Page:Celtic Fairy Tales.djvu/290

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Notes and References

two feet long by one foot wide in which there was an indentation 4 in. x 3 in. x 2 in. which could easily have been mistaken for a paw-print of a dog, as maybe seen from the engraving given of it (Mabinogion, ed. 1874. p. 269).

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The stone and the legend are thus at least one thousand years old. "There stands the stone to tell if I lie." According to Prof. Rhys (Hibbert Lect. 486–97) the whole story is a mythological one, Kulhwych's mother being the dawn, the clover blossoms that grow under Olwen's feet being comparable to the roses that sprung up where Aphrodite had trod, and Yspyddadon being the incarnation of the sacred hawthorn. Mabon, again (l.c. pp. 21, 28–9), is the Apollo Maponus discovered in Latin inscriptions at Ainstable in Cumberland and elsewhere (Hübner, Corp. Insc. Lat. Brit. Nos. 218, 332, 1345). Granting all this, there is nothing to show any mythological significance in the tale, though there may have been in the names of the dramatis personæ. I observe from the proceedings of the recent Eisteddfod that the bardic name of Mr. W. Abraham, M.P., is 'Mabon.' It scarcely follows that Mr. Abraham is in receipt of divine honours nowadays.

XIV. JACK AND HIS COMRADES.

Source.—Kennedy's Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts.

Parallels.—This is the fullest and most dramatic version I know of the Grimm's "Town Musicians of Bremen" (No. 27). I have given an English (American) version in my English Fairy Tales, No. 5, in the notes to which would be found references to other versions known in the British Isles (e.g., Campbell, No. 11) and abroad. Cf. remarks on No. vi.

XV. SHEE AN GANNON AND GRUAGACH GAIRE.

Source.—Curtin, Myths and Folk-Lore of Ireland, p. 114 seq. I have shortened the earlier part of the tale, and introduced into the