should'n a kept the cheeld so long. Make haste, put on your hat, and take the cheeld down to the old pixy, for if he knaws us be keepin' un yer he'll lead us a pretty dance. You knaws what ticklish little chaps they be."
The farmer hastened to put on his hat and wrap up the little child, who by this time was laughing and chirping merrily. The farmer went to the place where he had seen the pixy, found no traces of the little man, and returned home. His wife was very worried, although she cuddled and kissed the little baby, wishing all the time it were her own.
Late that evening the farmer again sallied forth with the baby wrapped up warmly, and to his great delight heard again the mournful wail,—"Where's my shilo? I've lost my shilo!" He called out to the old man, who was quickly at his side, and in his great delight seized the baby and rushed off with it without thanking the farmer.
That night with their toast and cider the old couple bemoaned their fate at having kept the child so long, as they feared the pixies would be angry and pay them out. But to their great surprise next morning on coming down stairs they found the kitchen fire lit, the breakfast ready, and the house swept; and when the farmer went into the yard and fields he found the corn threshed, and the work that would have taken him the whole day all finished. And every morning they found that during the night every bit of the work of the farm had been done and of the house; so that they had to hire no labour, grew quite rich, and were happy ever after.
A Folklore Survey of County Clare (continued from vol. xxi, p. 487).
XI. Charms, Amulets, and Magical Rites.
Cursing Stones.—In some cases the use of the round stones generally,—but not by the peasantry,—called "cursing stones" is not for magical purposes, and there is often no belief in their efficacy for good or evil. For example, the rounded stones on