Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/490

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454

Collectanea.

fishing and to keep off dogfishes and small sharks. 2° The reputed giant lake pikes and eels have already been mentioned.^^

" Worms r — Newts, lizards, and large caterpillars are included by the peasantry under this term. They are supposed to be very dangerous to both men and cattle, and are relentlessly destroyed. Of late years I have even had difficulty in saving the pretty little grey lizards, now much rarer than when, over thirty years ago, they swarmed in Clare Abbey and other sunny and sheltered ruins. A colony of unfortunate little lizards in a hollow tree was reported to me as " a nest of adders." My informant ^^ about the sacrifice on the dolmen of Maryfort, — the daughter of an old Peninsular veteran, living near Clonlara, — told me a circumstantial tale which was faintly remembered at Clonlara many years later. A " worm with legs " ran down a man's throat as he slept in a field, and he pined away, with an ever-increasing appetite, until he was per- suaded to consult a " wise person." He was kept from drinking for two days by the expert, and then fed on bacon and taken to a stream. The patient's mouth was fastened open, and a freshly- toasted piece of bacon put near it. The thirsty " worm " heard the running water, and came out into the man's mouth, where it smelt the meat and sprang on it, fixing its claws in it. The " wise man" then threw the bacon into the water, and the man rapidly recovered. A similar story from near TuUa ended in the " worm " drinking and trying to jump back into the patient's mouth, but being killed by the doctor. ^3 Children were told that, if they slept with their mouths open, "worms" (apparently caterpillars of the death's head or the puss moth in Inchiquin and central Clare) or

"^^ Canon Dwyer, Diocese of Killaloe, p. 503, writes unsynipathetically about this touching faith of the poor fishers.

21 Vol. xxi., p. 480. 22]^jjg_ Eliza Egan ; see ante, p. 51.

23 1 have heard an almost identical story told among my mother's relatives as happening in Lancashire. [The belief in "animals in people's insides" is almost universal in the British Isles ; for examples see N. &= Q.^ 1st S., vol. vi., pp. 221, 338, 466, vol. ix., pp. 29, 84, 276, 523 ; 6th S., vol. i., pp. 311, 392 ; 9th S., vol. vii., pp. 222, 332, 390, vol. viii., pp. 89, 346, vol. xi., p. 467, vol. xii., pp. 414, 471 ; Folk-Lore, vol. x., p. 251 ; British Medical Journal, 1906 ; and many newspaper paragraphs, such as one in Morning Leader, June 3, 1908. I have heard the tale told in London with a large community of cockroaches as the tenants. — Ed.]