Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/491

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Collectanea. 455

frogs (at Newmarket-on-Fergus) would creep down their throats. The finding of flukes and other parasites in sheep and cattle has helped the belief, and a beast's tongue, if swollen, is supposed to have been " stung by a worm." We have already noted a cure for "worm" in cattle,^* and the milk of the "Seven Sisters" plant 25 boiled in milk cures similar cases in human beings.-*^

Frog. — Besides jumping down children's throats, the frog cures a cough if held by the legs, put for a moment into the sufferer's mouth, and returned to the water.^" In a variant of the Bishop Hatto legend, at Bohatey, near Lough Derg, frogs mob and devour a boy who has tortured one of their number. ^8 Frogs are said to have been rained on a field in eastern Burren more than once.

Insects etc. — An old woman at Maryfort in 1869 scandalized her neighbours by asserting butterflies to be dwellings of the human soul, and that her own soul would go into a " blessed (tortoise-shell) butterfly." Whence she derived this belief is unknown. I heard about the same time, and, it may be, from the same source, a horrible story of a "spider as big as a bonnive" (young pig) sucking the blood of children in the dark, but I forget the details. It is lucky to kill the "daudayle" {dubh dael) or " devil's coach-horse," for this hideous but harmless creature has the repute of having guided Judas to Gethsemane.^^ When it " cocks up its hind end," you should crush it, preferably with your bare foot, for you are then spared a day, hour, or week in Purga- tory. In Clare I have only found this belief near TuUa, but it is common in other counties.

"-^Ante, p. 58. 25cf_ ante, p. 57.

"^^ So the late Michael Hazelton,an astrologer and herb doctor near Limerick.

27 So Mrs. O'Callaghan.

'^^So Capt. Hibbert of Woodpark. A similar tale is told about toads by Giraldus Cambrensis, Itinerary in Wales, cap. ii.

25 In Ulster the "connach worm" replaces the beetle. The tale says that men were sowing a corn-field when Our Lord and the faithful disciples passed, and that He told the sowers to inform His pursuers that they had last seen Him when they were sowing. The corn at once sprang into ear, and the pursuers, on getting the answer to their enquiry, were turning back when the worm cried out that the seed had only just been.sown. The Ulster tale was collected by Mr. W. F. De Vismes Kane, D.L., of Monaghan. In Clare Island (Mayo) Mr. N. Colgan found a similar tale told of St. Patrick and his enemies.