Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/418

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382 Miscellanea.

good wife, in the absence of her husband, handed the " coire " to the fairies, she forgot to repeat the talismanic rhyme : " Dleasaidh coire cneimh, 'us a chur slan d'a thigh " (" A boiler merits a bone and returning it safely home"), that acted so magically on the fairies as to oblige them, nolentes vokntes, to return it at the proper time. This talismanic rhyme is a common proverb with the addi- tion " 'Us dleasaidh gobha gual, 'us iarruin fuar ga' bhleith " (" A smith merits coal and cold iron to grind ").

Although she forgot to repeat the rhyme, the fairies did not. As the "coire" was not returned at the usual time she was obliged to go for it to the "Bruth." On her arrival there the door happened to be wide open. wSeeing the " coire " at a short dis- tance from the door she went straight for it without saluting the "Bruth" dwellers (Gun bheannachadh do mhuinntir a' Bruth), and unceremoniously seized it and made for the door. As she did so she heard one of the fairies saying: "A' bhean bhalbh sin 'us a' bhean bhalbh sin a thainig a tir nam fear marbh fuasgal 'An Dubh ' 'us leig ' An Dearg ' " (" That dumb woman, that dumb woman, who came from the land of the dead men. Open ' the Black ' and let go ' the Red ' "). Just as she was going out at the door " the Dubh " seized her by the heel and tore it off. She died so shortly thereafter (so says the legend) that she had scarcely time to tell of the treatment she had received at the hands of her neighbours of the "Bruth." I have often heard of the "cuth sith," the fairy dog ; but this is the only legend I know in which the names of any fairy dogs occur.

///. — The Deer an Aiiimal of Evil Omen.

One of the old pagan beliefs which has come down to our own times, but which one scarcely hears mentioned at the present day, was, that if a deer were seen, or met one, in a place unfre- quented by deer and separated from the herd, such an event was considered of old a certain forerunner of some catastrophe that was shortly to overtake the individual who had seen the deer, or to take place in that locality. The writer remembers as a dream, but quite distinctly, of some of his old intimate acquaintances associating the fact that a deer had been seen in a locality unfre- quented by deer with a drowning that had shortly thereafter taken place there, and which happened at the time to be a subject of