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Tales of the Fairies and of the Ghost World

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Author Topic: Tales of the Fairies and of the Ghost World  (Read 495 times)
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« Reply #105 on: September 01, 2009, 11:29:43 pm »

    What of the meat himself and family didn't eat fresh he salted, and now and then of a Sunday evening or a holiday they had a meal of it with cabbage, and it lasted a long time.

    One morning after Tom was gone to the bog to cut turf the wife went out to milk, and what should she see but a cow walking into the fort, and she the living image of Cooby. Soon the cow came out, and with her a girl with a pail and spancel.

    "Oh, then," said Mrs. Connors, "I'd swear that is Cooby, only that we are after eating the most of her. She has the white spots on her back and the horns growing into her eyes."

    The girl milked the cow, and then cow and girl disappeared. Mrs. Connors meant to tell her husband that night about the cow, but she forgot it, they having no meat for supper.

    The following day Tom went again to cut turf, the woman went to milk, and again she saw the cow go into the fort, and the girl come out with a pail and a spancel. The girl tied the cow's legs, and sifting under her began to milk.
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« Reply #106 on: September 01, 2009, 11:30:14 pm »

    "God knows 'tis the very cow, and sure why shouldn't I know Cooby with the three white spots and the bent horns," thought Mrs. Connors, and she watched the cow and girl till the milking was over and thought, "I'll tell Tom to-night, and he may do what he likes, but I'll have nothing to do with fort or fairies myself."

    When Connors came home in the evening, the first words before him were: "Wisha then, Tom, I have the news for you to-night."

    "And what news is it?" asked Tom.

    "You remember Cooby?"

    "Why shouldn't I remember Cooby, and we after eating the most of her?"

    "Indeed then, Tom, I saw Cooby to-day, and she inside in the fort and a girl milking her."

    "Don't be making a fool of yourself. Is it the cow we are eating that would be in the fort giving milk?"

    "Faith, then, I saw her and the three white spots on her back."

    "But what is the use in telling me the like of that," said Tom, "when we haven't but two or three bits of her left inside in the tub?"

    "If we haven't itself, I saw Cooby to-day."
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« Reply #107 on: September 01, 2009, 11:30:29 pm »

    'Well, I'll go in the morning, and if it's our Cooby that's in it I'll bring her home with me," said Tom, "if all the devils in the fort were before me."

    "Ah, Tom, if it's to the fort you'll be going, don't forget to put holy water over you before you go."

    Early in the morning Tom started across his land, and never stopped till he came to the fort, and there, sure enough, he saw the cow walking in through the gap to the fort, and he knew her that minute.

    "Tis my cow Cooby," said Connors, "and I'll have her. I'd like to see the man would keep her from me."

    That minute the girl came out with her pail and spancel and was going up to Cooby.

    "Stop where you are; don't milk that cow!" cried Connors, and springing toward the cow he caught her by the horn. "Let go the cow," said Tom; "this is my cow. It's a year that she's from me now. Go to your master and tell him to come out to me."

    The girl went inside the fort and disappeared; but soon a fine-looking young man came and spoke to Connors. "What are you doing here, my man," asked he, "and why did you stop my servant from milking the cow?"

    "She is my cow," said Tom, "and by that same token I'll keep her; and that's why I stopped the girl from milking her."

    "How could she be your cow? Haven't I this cow a long time, and aren't you after eating your own cow?"

    "I don't care what cow I'm after eating," said Tom. "I'll have this cow, for she is my Cooby."
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« Reply #108 on: September 01, 2009, 11:30:42 pm »

    They argued and argued. Tom declared that he'd take the cow home. "And if you try to prevent me," said he to the man, "I'll tear the fort to pieces or take her with me."

    "Indeed, then, you'll not tear the fort."

    Tom got so vexed that he made at the man. The man ran and Tom after him into the fort. When Tom was inside he forgot all about fighting. He saw many people dancing and enjoying themselves, and he thought, "Why shouldn't I do the like myself?" With that he made up to a fine-looking girl, and, taking her out to dance, told the piper to strike up a hornpipe, and he did.

    Tom danced till he was tired. He offered twopence to the piper, but not a penny would the piper take from him.

    The young man came up and said, 'Well, you are a brave man and courageous, and for the future we'll be good friends. You can take the cow."

    "I will not take her; you may keep her and welcome, for you are all very good people."

    "Well," said the young man, "the cow is yours, and it's why I took her because there were many children in the fort without nurses, but the children are reared now, and you may take the cow. I put an old stray horse in place of her and made him look like your own beast, and it's an old horse you're eating all the year. From this out you'll grow rich and have luck. We'll not trouble you, but help you."

    Tom took the cow and drove her home. From that out Tom Connors' cows had two calves apiece and his mare had two foals and his sheep two lambs every year, and every acre of the land he had gave him as much crop in one year as another man got from an acre in seven. At last Connors was a very rich man; and why not, when the fairies were with him?
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« Reply #109 on: September 01, 2009, 11:31:05 pm »

John Reardon and the Sister Ghosts

     

    ONCE there was a farmer, a widower, Tom Reardon, who lived near Castlemain. He had an only son, a fine strong boy, who was almost a man, and the boy's name was John. This farmer married a second time, and the stepmother hated the boy and gave him neither rest nor peace. She was turning the father's mind against the son, fill at last the farmer resolved to put the son in a place where a ghost was, and this ghost never let any man, go without killing him.

    One day the father sent the son to the forge with some chains belonging to a plough; he would have two horses ploughing next day.

    The boy took the chains to the forge; and it was nearly evening when the father sent him, and the forge was four miles away.

    The smith had much work and he hadn't the chains mended till close on to midnight. The smith had two sons, and they didn't wish to let John go, but he said he must go, for he had promised to be home and the father would kill him if he stayed away. They stood before him in the door, but he went in spite of them.

    When two miles from the forge a ghost rose up before John, a woman; she attacked him and they fought for two hours, when he put the plough chain round her. She could do nothing then, because what belongs to a plough is blessed. He fastened the chain and dragged the ghost home with him, and told her to go to the bedroom and give the father and stepmother a rough handling, not to spare them.
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« Reply #110 on: September 01, 2009, 11:31:27 pm »

    The ghost beat them till the father cried for mercy, and said if he lived fill morning he'd leave the place, and that the wife was the cause of putting John in the way to be killed. John put food on the table and told the ghost to sit down and eat for herself, but she refused and said he must take her back to the very spot where he found her. John was willing to do that, and he went with her. She told him to come to that place on the following night, that there was a sister of hers, a ghost, a deal more determined and stronger than what herself was.

    John told her that maybe the two of them would attack and kill him. She said that they would not, that she wanted his help against the sister, and that he would not be sorry for helping her. He told her he would come, and when he was leaving her she said not to forget the plough chains.

    Next morning the father was going to leave the house, but the wife persuaded him to stay. "That ghost will never walk the way again," said she.
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« Reply #111 on: September 01, 2009, 11:31:38 pm »

    John went the following night, and the ghost was waiting before him on the spot where he fought with her. They walked on together two miles by a different road, and halted. They were talking in that place a while when the sister came and attacked John Reardon, and they were fighting two hours and she was getting the better of the boy, when the first sister put the plough chains around her. He pulled her home with the chains, and the first sister walked along behind them. When John came to the house he opened the door, and when the father saw the two ghosts he said that if morning overtook him alive he'd leave the son everything, the farm and the house.

    The son told the second ghost to go down and give a good turn to the stepmother; "let her have a few strong knocks," said he.

    The second ghost barely left life in the stepmother. John had food on the table, but they would not take a bite, and the second sister said he must take her back to the very spot where he met her first; He said he would. She told him that he was the bravest man that ever stood before her, and that she would not threaten him again in the world, and told him to come the next night. He said he would not, for the two might attack and get the better of him. They promised they would not attack, but would help him, for it was to get the upper hand of the youngest and strongest of the sisters that they wanted him, and that he must bring the plough chains, for without them they could do nothing.

    He agreed to go if they would give their word not to harm him. They said they would give the word and would help him the best they could.
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« Reply #112 on: September 01, 2009, 11:31:56 pm »

    The next day, when the father was going to leave the place, the wife would not let him. "Stay where you are," she said, "they'll never trouble us again."

    John went the third night, and when he came the two sisters were before him, and they walked till they travelled four miles; then they told him to stop on the green grass at one side, and not to be on the road.

    They weren't waiting long when the third sister came, and red lightning flashing from her mouth. She went at John, and with the first blow that she gave him put him on his knees. He rose with the help of the two sisters, and for three hours they fought, and the youngest sister was getting the better of the boy when the two others threw the chains around her. The boy dragged her away home with him then, and when the stepmother saw the three sisters coming herself and John's father were terrified and they died of fright, the two of them.

    John put food on the table, and told the sisters to come and eat, but they refused, and the youngest told him that he must take her to the spot where he fought with her. All four went to that place, and at parting they promised never to harm him, and to put him in the way that he would never need to do a day's work, nor his children after him, if he had any. The eldest sister told him to come on the following night, and to bring a spade with him; she would tell him, she said, her whole history from first to last.
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« Reply #113 on: September 01, 2009, 11:32:07 pm »

    He went, and what she told him was this: Long ago her father was one of the richest men in all Ireland; her mother died when the three sisters were very young, and ten or twelve years after the father died, and left the care of all the wealth and treasures in the castle to herself, telling her to make three equal parts of it, and to let herself and each of the other two sisters have one of these parts. But she was in love with a young man unknown to her father, and one night when the two sisters were fast asleep, and she thought if she killed them she would have the whole fortune for herself and her husband, she took a knife and cut their throats, and when she had them killed she got sorry and did the same to herself. The sentence put on them was that none of the three was to have rest or peace till some man without fear would come and conquer them, and John was the first to attempt this.

    She took him then to her father's castle--only the ruins of it were standing, no roof and only some of the walls, and showed where all the riches and treasures were. John, to make sure, took his spade and dug away, dug with what strength was in him, and just before daybreak he came to the treasure. That moment the three sisters left good health with him, turned into three doves, and flew away.

    He had riches enough for himself and for seven generations after him.

     
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« Reply #114 on: September 01, 2009, 11:32:44 pm »

    One day an old woman leaning on a staff and a blind man "walked the way to me." After some talk and delay they agreed to tell what they knew about fairies, ghosts, and buried treasures. I had heard of them before, and tried to secure their services. The old woman speaks English only when forced to it, and then very badly. The blind man has suffered peculiarly from the fairies. They have lamed the poor fellow, taken his eyesight, and have barely left the life in him. I shall have occasion to refer to the man later on. The woman told me three stories; one of them was an incident in her own experience, the other two concerned her husband's relatives.

    The first story has nothing supernatural in it, though some of the actors were convinced firmly for a time that it had.

    I may say that the woman, whose name is Maggie Doyle, was unwilling to tell tales in the daytime. It was only after some persuasion and an extra reward that she was induced to begin, as follows:
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« Reply #115 on: September 01, 2009, 11:33:16 pm »

Maggie Doyle and the Dead Man

     

    LONG ago, when I was a fine, strong girl, not the like of what I am this day, I went down the country with a bag of sea-moss to sell. I was in company with a girl from the next village, and she was carrying another bag. Coming evening, the other girl found lodgings for the night with a friend, and I walked ahead on the road for myself. I wasn't long walking when I met a woman, and she took me home with her. It was milking time when we came. The woman, whose name was Peggy Driscoll, put cream into a chum, and told me to churn while herself would be milking.

    I churned away while she was with the cows, and when the milking was over, she helped me, and the two of us were churning till the butter came. She never asked me to take a bite or a sup, not even a drink of butter-milk. I had food of my own with me, and made a supper of that. After supper she said: "There is a dead man above in the room; come with me." "Oh, God save us!" said I, "how is that, and who is it?" "My own husband, John Driscoll, and he's dead these three hours."

    "God knows, then," thought I to myself, "tis easy enough you are taking his death."

    She brought warm water, and we went up, the two of us; we prepared the body of John Driscoll, dressed it, and laid it out, and put beads in the hands of the dead man, who was stiff and cold.

    "I must go out now for a little start," said Peggy Driscoll; "sure you'll not be in dread of the corpse while I go to tell some of the neighbours that John is dead."
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« Reply #116 on: September 01, 2009, 11:33:30 pm »

    I was that in dread that it failed me to speak to her. The next minute she was gone and the door closed behind her. I was left alone with the corpse. I stopped there a while and went then to the kitchen, sat there a quarter of an hour, and went back to the dead man.

    About midnight the woman of the house walked in, and with her a neighbouring young farmer. She made tea in the kitchen, and the two were eating and drinking for themselves with great pleasure, laughing and joking. They were talking English. I hadn't but two or three words of English at that time, and John Driscoll not a word at all, but after a while the young farmer laughed, and, forgetting himself, said in Irish:

    "It's a happy woman you are this night, Peggy, and the old man above on the table."

    With that, the corpse sprang up, tumbling candles and everything before him. He caught a pike that was in the corner, and down to the kitchen with him. Peggy Driscoll and the young farmer began to screech in the way you'd think the life would leave the two of them, but by my word they hadn't long to screech in the kitchen, for the pike was coming at them. Out with the two through the back door and John Driscoll at their heels. I took my bag and away with me through the front door. I was running for hours and hurrying on. I didn't know where was I going, till at last I met a man, and asked what was the next town, and he said Killarney. I went on till I came to Killarney, and sold my bag of sea-moss to the first buyer, and took the road home for myself.
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« Reply #117 on: September 01, 2009, 11:33:43 pm »

    "Did you go to Killarney with moss the second time?" asked I. "I did indeed," said she. "I went the next week, and I met a woman on the road, a cousin of John Driscoll's."

    "You told me," said I, "that you and Peggy Driscoll laid out John on the table; that he was stiff and cold, a real corpse. How, then, could he rise up and run with a pike at his wife and the young farmer?"

    "it was that that frightened me," said Mrs. Doyle; "but this woman told me everything. John Driscoll had a twin brother Daniel, and the two were so much alike that no man could tell one from the other. Peggy; John's wife, was from a distant parish, and she didn't know that Daniel was in the world at all. She was married to John only six months. The day that I was passing Peggy was away with a sick woman, a neighbour, from the morning till the middle of the afternoon. While she was gone Daniel came to see his brother for the first time since his marriage. He wasn't two hours in the house when he died in one minute, as if something pricked his heart. It was then that John planned to make a trial of Peggy So he put his own clothes on Daniel, and laid the corpse on the bed above in the room and hid under the bed himself. Peggy put Daniel on the table, thinking that it was her own husband she was laying out. While Peggy was gone for the young farmer, and I was in the kitchen, John put the corpse under the bed and went on the table himself. You have the whole story now"

     

     

    "I suppose you can tell me a story now with a real ghost in it," remarked I.

    "Indeed, then, I can," said the old woman, "and a true story, too. I didn't know John Doyle myself nor his son, for they lived across the mountains from us, and John Doyle died a few months after my marriage, but my husband told me all about John and his son, and my husband was a man who wouldn't tell a lie, God rest his soul."
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« Reply #118 on: September 01, 2009, 11:33:59 pm »

Pat Doyle and the Ghost

     

    THERE was a young man in the next parish whose name was Pat Doyle, and one night he had to bring the priest to his father, John Doyle. It was late when the young man came to the priest's house. He knocked; a servant opened and asked what he wanted.

    "The priest, for my father is dying," said Pat.

    "I'll not go at this hour," said the priest; "why didn't you come earlier?"

    "My father wasn't in danger till night, and besides I was working far from home; I couldn't come a minute sooner."

    The priest was vexed, but he mounted his horse and started. Pat Doyle and the clerk walked behind him. About half-way they came to a house where whiskey was kept, though people didn't know it generally.

    "Will you wait for me here, Father?" asked Pat Doyle.
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« Reply #119 on: September 01, 2009, 11:34:13 pm »

    "I will," said the priest, "but don't keep me waiting too long." Pat was barely inside when a ghost appeared behind the priest and the clerk. The priest turned, and holding the crucifix toward the ghost, spoke and held him back.

    "Let us be going on," said the clerk, "the young man can come up with us."

    The priest and his clerk hurried away. When Pat Doyle came out he saw neither priest nor clerk, and ran on after them. The road lay through boggy land, and there, to his terror, he saw a ghost coming in flames of fire. There was no escape at one side or another, and young Doyle had no steel to defend himself, so the ghost killed him there on the road.

    The priest found the father alive, but stayed all night. He was too much in dread to go home. John Doyle grew better, but he was frightened when the son was not coming. He asked where was Pat. They said he'd come soon. But when he wasn't coming, the sick man begged his own brother's sons to go for him. One of them, Tim Doyle, was a very courageous young fellow, and said:

    "I'll find him if he's in it. Neither ghost nor devil will keep him from me."

    Tim went up to the loft, took an old sword and knocked a shower of rust from it. He went on his way then with his brother, and when they came to the boggy place they saw horses prancing and running around them and Pat racing on a grand steed.

    "It is here he is," said Tim, "in place of going home to his dying father."

    But when they came to where they thought they saw the horses, there was nothing before them but a ghost in flames of fire. Tim made at the ghost with the sword and said:

    "Go, in the name of the devil; you will not frighten me." That moment the ghost disappeared, and Tim thought that all the stone walls for ten miles around him were tumbling, there was such a noise. They went on and soon they came to the body of Pat Doyle. They knelt down and examined it.

    "If there is a breath in him, sure the priest will raise him," said Tim.

    They carried Pat home on their shoulders. When they came to the house, they found him stone dead. As soon as John Doyle heard of his son's death, life left him that minute.

    All blamed the priest for not staying with Pat, and the mother said:

    "If you, Father, had stayed with him and held the crucifix against the ghost, my poor boy would be alive now."

    Two days after this a neighbouring boy went up to a hillside where a herd of much cows were grazing, and waited there till nightfall: as he was going home across the fields he saw three men walking, and near them something in the form of a he-goat; when they came up he saw that one of the three was Pat Doyle, the other two were boys killed by the same ghost months before.
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