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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/188

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Folk-lore Gleanings from County Leitrim.

On attempting to enter the kitchen, the fairies shouted to her as with one voice, "Go back!" so there was nothing for it but to retire to bed again and leave them alone. The next morning she found everything as usual, save that one pail was full of blood—"which same was a parable to her", said my informant, "and for that reason the country people always leave a gallon of water in the kitchen at night, lest the 'good people' should come and want it."

The Lepracaun.

The Lepracaun is sometimes to be seen, so I am told; at least some years ago, down Fenagh way, a man was working in a field and heard a noise behind him, when, turning round, what should he see but a Lepracaun seated under a big leaf, cobbling away merrily at a shoe. Before the little man had time to escape he found himself in the peasant's grasp, and was frightened almost out of his life, for the Lepracaun is always impressed with the idea that if he is caught he will be killed. His captor, however, knew right well how to turn his opportunity to account, and told the little man he would let him go if he would show him where treasure was hid, with the knowledge of which the Lepracaun is credited. Glad to escape, he showed the man where he would find a pot of gold, and was rewarded by being set at liberty.

Bewitched Butter.

There are throughout Ireland stories of milk stealing and butter bewitching. In the district under notice there are many tales of butter being taken from the milk, and consequently of antidotes therefor. One way is to tie a rope with nine knots in it round the churn: this will bring the butter back, supposing it to have been stolen; or you may put a harrow-pin and a crooked sixpence in the four corners of the house. A common method is to place a half-burnt turf under the churn, or a piece of heather, or a branch of rowan-berries (mountain ash) is said to be efficacious.