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IRISH FOLK-TALES 

From County Clare 



Belief in Fairies 
Bleve in um, throth, I have rason to 
bleve in um ! My mother's father had a 
brother, that was my gran'unde at the 
mother's side — God be good to um all! 
Well, when he was about three or four 
monts ould, his mother was in bed and 
asleep, 'twould be about 12 o'clock at 
night, when she woke wud a start and just 
had time to grasp the child round the 
body, for there, long side the bed, was a 
little man, having the child be the arm. 
" 'Twas well you woke," says he, "but we 
have part of him." Sur enuf, the arm 
thiat was caught never grew a bit bigger 
than 'twas that night; although he grew 
to be a man, he was never right in himself. 
I have that from my mother— God rest 
her soul !— and I wouldn't tell a lie of her 
soul. — Told by Mrs. Curtin, Tullycrine, 
near Kilrusb. 

The Runaway Road, and How It Got 
the Name 

I'm seventy years or over id now, well, 
I don't remember id, but I often heard my 
father — God rest his sowl — ^talking about 
id. 

That was a good strait road at the time 
from you lave Shra till you come to within 
a mile of Doonbeg. Well, sir, 'twas about 
Christmas time, and the night was very 
stormy, but thank God there was no harm 
done to anybody. But when me father got 
up in the mornin', a,nd opened the door, 
and looked out, "The Lord save us," 
says he, "where is the road gone to?" 
There was the house, that was on the road- 
side, in the middle of a field, and all the 
other cabins the same way. "The Lord 



betune us and harm," says he to me 
mother, "the road is gone away," And 
sure, there was the road, about two fields 
away and twishted like a live eel, and 
facing twords Kilrush. Well, to get to the 
road agin they had to put a wooden bridge 
across that river below, and there it 
stopped from that day to this, and that's 
why 'tis called the Runaway Road. — Told 
by James Whelan, Sbra, between Doonbeg 
and Kilrush. 

A Fight with a Ghost 

'Tis up to fourscore years now since id 
happened. There was two great men at 
every game: hurlin', runnin', jumpin', and 
boxin', trowin' waits, and they could not 
bate one another. One was Patcheen Va- 
sey and th' other was Thomas Magner. 
Well, they were at all the sport in the 
country, but they were still no better than 
one another. 

Well, 'twas the will of God that Vasey 
got sick, and Magner cum to see him. 
"How are you, Pat?" says Magner. "I 
think my sportin' days are over, Tom," 
says Pat. Well, they spoke of all the jump- 
ing and wrastling they ever had, and says 
Pat, "Tom, we will meet agin." "I hope 
so," says Tom, "in a better world, with 
God's help." 

They wished good-bye to one another, 
and, God rest his sowl ! that night poor 
Vasey died. But accordin' to what I'm go- 
in' to tell you, his poor sowl wasn't aisey, 
for he was seen at the corner by a good 
many, a few nights after. Well, Magner 
was comin' from Carrigaholt fair one 
night, about three weeks after Vasey died, 
when, comin' near the cross, his hair stood 



238 



THE LOTUS MAGAZINE 



of an ind, for who was standin' there but 
Vasey. "The Lord preserve us!" says 
Magner. "Is that you, Pat?" "'Tis, 
Tom," says Pat, "and you must fight 
me." "Fight a ghost!" says Tom. "Yes," 
says the ghost, squarin' before him. Tom, 
nothin' daunted, squared up too, an' 
meela murther ! the fight began. Well, to 
make a long story short, Tom was found 
in the mornin', black and blue, beside the 
road, and he would be dead, only the 
ghost had to lave when the cock crew, as 
Tom tould before he died, for he never 
overed the bating, but lingered for about 
three monts, when he died; and that cor- 
ner is to this day called the Ghost's Cor- 
ner, and a lonesome place it is of a night. 
God rest both of them now, that they may 
be in peace ! — Told by James Kelly, Tulla- 
roe, County Clare. 

-" ^ ■ The Piggin 

I often heard me mother tellin' about id, 
'twas in the bad times, an' the poor peo- 
ple were starvin'. There was a family, the 
father, mother, an* daughter, a young slip 
oV about twelve. The father and mother 
both died in one week from faver, God 
bless us. The night the mother was buried, 
an ole woman called at the house and re- 
mained till mornin'. When she was goin', 
she called the little orphan, and gave her a 
wooden piggin, an' says she, "Take this, 
and go to Listowel fair, this day week, and 
offer it for sale, an' I wish you luck," says 
she. 



None of the neighbours ever see her be- 
fore, or after. Some said she was mad, an' 
others advised her to do what the ole 
woman tould her. Well, to make it short, 
she wint, and there was a great lot of peo- 
ple in the fair field, and she stood in one 
spot, and people gethered round her, 
when they heard her callin' out, "Buy me 
piggin, buy me piggin." All at wans, there 
was great confusion, as two horses cam 
gallopin' twors the crowd, and tryin' to 
make way. The Httle girl was knocked 
down. The two men that was on the 
horses turned back, an' asked who was 
hurted, and they see the girl on the 
ground; they asked her if she was hurted, 
and she said, "No sir. Will you buy me 
piggm? 

"How much?" says one, "I will give 
you a ginnee for it." Says the other, " I'll 
give her two." Says th' other, "I'll give 
her five." ."I'll give her ten," an' they 
went on risin', and risin', till it wint to 
hunders upo'n hunders. At last one of um 
says, "Let us give er ten hundred apiece." 
The parish priest was sint for, and he 
got the money to keep for the girl until 
she came of age. 

She got married at eteen, and a grand 
match she got, and some of her grandchil- 
der are livin, and not far from this place,' 
and for a long time they were called "The 
Piggins." But they did not care, they were 
rich. That oul woman must be one of the 
good people. — Told by P. Cronin, Bally- 
longford.