Atlantis Online
August 08, 2022, 04:53:41 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: USA showered by a watery comet ~11,000 years ago, ending the Golden Age of man in America
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20050926/mammoth_02.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Tales of the Fairies and of the Ghost World

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Tales of the Fairies and of the Ghost World  (Read 495 times)
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #90 on: September 01, 2009, 11:25:44 pm »

John Shea and the Treasure

     

    YOU have two stories of wise women, said the blind man. Now I'll tell the story of a man who came to the knowledge of what gold was in the kingdom, and lost it all through his own foolishness:

     

     

    Between Dingle and the village of Banog there lived one John Shea, and he was a very poor man, though he worked late and early whenever he found work to do. At last he said that he'd be starving at home no longer, he'd go to some foreign country. So off he started one day and never stopped travelling till he came to Cork and found a ship bound for Lochlin, which the people call Denmark now.

    Shea went on board the ship, and the captain asked where he was going.

    "I don't care much where I go," answered Shea, "if I go out of this place."

    "There is no use in your going to Lochlin," said the captain; "the people there kill every Irishman that comes to that country"

    "It's all one to me," said Shea; "I might as well be killed by the Danes as die of hunger at home."

    The captain raised anchor, sailed away with Shea on board, and reached Lochlin at last. John Shea stepped on shore and went along, not knowing or caring much where he went. While travelling he came to a cross-road and took the right hand. At one side of the road was a hedge neatly trimmed.

    "This might lead to some house where I could find work," thought Shea. He travelled on and reached a fine mansion at last and went in to ask for employment. Inside he saw two old men bearded to the waist and one old hag bearded to the eyes.

    "Where did you come from?" asked one of the old men.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #91 on: September 01, 2009, 11:25:56 pm »

    "From Erin," said Shea.

    "What brought you to Lochlin?"

    "To tell you the truth, I was starving, and left home to find employment and food. I took shipping at Cork, and the captain I sailed with landed me here."

    "Sit down," said one of the old men. "We will not eat you, never fear; and there is plenty of gold and silver to be had if there is any good in you. Come this way," continued the old man, rising.

    Shea followed the old man, who led him to a small room. In the floor of the room was a flat stone, with a ring in the middle of it. "Lift this if you can," said the old man. Shea pulled, but thought if all the men in Erin were to try, they could not lift the stone.

    "I cannot lift it now," said he; "but if I were in the country a while, and had more to eat, I think I could lift it."

    The old man stooped down, both pulled, and together raised the stone.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #92 on: September 01, 2009, 11:26:08 pm »

    Underneath was a barrel of gold. "I will give you some of this," said the old man. Shea filled his two pockets. When he had the gold, the two men talked as follows:

    "What part of Erin did you come from?"

    "From Banog, near Dingle."

    "Are you well acquainted with Dingle?"

    "Indeed then I am. And why shouldn't I be; don't I go there to mass every Sunday, and wasn't I reared in the neighbourhood?"

    "Go home now, John Shea, and in Banog, two fields from your house, is a fairy fort, and a very fine fort it is. You have gold in plenty to take you home. When you are in Dingle go to the best meatshop in the town and buy a leg of mutton, then buy a load of turf--ten to twenty creels of it--build a good fire outside the fort and roast the leg of mutton. While the mutton is roasting, the smell of it will be over the place, the fort will open, and a cat will rise out of it and come towards you. Hide before the cat sees you, and from your hiding-place watch her. She will walk up to the mutton, eat all she can of it, then she will lie down near the fire and fall asleep. That is your time. When you have the cat killed the fort will open. Do you go in then. Inside you will find a basin, a towel, and a razor. Take these and bring them to me. Touch nothing else in the fort. If you do you may never come out of it."

    When John Shea had these directions he came back to Erin and made his way to Banog, bought the mutton, and did everything according to the old man's wish. When the mutton was roasted the cat came out and ate all she wanted or was able to eat. She stretched out then near the fire and fell asleep.

    John Shea stole up softly, caught the cat by the throat, strangled her, and threw her aside. Straightway a broad door in the fort was thrown open. John Shea walked in through the door. In the first room on his left he saw a basin, a towel, and a razor. He did not touch these, but walked on to the next room, and there he saw a barrel of gold. At sight of the gold he remembered the old man in Lochlin, and turned back at once.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #93 on: September 01, 2009, 11:26:19 pm »

    He took the basin, the towel, and the razor, hurried away from Banog to Cork, and never stopped till he walked into the old man's mansion in Lochlin.

    "Have you the razor, the basin, and the towel?" asked the old man.

    "I have," said John Shea; "here they are."

    The two old men and the hag were there as before; they hadn't changed one hair.

    "Move up here now, John Shea," said the old man; "lather and shave me."

    "Oh, then, I never was any good to shave," said John Shea, "but your head is not hard, and I'll do what I can on you."

    He shaved the old man, and when he had him shaved it wasn't an old man at all that was in it, but a youth of nineteen. The next old man, seeing the brother so young, was dying to lose his own beard.

    "You'll make a real barber of me," said Shea.

    When the second old man was shaved he was eighteen years of age.

    "For God's sake, shave me!" begged the hag.

    "I never thought to shave a woman," said Shea; "but I can't refuse you."

    Shea shaved the old hag, and she was a young girl of sixteen. "Now," said the two brothers to John Shea, "since you have done so much good to us we'll take you hunting."

    They went out hunting, and all the game they saw that day was one mouse. They brought the mouse home and boiled it. When John Shea had his part of the mouse eaten he knew where all the hidden gold was in Erin. Up he jumped from his seat.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #94 on: September 01, 2009, 11:26:33 pm »

    "Musha, my God!" cried he. "I am the happiest man in the world this day. The devil a piece of gold is there in Erin but I know where it is. I'll be the rich man now!"

    The two men, seeing John Shea jumping and hearing him screech from delight, said:

    "There was never much power of keeping a secret in the Irish."

    "He is not to be trusted," said the sister; "he would give away the secret. Let him have some of the mouse broth to drink."

    The men gave him the broth. He drank of it and lost knowledge of all the treasures the moment he swallowed the broth. They gave him only money enough for his passage to Cork and told him to go his own way for himself, they had no further use for him.

    John Shea went back to Banog, where he died in the famine year (1847), and was buried at public expense.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #95 on: September 01, 2009, 11:26:51 pm »

NOTE
    The preceding group of fairy tales are connected with the peninsula between the bays of Dingle and Tralee. The following tales were taken down west of the Killarney mountains, but between Dingle Bay and the Kenmare River, and relate to the southern half of Kerry.

    In this mountainous region the Gaelic language is spoken generally by the older inhabitants, and in many places ancient ways of thinking are well preserved among people of fifty years and upward. Persons between thirty and fifty; though they know the old-time ideas, do not live in them altogether. As to people of the rising generation, their minds seem turned in another direction. They are not settled anywhere yet; some of them are seeking, others are drifting.

    In general, the region is not one of rapid movement, and in many nooks and corners of it the past is well represented. The present tales touching fairies, ghosts, and various personages outside ordinary human life refer to actual beliefs. Some persons hold to these beliefs as firmly as possible; indeed, they are among the main articles of faith for a good number of the old people.

    There are persons in the educated world who consider fairy tales as mere sources of amusement; there are others who look on them as too frivolous to be read by serious people. Both views are erroneous. Fairy tales contain the remnants of a religious system prior to Christianity. When these tales are collected and compared with each other and with that mass of Keltic literature extending from the twelfth to the present century, and which remains in manuscript in Dublin, London, Brussels, Rome, and elsewhere, we may expect to find a certain religious system, a certain philosophy of life and death, exhibited to us with a tolerable degree of distinctness.

    In the fairy tales which I have collected so far, and in the conversation of the men who told them to me, I find a remarkable freedom of intercourse between the visible and the unseen worlds, between what we call the dead and the living--a certain intimate communion between what has been and what is. Unless in the case of old people, it can hardly be said that there is such a thing as death in the Keltic fairy philosophy. Children and young persons are removed; other bodies, apparently diseased or dying, are put in their places. The persons removed are taken to fairy mansions; if they eat they are lost to this life; if they refrain they have seven years in which return is possible.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #96 on: September 01, 2009, 11:27:01 pm »

    This is only one item in the system of extra-human forces in Keltic belief. All that we find so far in Hero Tales or Fairy Tales in Ireland is in close connection with that pre-Christian religion which covered the earth and included all races of men, which, in its boundless variety, was essentially the same, whether we consider the Greeks and Hindoos or the Indians of North and South America. For this religion, raising the dead, travelling on the water, running through the air, are not exceptional or wonderful; they are of daily occurrence and common; they are not merely incidents in it, but part of its machinery. This old universal religion had many other ideas which acquired new associations after the Christian era and took on new names. It is most interesting to note how much of it survives yet, not only among the uninstructed but among the leaders of mankind.

    I found two tales of St. Martin, which are given here. The first is curious as containing the man-eating ghost, which is common enough among the Slavs, but which I find now in Ireland for the first time.

    The grey cows from the sea, in the second St. Martin story, seem of the same breed as Glas Gainach brought from Spain by Elin Gow and the Glas Gavlen stolen by Balor of Tory Island.

    The sacredness of the plough chains is an interesting bit of agricultural lore in the story of John Reardon. The heated coulter of a plough is used in Ireland to force confession from a witch who prevents butter from appearing when milk is churned.

    The ocular illusion by which one thing seems another, which causes Tom Connors to think that an old horse is his cow Cooby, is common among all peoples. I found some excellent illustrations of it in stories of the Modoc Indians of Oregon.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #97 on: September 01, 2009, 11:27:25 pm »

St Martin's Eve

(told by John Sheehy)

     

    IN Iveragh, not very far from the town of Cahirciveen, there lived a farmer named James Shea with his wife and three children, two sons and a daughter. The man was peaceable, honest, and very charitable to the poor, but his wife was hard-hearted, never giving even a drink of milk to a needy person. Her younger son was as bad in every way as herself, and whatever the mother did he always agreed with her and was on her side.

    This was before the roads and cars were in the Kerry Mountains. The only way of travelling in those days, when a man didn't walk, was to ride sitting on a straw saddle, and the only way to take anything to market was on horseback in creels.

    It happened, at any rate, that James Shea was going in the beginning of November to Cork with two firkins of butter, and what troubled him most was the fear that he'd not be home on Saint Marlin's night to do honour to the saint. For never had he let that night pass without drawing blood in honour of the saint. To make sure, he called the elder son and said, "If I am not at the house on Saint Martin's night, kill the big sheep that is running with the cows."

    Shea went away to Cork with the butter, but could not be home in time. The elder son went out on Saint Martin's eve, when he saw that his father was not coming, and drove the sheep into the house.

    "What are you doing, you fool, with that sheep?" asked the mother.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #98 on: September 01, 2009, 11:27:43 pm »

    "Sure, I'm going to kill it. Didn't you hear my father tell me that there was never a Saint Martin's night but he drew blood, and do you want to have the house disgraced?"

    At this the mother made sport of him and said: "Drive out the sheep and I'll give you something else to kill by and by." So the boy let the sheep out, thinking the mother would kill a goose.

    He sat down and waited for the mother to give him whatever she had to kill. It wasn't long till she came in, bringing a big tomcat they had, and the same cat was in the house nine or ten years.

    "Here," said she, "you can kill this beast and draw its blood. We'll have it cooked when your father comes home."

    The boy was very angry and spoke up to the mother: "Sure the house is disgraced for ever," said he, "and it will not be easy for you to satisfy my father when he comes."

    He didn't kill the cat, you may be sure; and neither he nor his sister ate a bite of supper, and they were crying and fretting over the disgrace all the evening.

    That very night the house caught fire and burned down, nothing was left but the four walls. The mother and younger son were burned to death, but the elder son and his sister escaped by, some miracle. They went to a neighbour's house, and were there till the father came on the following evening. When he found the house destroyed and the wife and younger son dead he mourned and lamented. But when the other son told him what the mother did on Saint Martin's eve, he cried out:
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #99 on: September 01, 2009, 11:27:58 pm »

    "Ah, it was the wrath of God that fell on my house; if I had stopped at home till after Saint Martin's night, all would be safe and well with me now."

    James Shea went to the priest on the following morning, and asked would it be good or lucky for him to rebuild the house.

    "Indeed," said the priest, "there is no harm in putting a roof on the walls and repairing them if you will have mass celebrated in the house before you go to live in it. If you do that all will be well with you."

    [Shea spoke to the priest because people are opposed to repairing or rebuilding a burnt house, and especially if any person has been burned in it.]

    Well, James Shea put a roof on the house, repaired it, and had mass celebrated inside. That evening as Shea was sitting down to supper what should he see but his wife coming in the door to him. He thought she wasn't dead at all. "Ah, Mary," said he, "tis not so bad as they told me. Sure, I thought it is dead you were. Oh, then you are welcome home; come and sit down here; the supper is just ready."

    She didn't answer a word, but looked him straight in the face and walked on to the room at the other end of the house. He jumped up, thinking it's sick the woman was, and followed her to the room to help her. He shut the door after him. As he was not coming back for a long time the son thought at last that he'd go and ask the father why he wasn't eating his supper. When he went into the room he saw no sign of his mother, saw nothing in the place but two legs from the knees down. He screamed out for his sister and she came.

    "Oh, merciful God!" screamed the sister.

    "Those are my father's legs!" cried the brother, "and Mary, don't you know the stockings, sure you knitted them yourself, and don't I know the brogues very well?"

    They called in the neighbours, and, to the terror of them all, they saw nothing but the two legs and feet of James Shea.

    There was a wake over the remains that night, and the next day they buried the two legs. Some people advised the boy and girl never to sleep a night in the house, that their mother's soul was lost, and that was why she came and ate up the father, and she would eat themselves as well.

    The two now started to walk the world, not caring much where they were going if only they escaped the mother. They stopped the first night at a farmer's house not far from Killarney. After supper a bed was made down for them by the fire, in the corner, and they lay there. About the middle of the night a great noise was heard outside, and the woman of the house called to her boy and servants to get up and go to the cow-house to know why the cows were striving to kill one another. Her own son rose first. When he and the two servant boys went out they saw the ghost of a woman, and she in chains. She made at them, and wasn't long killing the three.

    Not seeing the boys come in, the farmer and his wife rose up, sprinkled holy water around the house, blessed themselves and went out, and there they saw the ghost in blue blazes and chains around her. In a coop outside by himself was a March ****.* He flew down from his perch and crowed twelve times. That moment the ghost disappeared.

    Now the neighbours were roused, and the news flew around that the three boys were killed. The brother and sister didn't say a word to any one, but, rising up early, started on their journey, begging God's protection as they went. They never stopped nor stayed till they came to Rathmore, near Cork, and, going to a farmhouse, the boy asked for lodgings in God's name.

    "I will give you lodgings in His name," said the farmer's wife. She brought warm water for the two to wash their hands and feet, for they were tired and dusty. After supper a bed was put down for them, and about the same hour as the night before there was a great noise outside.

    "Rise up and go out," said the farmer's wife; "some of the cows must be untied."

    "I'll not go out at this hour of the night, if they are untied itself," said the man. "I'll stay where I am, if they kill one another, for it isn't safe to go out till the **** crows; after cockcrow I'll go out."

    "That's true for you," said the farmer's wife, "and, upon my word, before coming to bed, I forgot to sprinkle holy water in the room, and to bless myself."
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #100 on: September 01, 2009, 11:28:11 pm »

    So taking the bottle hanging near the bed, she sprinkled the water around the room and toward the threshold, and made the sign of the cross. The man didn't go out until ****-crow. The brother and sister went away early, and travelled all day. Coming evening they met a pleasant-looking man who stood before them in the road.

    "You seem to be strangers," said he; "and where are you going?"

    "We are strangers," said the boy, "and we don't know where to go."

    "You need go no farther. I know you well, your home is in Iveragh. I am Saint Martin, sent from the Lord to protect you and your sister. You were going to draw the blood of a sheep in my honour, but your mother and brother made sport of you, and your mother wouldn't let you do what your father told you. You see what has come to them; they are lost for ever, both of them. Your father is saved in heaven, for he was a good man. Your mother will be here soon, and I'll put her in the way that she'll never trouble you again."

    Taking a rod from his bosom and dipping it in a vial of holy water he drew a circle around the brother and sister. Soon they heard their mother coming, and then they saw her with chains on her, and the rattling was terrible, and flames were rising from her. She came to where they stood, and said: "Bad luck to you both for being the cause of my misery"

    "God forbid that," said Saint Martin. "It isn't they are the cause, but yourself, for you were always bad. You would not honour me, and now you must suffer for it."

    He pulled out a book and began to read, and after he read a few minutes he told her to depart and not be seen in Ireland again till the day of judgment. She rose in the air in flames of fire, and with such a noise that you'd think all the thunders of heaven were roaring and all the houses and walls in the kingdom were tumbling to the ground.

    The brother and sister went on their knees and thanked Saint Martin. He blessed them and told them to rise, and taking a little table-cloth out of his bosom he said to the brother: "Take this cloth with you and keep it in secret. Let no one know that you have it. If you or your sister are in need go to your room, close the door behind you and bolt it. Spread out the cloth then, and plenty of everything to eat and drink will come to you. Keep the cloth with you always; it belongs to both of you. Now go home and live in the house that your father built, and let the priest come and celebrate Monday mass in it, and live the life that your father lived before you."

    The two came home, and brother and sister lived a good life. They married, and when either was in need that one had the cloth to fall back on, and their grandchildren are living yet in Iveragh. And this is truth, every word of it, and it's often I heard my poor grandmother tell this story, the Almighty God rest her soul, and she was the woman that wouldn't tell a lie. She knew James Shea and his wife very well.

     

    *A **** hatched in March from a **** and hen hatched in March.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #101 on: September 01, 2009, 11:28:33 pm »

James Murray and Saint Martin

(told by Timothy Sheahy)

     

    THERE was a small farmer named James Murray, who lived between this and Slieve Mish. He had the grass of seven cows, but though he had the land, he hadn't stock to put on it; he had but the one cow. Being a poor man, he went to Cork with four firkins of butter for a neighbour. He never thought what day of the month it was until he had the butter sold in the city, and it was Saint Martin's eve at the time. Himself and his father before him and his grandfather had always killed something to honour Saint Martin, and when he was in Cork on Saint Martin's eve he felt heartsore and could not eat. He walked around and muttered to himself: "I wish to the Almighty God I was at home; my house will be disgraced for ever."

    The words weren't out of his mouth when a fine-looking gentleman stood before him and asked: 'What trouble is on you, good man?"

    James Murray told the gentleman.

    'Well, my poor man, you would like to be at home to-night?"

    "Indeed, then, I would, and but for I forgot the day of the month, it isn't here I'd be now, poor as I am."

    "Where do you live?"

    "Near the foot of Slieve Mish, in Kerry."

    "Bring out your horse and creels, and you will be at home."

    "What is the use in talking? 'Tis too far for such a journey."

    "Never mind; bring out your horse."
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #102 on: September 01, 2009, 11:28:48 pm »

    James Murray led out the horse, mounted, and rode away. He thought he wasn't two hours on the road when he was going in at his own door. Sure, his wife was astonished and didn't believe that he could be home from Cork in that time; it was only when he showed the money they paid him for the other man's butter that she believed.

    'Well, this is Saint Martin's eve!"

    "It is," said she. 'What are we to do? I don't know, for we have nothing to kill."

    Out went James and drove in the cow.

    'What are you going to do?" asked the wife.

    "To kill the cow in honour of Saint Martin."

    "Indeed, then, you will not."

    "I will, indeed," and he killed her. He skinned the cow and cooked some of her flesh, but the woman was down in the room at the other end of the house lamenting.

    "Come up now and eat your supper," said the husband.

    But she would not eat, and was only complaining and crying.

    After supper the whole family went to bed. Murray rose at daybreak next morning, went to the door, and saw seven grey cows, and they feeding in the field.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #103 on: September 01, 2009, 11:29:04 pm »

    'Whose cows are those eating my grass?" cried he, and ran out to drive them away. Then he saw that they were not like other cattle in the district, and they were fat and bursting with milk.

    "I'll have the milk at least, to pay for the grass they've eaten," said James Murray. So his wife milked the grey cows and he drove them back to the field. The cows were contented in themselves and didn't wish to go away. Next day he published the cows, but no one ever came to claim them.

    "It was the Almighty God and Saint Martin who sent these cows," said he, and he kept them. In the summer all the cows had heifer calves, and every year for seven years they had heifer calves, and the calves were all grey, like the cows. James Murray got very rich, and his crops were the best in the county. He bought new land and had a deal of money put away; but it happened on the eighth year one of the cows had a bull calf. What did Murray do but kill the calf. That minute the seven old cows began to bellow and run away, and the calves bellowed and followed them, all ran and never stopped till they went into the sea and disappeared under the waves. They were never seen after that, but, as Murray used to give away a heifer calf sometimes during the seven years, there are cows of that breed around Slieve Mish and Dingle to this day, and every one is as good as two cows.
Report Spam   Logged
Medieval Knight
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 239



« Reply #104 on: September 01, 2009, 11:29:28 pm »

Fairy Cows

(told by William Keating)

     

    IN the parish of Drummor lived a farmer, whose name was Tom Connors. He had a nice bit of land and four cows. He was a fine, strong, honest man, and had a wife and five children.

    Connors had one cow which was better than the other three, and she went by the name of Cooby. She got that name because her two horns turned in toward her eyes. They used to feed her often at the house, and she was very gentle, and had a heifer calf every year for five or six years.

    On one corner of Connors' farm there was a fairy fort, and the cow Cooby used to go into the fort, but Connors always drove her out, and told his wife and boys to keep her away from the fort, "for," said he, "it isn't much luck there is for any cow or calf that is fond of going into these fairy forts."

    Soon they noticed that Cooby's milk was failing her and that she was beginning to pine away, and though she had the same food at home as before, nothing would do her but to go to the fort.

    One morning when Connors went to drive his cows home to be milked he found Cooby in the field and her forelegs broken. He ran home that minute for a knife, killed and skinned the cow, made four parts of the carcase, put the pieces in a hamper, and carried the hamper home on his back.
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy