the child in the cradle was not her own. It was an ugly, wizened thing, with thinning hair and a permanent sneer.
Weeping and wailing, she cried until her heart almost burst in two. But the cure, the local priest, was walking by and hearing her sobs, came in.
"Ah, my daughter, and you believe a Fee has exchanged her child for yours," said the cure. "But sometimes what looked lovely at first glance seems ugly later on. Are you certain?"
"I am the mother," said the woman. "Of course I am certain."
"First I shall need proof," said the cure, and he broke a dozen eggs and ranged the shells before the child.
The child sat up in the cradle, something no month old child can do, and cried out, "Oh! What a number of cream pots. Oh! What a number of cream pots!"
"Aha," said the cure. "A changeling indeed."
"Now what to do?" asked the woman, "who had never been in doubt that the child in the cradle, was not hers.
"Take it to the marketplace, " advised the cure, "and make it scream lustily."
So the woman did this at once, and in the marketplace she set about berating the changeling, pinching it and shouting at it till it began to cry loud and long.
At once the Fee appeared with the woman's own child in her arms.
"Stop, stop, do not hurt my baby," said the Fee. "Take yours back, and we will be quits."
Hastily, the woman took her own child back and, the exchange being made, ran gratefully home.
She was never bothered by the Fee again.