Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/243

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Collectanea. 229

Description of the two following playthings comes from Barvas in the Lewis :

Gorag Gaoithe.

A stick, about nine inches long, of stiff wood is sharpened to a point and thrust into a raw potato, far enough that the potato is capable of turning round on the point of the stick without falling off. Into the potato are thrust a number of stiff feathers, like the wing feathers of a fowl. There may be as many as thirty feathers depending on the size of the potato. The youngster then holding the other end of the stick and running against the wind, repeats :

"Gorag gorag gaoithe, Beiridh mise 'h-uile latha, Is cha bheir thusa 'choidh."

(Fool, fool of the wind, / I will lay every day / And you will never lay.) This is the Gaelic equivalent of a toy that was frequently carried round the country in the Lowlands in exchange for rags and bones, made of two pieces of thin stick arranged like a St. Andrew's cross with a small square of coloured paper glued on each arm of the cross, a strong pin being thrust through their points of junction, and stuck into the end of a piece of stick, sufficiently loosely to permit the cross to spin round on the pin when run with against the wind.

Bodach Sabhaidh. The Sawyer.

A piece of light box-wood — match-boarding I think would describe it in the south — is roughly shaped into a man's body and head, to which are loosely attached other pieces of the same wood representing arms and legs. This figure is suspended, where there is a draught, from a rafter in the house, by a string fixed to its head, and where the figure can whirl about, shaking its legs and arms to the amusement of the youngsters.

R. C. Maclagan.