Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/506

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44^ Collectanea,

hand from point of fingers to wrist. One end of the cord will now hang over the palm of the right hand^ the other over the back of the left. If the ends of the string are pinched up between two fingers of the hands which are opposite them, and the two hands separated, a knot will be formed.

A piece of string, at least four times as long as the breadth of the palm, must be used.

RIDDLES.

Ag cuir Toimhseachain. (Putting Riddles = Giving Guesses.)

A collection of riddles would be, if at all complete, probably a book as large as Nicholson's Gaelic Proverbs^ but in a book of pastimes, it would scarcely do not to take some notice of the existence of guesses. They indeed formed a large part of the entertainment at a " ceilidh," i.e. a visit for purposes of gossip and amusement, practically always the spending of an evening in a neighbour's house of a gathering of those sufficiently intimate. To afford a glance at the way in which such a meeting would be carried on, especially as regards guesses, we give reminiscences of an old Mull man upwards of eighty years of age. The lads of the place where he was

born frequented the house of one W C , and among

the various pastimes riddles played their part. Now W.'s wife was a midwife, and was consequently pretty frequently away from home, but the evening gatherings suffered no interruption, William himself and a grandson being always at home. Mrs. C. was detained unusually long with a professional engagement on Loch Sunart, but there was ceilidh as usual. George, the grandson, being the entertainer, old William having retired to bed, the bed being on one side of the kitchen, round the fire of which the visitors gathered. Each one knowing the other, " like the palm of his own hand " as they say, guesses were almost a common stock, and those given had been answered right away, when George propounded, " Bodach anns a' bhaile so, agus a bhean ann Loch Sunart thall." (" An old man in this town and his wife away there in Loch Sunart.") Loch Sunart being both the loch and the houses in its neighbourhood.

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