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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/366

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358
A Batch of Irish Folk-lore.

yard; the same custom has come under my observation occasionally in Cork.

14. No grave allowed to be dug on Monday.

15. The gravediggers, once having commenced, must finish the digging, no change of diggers being allowed.

16. On Handsel Monday (first Monday in the year) the country people will not pay any money for anything if possible.

17. Doctor not allowed to take lymph from arm of child until he gives it some present, however trifling.

18. Chalking the backs of unmarried girls is practised on the last Sunday before Lent at Galway and elsewhere.

19. If a child falls accidentally, an old women makes him take three tastes of salt ; the idea being that the fairies caused the fall in trying to run away with the child, and salt is an antidote against fairies.

20. Weasels, so-called (properly stoats), are greatly respected, and addressed as "Pretty Lady" in Irish, with raised hat.

21. Dwarf or misshapen children are held to be given to a mother by the fairies in place of a healthy child they have stolen from her to renew the stock of fairies, and who, while the dwarf lives, is supposed to be a sort of fairy apprentice. When the dwarf dies, the healthy child it supplanted is supposed to have been admitted into the fairy band, and mothers assert at death of dwarf that they see the healthy child that should have been theirs.

22. When in a graveyard it is customary to walk as much as possible "with the sun", with the right hand towards centre of circle.

23. At Innisbofin, when the old women natives meet Mrs. Allies' baby out with its nurse, they spit on the ground all round it in a circle, to keep fairies from it ; an interesting but disagreeable custom.

The following were given to Mr. Lane by Dr. T. V. Costello of Bealadangan : —

On Lettermore Island, which also is in South Connemara, immediately after the birth of a child — which, by the way, is always delivered with the mother in a kneeling posture — the father throws (counting as he does so) nine articles of clothing over the mother : the number never varies.