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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/38

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1 6 The Physique^ Customs^ and Superstitions

of a she-ass. Another remedy is to lead the boy or girl affected with the disease to a j-oz^M-running stream, in branks. Branks are a kind of wooden bridle used for cattle in country districts.

Sprains or Broken Limbs. — These are cured by charms, which consist in touching the injured part with the hands and reciting some formulae in words.

Evil Eye. — Many persons here are supposed to have an "Evil Eye" — red-haired women in particular. Any animal except an ass, even a child looked upon by these persons, is said to be blinked, or under the influence of the " Evil Eye," and so will pine away and die.

Superstitions as to Fish. — Formerly Lough Suille(Swilly), an inlet of the sea, twenty-five miles in length and ten miles from Londonderry, on which Bunerana is built, was the great centre of the herring-fishing industry here. Hundreds of boats were to be found engaged in that pursuit ; and often, the old men say, the beach was strewed with tons and tons of the fish — no market being had. At the beginning of the present century the witches of Scotland, possessing superior powers to those of the Irish, came over and enticed the finny denizens of the lough to Scotland. Since that time very few herrings are caught in the lough. It is told that the fisher- men were engaged as usual. The night was very calm. Here, there, and everywhere was the lough dotted with boats with their crews. Up from the entrance of the inlet was seen rushing a silver herring of a large size. Quickly it rushed through the waters, passing by the boats with their out- stretched nets. Up one side it rushed, followed by countless multitudes of herrings, away across, then down the other side, its following still increasing, until, having gathered all the herrings in its train, it swept away down the lough with a roar and rush resembling that of a mighty whirlwind. The fishermen, speechless with terror, rowed quickly ashore, minus their nets, and herring-fishing on Lough Suille became a thing of the past.