There once was a little creature called a Neery; a kind of winged fairy that for 364 days of the year was invisible to human beings but that always could be seen in the silver moonlight of a New Years Eve.
And it was said that if you caught a Neery and tied it to a red string, it would have to lead you to its wishing wheel; a little spinning wheel that could grant any number of wishes to its owner.
And, one New Years Eve, a young man called Ned went into the forest to find a Neery and saw a group of them having a New Years Eve party, drinking fairy-wine from thimble sized cups and dancing round in a circle while one little Neery, seated upon a toadstool, played a jig upon a tiny silver fiddle.
And the Neeries were all so caught up in their dancing and the music that they didn't hear Ned creeping up close to them.
But then, suddenly, Ned snatched hold of the fiddle playing Neery and, quickly, he tied a long piece of red string about the tiny mans waist.
"Aha!", he said, "I've got you, you little rascal. Now take me to your wishing wheel".
"Very well", said the Neery, calmly, "You've caught me fair and square mortal and so I will lead you to my wishing wheel but don't forget this. You can never speak when you are holding a Neery captive for if you utter even one single syllable then a Neery will be able to undo the string you've tied him to and vanish in the wink of an eye"
And so, heeding the Neerys warning, Ned kept his lips tightly sealed as the Neery led him to his wishing wheel.
Infact Ned kept silent even as the Neery was leading him across the middle of an icy cold brook, over fences and through scratchy thorn bushes.
Although many times he wanted to say, "Why do we have to go through these scratchy thorn bushes?", he kept silent because he knew that speaking even one word would let the Neery get away.
But then as Ned was following the Neery through the centre of his village he saw a reveler coming the other way; a man who had obviously had a bit too much to drink and who, seeing him, shouted, "Happy New Year to you Ned".
And because Ned couldn't speak he just pretended not to hear the man and kept walking.
But the Neery, making himself invisible, shouted,
"And a happy new year to you, you ugly pig".
The reveler stopped and looked angrilly at Ned.
"What did you say?", he asked.
Unfortunately, because Ned couldn't speak he couldn't explain that it was not him who had called the reveler an ugly pig but the Neery tied to his string and then, to make matters worse, the Neery spoke again.
"I said happy new year to you, you moron", it said.
And this second insult was too much for the drunken reveler to bear so, without even a warning, he thumped Ned hard upon the nose and Ned gave out a loud "Ow".
But then, the moment that he did, the Neery was able to untie the string around his waist and, quick as the wink of an eye, fly away.
He left behind something though; a little note tied to the red string in Neds hand.
"Happy New Year", it said, "From the Neeries".