Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/192

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1 8 2 Collectanea.

Folk Tales from Co. Mayo, Ireland.

These three stories were told by a woman of sixty, named Una Canavan. Her great-grandfather had a big book full of stories written in Irish, and the three (which were told me partly in Irish and partly in English) were in it. His name was Bartholemew Conlon, and he lived at Woodfield, Kilkelly, Co. Mayo. Una had heard the stories from her aunt, who had heard her grandfather read them out of the book.

There is an abruptness, a possible hiatus here and there, in the stories as told by the woman that may not have been in the book. Two of them are variations of well known folk-tales. The drop of sweat that makes a sea, the nut from which a forest springs, the hatchet that cleaves to the wood, the bird's nest in the hair, and the story of the cock and hen, are all familiar. We may note in the two last stories that the duck with the fateful egg is concealed in one in a tree and in the other in a ram with the baleful eyes. But in both, for the egg to have effect, it must strike to the left ; the mole on the left side, the arm on the left.

In the first story, in the queen, golden, flaming, we perhaps get a glimpse into some remote world of the gods — but it is a glimpse, nothing more. The mysterious queen from whose hair of dazzling gold the wind blows a tress which is a light in the darkness, may be a dim folk-memory of some radiant divinity in the old mythology of Ireland. The little dark horse that changes colour may also be connected with a solar myth.

The roof of feathers in the second story is interesting as evidence that the tale is as old (while it has elements that are much older) as the time when such roofs were actually made in Ireland. The ladies' ^rianans, or houses, were sometimes thatched with wings of birds.

L. McManus.

Beanrioghan. oir, loisgeach.

There was a nobleman long ago and his wife died when she had one son, and he married another wife, and she put the son out. On walking to another place the son met a young gentleman {diime nasal bg) and he asked where he was going. And he said