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ONCE upon a time there lived a man whose one wish and prayer was to get rich. Day and night he thought of nothing else, and at last his prayers were granted, and he became very wealthy. Now being so rich, and having so much to lose, he felt that it would be a terrible thing to die and leave all his possessions behind; so he made up his mind to set out in search of a land where there was no death. He got ready for his journey, took leave of his wife, and started. Whenever he came to a new country the first question that he asked was whether people died in that land, and when he heard that they did, he set out again on his quest. At last he reached a country where he was told that the people did not even know the meaning of the word death. Our traveller was delighted when he heard this, and said:
‘But surely there are great numbers of people in your land, if no one ever dies?’

`No,’ they replied, `there are not great numbers, for you see from time to time a voice is heard calling first one and then another, and whoever hears that voice gets up and goes away, and never comes back.’

`And do they see the person who calls them,’ he asked, `or do they only hear his voice?’

`They both see and hear him,’ was the answer.

Well, the man was amazed when he heard that the people were stupid enough to follow the voice, though they knew that if they went when it called them they would never return. And he went back to his own home and got all his possessions together, and, taking his wife and family, he set out resolved to go and live in that country where the people did not die, but where instead they heard a voice calling them, which they followed into a land from which they never returned. For he had made up his own mind that when he or any of his family heard that voice they would pay no heed to it, however loudly it called.

After he had settled down in his new home, and had got everything in order about him, he warned his wife and family that, unless they wanted to die, they must on no account listen to a voice which they might someday hear calling them.

For some years everything went well with them, and they lived happily in their new home. But one day, while they were all sit-ting together round the table, his wife suddenly started up, exclaiming in a loud voice:

`I am coming! I am coming!’

And she began to look round the room for her fur coat, but her husband jumped up, and taking firm hold of her by the hand, held her fast, and reproached her, saying:

`Don’t you remember what I told you? Stay where you are unless you wish to die.’

`But don’t you hear that voice calling me?’ she answered. `I am merely going to see why I am wanted. I shall come back directly.’

So she fought and struggled to get away from her husband, and to go where the voice summoned. But he would not let her go, and had all the doors of the house shut and bolted. When she saw that he had done this, she said:
‘Very well, dear husband, I shall do what you wish, and remain where I am.’

So her husband believed that it was all right, and that she had thought better of it, and had got over her mad impulse to obey the voice. But a few minutes later she made a sudden dash for one of the doors, opened it and darted out, followed by her husband. He caught her by the fur coat, and begged and implored her not to go, for if she did she would certainly never return. She said nothing, but let her arms fall backwards, and suddenly bending herself forward, she slipped out of the coat, leaving it in her husband’s hands. He, poor man, seemed turned to stone as he gazed after her hurrying away from him, and calling at the top of her voice, as she ran:
`I am coming! I am coming!’

When she was quite out of sight her husband recovered his wits and went back into his house, murmuring:
`If she is so foolish as to wish to die, I can’t help it. I warned and implored her to pay no heed to that voice, however loudly it might call.’

Well, days and weeks and months and years passed, and nothing happened to disturb the peace of the household. But one day the man was at the barber’s as usual, being shaved. The shop was full of people, and his chin had just been covered with a lather of soap, when, suddenly starting up from the chair, he called out in a loud voice:
`I won’t come, do you hear? I won’t come!’

The barber and the other people in the shop listened to him with amazement. But again looking towards the door, he exclaimed:
`I tell you, once and for all, I do not mean to come, so go away.’

And a few minutes later he called out again:
`Go away, I tell you, or it will be the worse for you. You may call as much as you like but you will never get me to come.’

And he got so angry that you might have thought that someone was actually standing at the door, tormenting him. At last he jumped up, and caught the razor out of the barber’s hand, exclaiming:
`Give me that razor, and I’ll teach him to let people alone for the future.’

And he rushed out of the house as if he were running after someone, whom no one else saw. The barber, determined not to lose his razor, pursued the man, and they both continued running at full speed till they had got well out of the town, when all of a sudden the man fell head foremost down a precipice, and never was seen again. So he too, like the others, had been forced against his will to follow the voice that called him.

The barber, who went home whistling and congratulating himself on the escape he had made, described what had happened, and it was noised abroad in the country that the people who had gone away, and had never returned, had all fallen into that pit; for till then they had never known what had happened to those who had heard the voice and obeyed its call.

But when crowds of people went out from the town to examine the ill-fated pit that had swallowed up such numbers, and yet never seemed to be full, they could discover nothing. All that they could see was a vast plain, that looked as if it had been there since the beginning of the world. And from that time the people of the country began to die like ordinary mortals all the world over.

http://abelapublishing.com/the-book-of-hairy-fairy-tales-and-folklore_p26352875.htm
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SANNTRAIGH

From Alexander M’Donald, tenant, and others, Barra. July 1859.

Once upon a time, THERE was a herd’s wife in the island of Sanntraigh, and she had a kettle. A woman of peace (fairy) would come every day to seek the kettle. She would not say a word when she came, but she would catch hold of the kettle. When she would catch the kettle, the woman of the house would say–

A smith is able to make
Cold iron hot with coal.
The due of a kettle is bones,
And to bring it back again whole.

The woman of peace would come back every day with the kettle and flesh and bones in it. On a day that was there, the housewife was for going over the ferry to Baile a Chaisteil, and she said to her man, “If thou wilt say to the woman of peace as I say, I will go to Baile Castle.” “Oo! I will say it. Surely it’s I that will say it.” He was spinning a heather rope to be set on the house. He saw a woman coming and a shadow from her feet, and he took fear of her. He shut the door. He stopped his work. When she came to the door she did not find the door open, and he did not open it for her. She went above a hole that was in the house. The kettle gave two jumps, and at the third leap it went out at the ridge of the house. The night came, and the kettle came not. The wife came back over the ferry, and she did not see a bit of the kettle within, and she asked, “Where was the kettle?” “Well then I don’t care where it is,” said the man; “I never took such a fright as I took at it. I shut the door, and she did not come any more with it.” “Good-for-nothing wretch, what didst thou do? There are two that will be ill off–thyself and I.” “She will come to-morrow with it.” “She will not come.”

She hasted herself and she went away. She reached the knoll, and there was no man within. It was after dinner, and they were out in the mouth of the night. She went in. She saw the kettle, and she lifted it with her. It was heavy for her with the remnants that they left in it. When the old carle that was within saw her going out, he said,

Silent wife, silent wife,
That came on us from the land of chase,
Thou man on the surface of the “Bruth,”
Loose the black, and slip the Fierce.

The two dogs were let loose; and she was not long away when she heard the clatter of the dogs coming. She kept the remnant that was in the kettle, so that if she could get it with her, well, and if the dogs should come that she might throw it at them. She perceived the dogs coming. She put her hand in the kettle. She took the board out of it, and she threw at them a quarter of what was in it. They noticed it there for a while. She perceived them again, and she threw another piece at them when they closed upon her. She went away walking as well as she might; when she came near the farm, she threw the mouth of the pot downwards, and there she left them all that was in it. The dogs of the town struck (up) a barking when they saw the dogs of peace stopping. The woman of peace never came more to seek the kettle.

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/popular-tales-of-the-west-highlands-vol-1_p23332653.htm

ISBN: 978-1-907256-06-6

Once upon a time, Tommy Grimes was sometimes a good boy, and sometimes a bad boy; and when he was a bad boy, he was a very bad boy. Now his mother used to say to him: ‘Tommy, Tommy, be a good boy, and don’t go out of the street, or else Mr Miacca will take you.’ But still when he was a bad boy he would go out of the street; and one day, sure enough, he had scarcely got round the corner, when Mr Miacca did catch him and popped him into a bag upside down, and took him off to his house.

When Mr Miacca got Tommy inside, he pulled him out of the bag and sat him down, and felt his arms and legs. ‘You’re rather tough,’ says he; ‘but you’re all I’ve got for supper, and you’ll not taste bad boiled. But body o’ me, I’ve forgot the herbs, and it’s bitter you’ll taste without herbs. Sally! Here, I say, Sally!’ and he called Mrs Miacca.

So Mrs Miacca came out of another room and said: ‘What d’ye want, my dear?’

‘Oh, here’s a little boy for supper,’ said Mr Miacca, ‘and I’ve forgot the herbs. Mind him, will ye, while I go for them.’

‘All right, my love,’ says Mrs Miacca, and off he goes.

Then Tommy Grimes said to Mrs Miacca: ‘Does Mr Miacca always have little boys for supper?’

‘Mostly, my dear,’ said Mrs Miacca, ‘if little boys are bad enough, and get in his way.’

‘And don’t you have anything else but boy-meat? No pudding?’ asked Tommy.

‘Ah, I loves pudding,’ says Mrs Miacca. ‘But it’s not often the likes of me gets pudding.’

‘Why, my mother is making a pudding this very day,’ said Tommy Grimes, ‘and I am sure she’d give you some, if I ask her. Shall I run and get some?’

‘Now, that’s a thoughtful boy,’ said Mrs Miacca, ‘only don’t be long and be sure to be back for supper.’

So off Tommy pelted, and right glad he was to get off so cheap; and for many a long day he was as good as good could be, and never went round the corner of the street. But he couldn’t always be good; and one day he went round the corner, and as luck would have it, he hadn’t scarcely got round it when Mr Miacca grabbed him up, popped him in his bag, and took him home.

When he got him there, Mr Miacca dropped him out; and when he saw him, he said: ‘Ah, you’re the youngster that served me and my missus such a shabby trick, leaving us without any supper. Well, you shan’t do it again. I’ll watch over you myself. Here, get under the sofa, and I’ll set on it and watch the pot boil for you.’

So poor Tommy Grimes had to creep under the sofa, and Mr Miacca sat on it and waited for the pot to boil. And they waited and they waited, but still the pot didn’t boil, till at last Mr

Miacca got tired of waiting, and he said: ‘Here, you under there, I’m not going to wait any longer; put out your leg, and I’ll stop your giving us the slip.’

 

So Tommy put out a leg and Mr Miacca got a chopper, and chopped it off, and pops it in the pot.

Suddenly he calls out: ‘Sally, my dear, Sally!’ and nobody answered. So he went into the next room to look out for Mrs Miacca, and while he was there Tommy crept out from under the sofa and ran out of the door. For it was a leg of the sofa that he had put out.

So Tommy Grimes ran home, and he never went round the corner again till he was old enough to go alone.

 

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/english-fairy-tales_p23332613.htm

ISBN: 978-1-907256-04-2

Once upon a time, an old blacksmith lived in an old forge at Craig-y-don, and he used to drink a great deal too much beer.

 

One night he was coming home from an alehouse very tipsy, and as he got near a small stream a lot of little men suddenly sprang up from the rocks, and one of them, who seemed to be older than the rest, came up to him, and said,

 

“If you don’t alter your ways of living you’ll die soon; but if you behave better and become a better man you’ll find it will be to your benefit,” and they all disappeared as quickly as they had come.

 

The old blacksmith thought a good deal about what the fairies had told him, and he left off drinking, and became a sober, steady man.

 

One day, a few months after meeting the little people, a strange man brought a horse to be shod. Nobody knew either the horse or the man.

 

The old blacksmith tied the horse to a hole in the lip of a cauldron (used for the purpose of cooling his hot iron) that he had built in some masonry.

 

When he had tied the horse up he went to shoe the off hind-leg, but directly he touched the horse the spirited animal started back with a bound, and dragged the cauldron from the masonry, and then it broke the halter and ran away out of the forge, and was never seen again: neither the horse nor its master.

 

When the old blacksmith came to pull down the masonry to rebuild it, he found three brass kettles full of money.

http://www.abelapublishing.com/welsh-fairy-tales-and-other-stories_p23332700.htm

 

ISBN: 978-1-907256-03-5

Once upon a time, on the edge of a mountain, lovely as the entrance to paradise, see, coming along, and descending toward the valley, three flocks of young lambs, driven by three young shepherds; one is an inhabitant of the plains of Moldau, the other is Hungarian, the third is from the Vrantcha Mountain. The Hungarian and the Vranchian have held counsel together, and have resolved that at sunset they will kill their companion, on account of his riches, for he owns more horned sheep than they do, his horses are better trained than theirs, and his dogs more vigorous. Yet, for three days past, there is in his flock a fair young sheep, with white silky wool, who will no longer eat the tender grass of the prairie, and moans all day long.
“My poor little sheep, you who were so fat and well! how is it that for three days you have done nothing but groan and moan? don’t you like the prairie grass, or are you ill, my dear little lamb?”
“Oh, my beloved shepherd, lead thy flock to that thicket, there will be grass for us, and shade for thee; master, dear master! call near you without delay, one of your best and strongest dogs, for the Hungarian and the Vranchian have resolved to kill you at sunset!”

“Dear little sheep of the mountains, if thou art a prophetess, if it is written that I am to die in the bosom of these pastures, thou wilt tell the Hungarian and the Vranchian to bury me near this spot, not far from this enclosure, so that I may always be near you, my beloved lambs,–either here, or behind the shepherd’s hut, so that I may always hear the voice of my faithful dogs. Thou wilt tell them this, and thou wilt place at the foot of nay grave a little flute of elm wood, with its accents of love; another of bone, with its harmonious sounds; another of reeds, with its passionate notes; and when the wind blows across their pipes bringing out plaintive music, then my flock will assemble round my tomb, and weep for me, tears of blood.”

“Take care thou dost not tell them of my murder! tell them I have married a beautiful Queen, that at the moment of our union, a star fell, that the sun and moon together held the crown over my head, that I exist no longer for them. But if ever thou meetest, if ever thou comest near, a poor old mother, running across the fields, weeping and asking, ‘who amongst you have seen a young shepherd, with face as fair as milk, with moustache yellow as ripe corn, with waist so slight that it would pass through a ring, with raven hair, and eyes like mulberries?’–then my little sheep, take pity on her, and tell her that I have married a daughter of the King who lives at the entrance of paradise, but say nothing to her of the falling star!” Here ends the fragment.

http://www.abelapublishing.com/roumanian-fairy-tales-and-legends_p23332656.htm
ISBN: 978-0-956058-49-2

Once upon a time, there was once a poor Gypsy with a very beautiful daughter, whom he guarded like the apple of his eye, for he wanted to marry her to a chieftain. So he always kept her in the tent when the lads and lasses sat of an evening by the fire and told stories, or beguiled the time with play and dance. Only a dog was the constant companion of this poor maiden. No one knew whom the dog belonged to, or where he came from. He had joined the band once, and thenceforth continued the trusty companion of the poor beautiful maiden.

It befell once that her father must go to a far city, to sell there his besoms, baskets, spoons, and troughs. He left his daughter with the other women in the tents on the heath, and set out with the men for the city. This troubled the poor girl greatly, for no one would speak to her, as all the women envied her for her beauty and avoided her; in a word, they hated the sight of her. Only the dog remained true to her; and once, as she sat sorrowfully in front of the tent, he said, ‘Come, let us go out on the heath; there I will tell you who I really am.’ The girl was terrified, for she had never heard of a dog being able to speak like a man; but when the dog repeated his request, she got up and went with him out on the heath. There the dog said, ‘Kiss me, and I shall become a man.’ The girl kissed him, and lo! before her stood a man of wondrous beauty. He sat down beside her in the grass, and told how a fairy had turned him into a dog for trying to steal her golden apples, and how he could resume his human shape for but one night in the year, and only then if a girl had kissed him first. Much more had the two to tell, and they toyed in the long grass all the livelong night. When day dawned, the girl slipped back with the dog to her tent; and the two henceforth were the very best of friends.

The poor Gypsy came back from the city to the heath, merry because he had made a good bit of money. When again he must go to the city to sell his besoms and spoons, the girl remained behind with the dog in the camp, and one night she brought forth a little white puppy. In her terror and anguish she ran to the great river, and jumped into the water. When the people sought to draw her out of the water, they could not find her corpse; and the old Gypsy, her father, would have thrown himself in too, when a handsome strange gentleman came up, and said, ‘I’ll soon get you the body.’ He took a bit of bread, kissed it, and threw it into the water. The dead girl straightway emerged from the water. The people drew the corpse to land, and bore it back to the tents, in three days’ time to bury it. But the strange gentleman said, ‘I will bring my sweetheart to life.’ And he took the little white puppy, the dead girl’s son, and laid it on the bosom of the corpse. The puppy began to suck, and when it had sucked its full, the dead girl awoke, and, on seeing the handsome man, started up and flew into his arms, for he was her lover who had lived with her as a white dog.

All greatly rejoiced when they heard this marvellous story, and nobody thought of the little white puppy, the son of the beautiful Gypsy girl. All of a sudden they heard a baby cry; and when they looked round, they saw a little child lying in the grass. Then was the joy great indeed. The little puppy had vanished and taken human shape. So they celebrated marriage and baptism together, and lived in wealth and prosperity till their happy end.

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/gypsy-folk-tales–book-one_p23332620.htm

ISBN: 978-0-956058-48-5

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