John Halsted's Blog - Posts Tagged "kerruish"

"I must not think, I may not gaze
On what I am, on what I was."
BYRON.

THE wide open Bay of Ramsey, on the northern coast of the Isle of Man, is the largest and safest of all the many anchorages surrounding the shores of this beautiful island. It affords a welcome shelter to vessels of all sizes, from the little coasting hooker of thirty tons to the leviathan Atlantic steamship of three thousand; and it is no uncommon sight, during the season of westerly gales, to see upwards of two hundred ships, large and small, snugly and safely riding at anchor under the lee of North Barrule and the bold headland of St Maughold.

North Barrule rises some eighteen hundred feet high, and pierces, with his conical sugarloaf-shaped head, the hurrying clouds as they are driven before the gale. It terminates the mountain range that forms the backbone of the Isle of Mona, or, as it is called in the native tongue, Ellan Vannin.

Although North Barrule always forms a grand and distinctive feature in the landscape of the northern part of the island, it is not when viewed from the shore that it is seen to its greatest advantage, but from the sea; and many a traveller, when approaching the island from the Cumberland coast, must have been struck with its resemblance in shape to Vesuvius.

Many are the streams that take their rise from the rocks and slopes of North Barrule, and, winding down and leaping from Craig to Craig, after uniting with each other in one or other of the lower glens, find their way at last into the sea. The largest of these is the Sulby River, which, after leaving the romantic glen of that name, becomes a considerable stream, winding for some distance at the base of the mountain dividing it from the low sandy plain that stretches away northwards, till it terminates in the Point of Ayre--the nearest approach of the island to the Scottish coast--falls into the sea, forming ere it reaches there a convenient harbour, upon which is built the northern capital of the island, Ramsey, which gives its name to the capacious bay.

Besides Sulby there are two other notable glens, up whose rugged ways the visitor desirous of climbing the mountain has to wend his way. One of these, Ballure, is of surpassing beauty, with its dancing, dashing stream fighting its way, jealous of its greater rival of Sulby, round about and over rocks, between the crevices of which the most exquisite ferns grow in the greatest profusion and array, to find an independent outlet to the sea. The other is the Glen of Aldyn, whither I would take my reader, while I relate to him the sad story of the Phynodderree.

Very many years ago, long prior to the days of parish registers, and before Manx people kept written chronicles or diaries of their daily lives, there resided in a little thatch-covered cottage about half-way up Glen Aldyn, an old man, who cultivated a small patch of ground, fed a few mountain sheep, and kept a solitary cow. In his farming avocations--in which, when not engaged with her spinning-wheel, his only daughter, Kitty, assisted him--old Billy Nell, or William Kerruish, added that of tailor; and as the best tailor for miles round Kerruish was famed. He himself imagined, in the simplicity of his heart, it was to the good quality of his work, his moderate charges, and the excellence of his materials he owed this reputation, and so much business that he had hard work to find time for that and his farming duties too. Mrs. Joughin, the wife of a tailor in Ramsey, told her neighbours "that old Kerruish was only a botcher, and knew no more about tailoring than his own cow; and that if his bold-faced girl, Kitty, didn't encourage the young fellows with her smirks and her smiles, ne'er one of ’em would ever give him a job."

Mrs. Joughin was not altogether calculated to give an unbiassed opinion on the subject, and her observations were looked upon as somewhat prejudiced. At any rate, though old Billy Nell's style might not have been quite equal to that of the Pooles and Smallpages of Douglas and Castletown, the young men of Maughold and Lezayre were only too glad to give him their custom, if only to have an excuse to visit his cottage, and, if possible, pass a few words with, and obtain a favouring smile from, his fair daughter Kitty.

The old tailor-farmer was known among his neighbours by the name of Billy Nell, to distinguish him from several other William Kerruishes in the parish, his mother's name having been Ellen; his soubriquet meaning William, the son of Ellen.

The innuendo against Kitty conveyed by Mrs. Joughin's uncharitable remarks as to smirks and smiles was unjust in every way. Kitty was as good as she was beautiful. Such laughing, deep blue eyes, with long silken lashes that would have made an Eastern beauty die of envy; rich, dark-brown luxuriant tresses, well-developed pencilled eyebrows; and cheeks that rose and lily combined to render perfect, with full luscious lips and teeth that dazzled with their whiteness, together with a lithe and graceful figure, afforded a good excuse for any young man taking the longest walk to gaze upon; and when to all these were added the sweetest expression and that indefinable charm that ever attaches itself to a really good and pure-minded woman, little was the wonder she had enslaved the hearts of all the young fishermen and farmers between Kirk Maughold and the Point of Ayre. However hard the wind may have blown at night, and the young fishermen may have had to toil, before bringing their frail barques and catches of herrings safe into harbour, it was no fatigue to them to walk out to Glen Aldyn to catch a sight of fair Kitty's face, and maybe have a few words of pleasant talk, or hear her sing, for Kitty sang sweetly, so sweetly that in the summer twilight, as she sang to her father at his work, while she plied her spinning-wheel, the fairies would come and hide themselves behind the trees or amid the tall waving corn to listen to her voice with rapt attention.

Sometimes when she was singing thus, surrounded by her wee and invisible listeners, a sound would strike their sensitive ears, the sound of the approaching footsteps of someone coming up the glen. They would all scatter right and left, and, though unseen by Kitty or her father, would cause such a fluttering among the graceful ferns and amid the drooping flowers of the fuchsia trees that shrouded the cottage from the roadway, as would make Kitty think it was some sudden breeze of wind from the mountain-top, the sure precursor of a change of weather. The approaching step would probably be that of Evan Christian, or Robert Faragher, the two most persevering of all her wooers; the former of whom was never too tired to trudge from Lewaigue, or the latter all the way from Ballasaig, to pay her a visit and plead his cause.

To both of them, as well as to all the young gallants who flocked to her father's cottage on some pretence or other, Kitty Kerruish turned a deaf ear. A kind word and a sweet smile she always had for every- one, and would listen to their compliments and praises with a modesty that only still further inflamed their hearts; but when they ventured to speak to her of love, she would shake her head, laugh, and adroitly turn the conversation. When Evan Christian ventured once to press his suit with more than customary boldness, making profession of his love and begging for hers in return, she firmly but kindly replied: "No, Evan whilst my dear father lives, I can never leave him. At present he has all the love I have to give away."


-------------------------
From THE PHYNODDERREE and Other Tales from the Isle of Man
ISBN: 978-1-907256-77-6
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_tp....

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Published on March 05, 2012 23:16 • 115 views • Tags: ballasaig, cottage, fairy-lover, fairy-tales, folk-tales, folklore, glen-aldyn, isle, isle-of-man, kerruish, kitty, lewaigue, lover, man, manx, phynodderree, ramsey, spin, thatch, woo, wooer
ONE summer evening Kitty was seated as usual under the shade of the fuchsia trees at the cottage door, her delicate fingers busy with the yarn, while her spinning-wheel whirled round and round with a pleasant and homely hum, its treadle worked with the prettiest little foot in the island. Old Kerruish had gone to the DOONEY-MOOAR, the great man of the parish of Ballaugh, to carry home some work he had just completed, and Kitty was singing to herself a sweet, plaintive air, while awaiting his return.

Pausing in her song, she turned her head, the better to listen for the old man's footsteps as he came up the glen, when she suddenly saw, standing beside her, what she took to be a little child. Her first impression was that it was one of neighbour Mylrea's children, who had wandered up the glen from the valley below, having come up the course of the stream, as the little ones frequently did, in search of trout, which they had a dexterous and somewhat unorthodox method of catching, by means of routing about under the stones with a stick, and frightening the fish to a rudely-constructed hand-net.

A second glance at once showed her she was mistaken. It was not little Tommy Mylrea. What stood before her was no mortal child, but little fairy mannikin of most gallant and graceful bearing. Kitty had never before seen anything so charming or imagined aught so lovely.

"Sweet maid," said he, taking her hand in his and raising it to his lips with a grace and style that would have been envied by any gentleman of the court of the "Grand Monarque," "continue thy song, and be not in the least alarmed."

"Who and what are you?" she exclaimed, withdrawing her hand from his impassioned grasp, and feeling, in spite of an inner conviction, that he was hardly a "canny" visitor, most agreeably impressed by the wee creature's face and manner.



"Lovely Kitty--Ben-my-chree--I am your most devoted admirer, your slave. In me you see no mortal, but a fairy mannikin, whose heart has for long past been truant to his race, and devoted, oh, I cannot tell how truly and intensely fixed on thee. Nay, sweet maiden," continued the little man, again seizing her hand, and overcoming the coy resistance she at first displayed, I would not harm thee for all the elfin world. Often and often have I watched thee here, and witnessed how thou hast heard, unheeded, the rhapsodies poured into thine ear by the mortal admirers of thy wondrous and unequalled beauty, as they have offered thee their love. I was here when Evan Christian urged his suit, and was sent away with a bitter and bad feeling in his heart, and the knowledge that only on your father's death can he have any hopes of gaining your affection. I looked on from under yonder hart's-tongue fern when Bob Faragher vowed he would work his fingers to the bone for you, and prayed you to become the mistress of Ballasaig. I saw his dejected look and heard his heavy sigh, as before turning down the glen by the peat-stack, he cast a parting and a longing look as you carried your spinning-wheel into the cottage. I have heard all their avowals, and seen how each one has been refused. Oh, how I chuckled as I saw them depart, baffled and disappointed; but my heart, sweet Kitty, my love, is beyond them all. Nothing that any mortal, any mere man, ever felt or can feel at all approaches the intense adoration, the worship I now offer to you, dear Kitty--Mooar-Ben-my-chree--and that love I now lay at your feet."

The poor girl was utterly powerless to resist so passionate and so earnest an appeal as the handsome little mannikin poured forth with a volubility that admitted of no interruption. His presence completely fascinated and overpowered her. It seemed as if her heart, which had so long and so stoutly withstood the assaults of all her mortal swains, was suddenly captured by the coup de main of her elfin lover. She was spell-bound, and had at once to give way before his impetuous attack, and surrender at discretion. Her whole inner being was changed. She felt that now, but never before, she knew what love--fiery, intense, passionate, consuming love--really was. It took possession of her whole soul. The dart of Cupid had pierced her lovely bosom to the very haft. The tender but all-potent passion had absorbed her life and taken entire possession of her very existence. She felt a perfect agony of pleasure, as with wrapt attention to his every word and all oblivious to everything around but him, she listened while he continued to address her.

"Hear me, dearest maid, and let me plead my cause. I hold a high position at my elfin sovereign's court, and the fairest of our fairy maids in vain display their beauteous charms to me. Thou, sweet Kitty, and thou alone, possess the love, the heart of Uddereek."

Springing lightly up on to her spinning-wheel, the little lover threw his arms around her neck and passionately covered her sweet, rosy, pouting lips with his fervent kisses.

Kitty was enthralled, and unresistingly submitted to the gallant Uddereek's love, ardent as it was, and it was with feelings akin to deep regret that after a while, when the sound of her father's footsteps were heard coming up the glen, she saw him making preparations to depart.

"Hark! What sounds are those? I must now away. Kitty, Ben-my-chree, I hear thy father drawing near. No one must be a witness to our love. Should it e’er be known at the elfin court that I have dared to love, or even, Fact-y-tooil-graigh, cast a longing eye on mortal maid, I know not what dreadful fate might befall me. But, Kitty-ma-cushla (my darling Kitty), for thee and thy love I would risk all, if it were a thousandfold as much, and brave the direst vengeance of the fairy power. But the better to keep the secret, both from mortal and fairy ken, of our meetings and our love, I will await thee, my own, each evening at the twilight hour under the blue rowan tree in the Magher-Glass, Glen Aldyn (in the green field of Glen Aldyn), down there in the valley, beside where the limpid stream springs frisking o’er the rocks and dashes down into the lower Gully-Mooar."

Once again clasping her in his tiny arms and impressing a passionate kiss upon her lips, and murmuring a soft, tender farewell, he vanished from before her as suddenly as he came.

Kitty, who thought she had fallen asleep, and that all had been a glorious and delicious dream, sat entranced and musing after he had gone, gazing intently on the spot where Uddereek had disappeared. She felt half pleased half frightened at the new, strange sensation her heart now for the first time experienced. On the morning of that day she had risen a simple girl; now she was a perfect woman, with all woman's feelings. She felt, come weal, come woe, her whole future existence was bound up in that of her elfin lover. She sat on gazing vacantly before her, and when old Billy Nell drew near the cottage and gave the accustomed signal of his return home, he was surprised at its not being answered, and at hearing nought of Kitty's voice. He turned into the garden, but instead of her hurrying forward to meet him as was her wont, she was sitting silent and still, looking vacantly into space. No blithesome song, no busy truddle of the spinning-wheel as usual welcomed the old man's return. The distaff was on the ground at her feet, the wheel was overturned and lay against the house wall, where the fairy man had cast it when he sprang away in his flight; the yarn was broken and entangled, and Kitty sat utterly heedless of his approach.

She noticed him not, but her lips moved. He approached her and listened, as she gently murmured--

"Ogh-cha-nee, Woe's me. Ta-graigh-ayn, I love him."

The old man listened with astonishment to her mutterings. He called her by name, and instantly she jumped up, and, passing her hands before her eyes, as if awakening out of a trance or sleep, she welcomed him home in her old fond loving way, and after relieving him of his staff and kelpie, hastened to prepare their frugal evening meal of griddle cakes made of placket meal and salt herrings, washed down with fresh butter-milk and followed by a dish of Pinjean (Anglice, curds-and-whey), for the making of which in perfection Kitty was famous.


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From THE PHYNODDERREE and Other Tales from the Isle of Man
ISBN: 978-1-907256-77-6
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_tp....


The Phynodderree (and Other Tales from the Isle of Man) by Edward Callow
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Published on March 07, 2012 00:27 • 51 views • Tags: cottage, fairy-lover, fairy-tales, folk-tales, folklore, glen-aldyn, isle, isle-of-man, kerruish, kitty, lover, man, manx, phynodderree, ramsey, spin, thatch, uddereek, woo
EVERY evening, punctually as the twilight hour approached, did Kitty Kerruish feel an irresistible fascination steal over her that drew her to the trysting-place under the blue rowan tree in the Magher-Glass of Glen Aldyn to meet her elfin lover; and there she would sit, listening with rapture to the passionate and extatic avowals of his love, mingled with the most eloquent praises of her beauty, which the mannikin gently whispered into her intoxicated ear, as he lay like some fair child upon her lap, with his arms encircled round her neck.

One evening, to tease her lover--for Kitty, like all her sex, dearly loved to tease--she told him she did not half believe his protestations of affection, and that he would not be willing to make any great sacrifice to prove them.

Uddereek vowed she wronged him, and called upon her to name any test, any sacrifice she wanted him to make. At that moment she either could not or would not think of any; but presently he mentioned that the following night the fairy king and queen would hold a grand court and feast in Glen Rushen, in the southern part of the island, near Ballasalla, in honour of RE-HOLLYS-VOOAR-YN-ONYR, the royal festival of the harvest moon, and that every elfin in Ellan Vannin would have to attend. He described to her wondering and delighted ear how the dancing would be kept up till the moon ceased to shine, and sank behind the head of South Barrule, and the ruddy rays of the coming sun began to show signs of rising from the eastern sea.

"Ah, Uddereek!" said Kitty, teasingly, "you will enjoy all that, and soon forget, for the time at any rate, all about me, or that you ever saw or thought of poor Kitty."

"No, Cushla," the little man replied. "I shall be alone amid the elfin throng, and in spite of all the feasting and the music, all the dancing in the ring, all the revels in the ferns and sweet wild flowers, I shall wish myself far away from it all, and long to be with thee, dear Kitty."

"I just don't believe one word about it," she said, laughingly, and still intent on plaguing her little elfin lover. "Some fairy maid, whose beauty far surpasses mine, will captivate your heart, and you will soon forget your mortal love."

"Never! never!" he hastily interrupted. "I swear, my darling, never! And to prove to you how false and how unjust are your suspicions, I will leave the elfin gambols, and immediately the king and queen have risen from the feast and the revels have fairly commenced,, will slip away, and meet you here, dearest Kitty, three hours after the sun has set."

No woman but would have been pleased and satisfied at such a proof of her power and attractions, and Kitty Kerruish felt gratified and delighted as she laughingly replied--

"I will be here to meet you; and mind, sir, I shall expect you."

Little did she dream, poor lass! of the dire consequences that would result from his temerity and her exactitude, or at how dear a cost to both of them this proof of his love would be obtained.


-------------------------
From THE PHYNODDERREE and Other Tales from the Isle of Man
ISBN: 978-1-907256-77-6
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_tp....


The Phynodderree (and Other Tales from the Isle of Man) by Edward Callow
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Published on March 07, 2012 22:52 • 49 views • Tags: cottage, cushla, fairy-lover, fairy-tales, folk-tales, folklore, glen-aldyn, isle, isle-of-man, kerruish, kitty, lover, man, manx, phynodderree, ramsey, spin, thatch, uddereek, woo
GREAT were the preparations the next evening among the Elfin community for the coming feast and dance in the Magher-Glass of Glen Rushen.

Fairies from all parts of the island assembled to do honour to their Elfin monarch and his beauteous queen. Even the arch and naughty bugganes had to be upon their good behaviour, and for the time leave off their mischief and their pranks.

The feast, which was of the most récherché description, did credit to the fairy Gunters, whose successful endeavours elicited the praise of every elfin bon vivant. Unfortunately, the menu was transcribed with humming-bird quill upon a rose-leaf, which withered and curled up before the next day's sun had reached its meridian, so that no permanent record was left of the various plats and entrées placed before the guests; but we may be sure that on so auspicious an occasion, like a Mansion House or Guildhall banquet, "every delicacy in season" was provided, together with wines of the "rarest vintages."

The sparkling wine-cup passed busily and merrily round the board, well attended by jest and song. Many were the tales told that night of tricks and exploits, played by mischief-loving sprites and bugganes on such sinning mortals as had offended them, either by coming unbidden across their path, or neglecting one of the many customs and offerings which old usage had sanctified, and the wee folk considered to be their due, and in consequence had drawn down the fairy wrath upon their unlucky heads.

When the elfin party had done full justice to all the good things before them, and before adjourning for the festive dance, the royal healths were proposed and drank with all the honours, and the old Glen of Rushen rang again as the little voices shouted forth their homage to the toast. Seated next to Uddereek was a beauteous being who would, if seen by mortal man, have captivated him at once and completely turned his brain. Could any modern photographer but have obtained a negative of her fairy form and figure, the market for professional beauties' cartes de visites would have simply declined to far below zero, and the happy man would have realized a fortune.

This fairy beauty flirted--oh, flirting is but too mild a term to apply to her attacks upon our little Uddereek. In spite, however, of her blandishments most lavishly bestowed, and the many little wilful, winning ways, so well--ah too well--known to all the sex who are on conquest bent, whether they be fairies or no, denizens in Ellan Vannin or Belgravia--Uddereek was true to his mortal love of Glen Aldyn, and remained proof against them all, confining himself only to such attentions as no gentleman, elfin or mortal, could refuse to a lady seated beside him, and especially so fair as she.

Had the lovely Estella been born in Mayfair she could not have displayed more perfect ton, and no young lady in her second season, placed by a judicious and worldly-wise mamma beside the most eligible parti in the room, could have been more scientific in her attacks upon him. Her most bewitching smiles, her most love-inspiring glances, darted adroitly over the rim of her fan, composed of a single leaf from a magnificent dark purple pansy, and all the arts of the most accomplished coquetry were launched forth with a ravishing abandon, but all in vain. The heart of the elfin Uddereek was true as steel.

The powerful battery of her expressive eyes seemed utterly to fail in obtaining the proper range and elevation. Every shot, every dart, well directed as it was, fell short of its mark, and Uddereek was unscathed. He was cool, composed, gentlemanly, and aggravatingly polite.

Knowing full well her own powers, she felt stung to the quick at such a failure as she had never experienced before. She was simply astonished, almost stupefied, at such a result. At first she thought she must be seated beside a fool, one of those unimpressionable dolts too frequently met with in all societies, even of the best, who have no soul, no appreciation for anything. A second glance convinced her of the folly of such a thought.

Besides, was not the elfin next to her, Uddereek, the wittiest, the most accomplished, and most gallant little gentleman in the elfin court?

Estella looked jealously around to see if there was any other fairy maid at whom she could detect him gazing. She sought in vain for any one there, she would condescend to admit for one moment to herself, could possibly be regarded as a rival. She knew full well her own transcendent beauty, and that all acknowledged her the belle of the fête. Still she was far--very far--from being satisfied, and felt confident that no heart not already bestowed upon another could resist such charms and withstand such advances as hers. Her pride was piqued, her vanity deeply wounded, her curiosity excited, and she determined to fathom the mystery.

The feast over, the ball began. They one and all stood up. The king and queen led off the lively reel. Uddereek handed the fair Estella through the mazes of the dance, during which, far from desisting, she renewed with, if possible, redoubled energy her attacks, tried afresh all her arts to bring him to her feet, took skilful advantage of every little incident of the dance to bewitch him, but all in vain.

The dance ended--even a country dance, a true Roger de Coverley, must, some time or other, come to a finish--he led her to a seat upon a moss-grown bank, shadowed over with ferns of the daintiest kind, and making some excuse, slipped hurriedly away from the glen, to meet his Kitty at the blue rowan tree, where he knew so well she would be waiting his arrival. Uddereek, hoping he had left the elfin throng unnoticed and unmissed, hied him quick as the lightning flash, upon the swift wings of hot young love, from Rushen Glen to Aldyn.

Estella felt mortified by her failure, and insulted by the nonchalant behaviour and indifference of Uddereek to her charms and beauty, which even her attentions to him had not prevented her from seeing had been admiringly gazed upon by many another elfin swain who had envied Uddereek his great good fortune in sitting next to her, and would have given anything, even the tips of their tiny moustaches, to have had half the sweet blandishments bestowed upon them that had been thrown away upon his unsympathizing heart. She was deeply hurt and thirsted for revenge. That there was a mystery somewhere she was certain, and that a rival who had already full possession of his heart existed, she was fully convinced, or he never could have so withstood such sweet sorcery as she had tried upon him. To discover that rival was now the work before her. She watched his every movement, and his departure, stealthy though it was, did not escape her eye. Prompted by her natural womanly curiosity, and instigated by all the jealous feelings of a revengeful heart, she swiftly followed on his trail.

-------------------------
From THE PHYNODDERREE and Other Tales from the Isle of Man
ISBN: 978-1-907256-77-6
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_tp....

The Phynodderree (and Other Tales from the Isle of Man) by Edward Callow
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Published on March 08, 2012 22:26 • 51 views • Tags: cottage, cushla, fairy-lover, fairy-tales, folk-tales, folklore, glen-aldyn, isle, isle-of-man, kerruish, kitty, lover, man, manx, phynodderree, ramsey, spin, thatch, uddereek, woo
KITTY KERRUISH was true to her appointment at the blue rowan tree, and had been waiting some few minutes when Uddereek arrived. After returning his fond embrace, she began to upbraid her elfin lover for his late arrival, jestingly twitting him with his inability to tear himself away from the fair demoiselles of the fairy court; when, as he was stopping her upbraidings by tender kisses, expostulating with her for one instant doubting the sincerity of his love, a rustling was heard among the long grass and the ferns, and before escape could be even thought of they were surrounded instantly by a swarm of fairy guards.

The rejected and jealous Estella had but too surely followed him to the trysting-place, and there she saw enough to show her who and what her hated rival was. With all her despised and rejected love turned into the bitterest hate, and urged on by her deeply wounded pride, she determined on prompt action and most terrible revenge. Swift as the meteor's flight did she return to the elfin revels, bounding o’er mountains, from peak to peak of North Barrule, Snaefell, Pennyphot, and Grebah, away to South Barrule, and thence down the valley to Glen Rushen, where she laid before the king and his astonished court the news that Uddereek--the noble and modest Uddereek forsooth--the pattern-good-young-man of the elfin race, had dared to love a mortal, and now, even now, at that very moment, instead of attending on his royal master at the RE-HOLLYS-VOOAR-YN-ONYR, as was his bounden duty, he was seated in her lap beneath the blue rowan tree in the Magher-Glass of Glen Aldyn, pouring fourth his forbidden vows of love.

Such news caused the greatest consternation and surprise. The announcement to a conclave of tonsured monks, that one of their number had been "asked in church," could not have been received with more astonishment. Uddereek was so well known, so beloved by all, and stood so high in his sovereign's favour, that the intelligence of his defection came like a thunderbolt among them.

All dancing ceased. The very minstrels suddenly hushed their strains, and the ball abruptly ended. The king and the whole court were struck dumb with horror and amazement at such an unheard-of breach of fairy etiquette, such a flagrant departure from the rules of all elfin decorum.

The outraged monarch gave command for the immediate pursuit, and, putting himself at the head of his fairy guards, started off on the pinions of the evening breeze to seize the culprit who had dared to so transgress the elfin laws.

Estella, whose jealousy was now about to have its sweet reward, and all whose "rejected addresses" were to be so amply revenged, was but too good a guide in pointing out the exact spot where to find the guilty pair.

Uddereek was instantly torn from the embrace of the frightened Kitty, and ruthlessly hurried off to trial.

The king and all his court, a least all the male portion of the retinue, could not help paying a gallant and flattering tribute to the surpassing beauty of the mortal maid who had enslaved their truant comrade, and openly expressed their admiration of the sweet Kitty Kerruish. Their openly expressed encomiums of the fair maiden were not altogether approved or endorsed by the little lady fairies; and the queen herself was seen to change colour and fan herself with more than usual vigour as she noticed how her royal spouse stood gazing all too admiringly upon poor Uddereek's lovely enslaver.

As for Estella, all this undisguised admiration of her hated rival only increased her rage beyond all bounds, and she passionately entreated the fairy monarch to visit the poor girl with the most instant and horrible vengeance in the elfin power to inflict. That, however, he resolutely and gallantly refused to do; but turning from the furious fairy to the trembling mortal, he thus addressed her: "Most fair but erring mortal, my heart is too chivalrous to punish you as requested by this furious and jealous fairy. Indeed, I can quite excuse, and almost pardon, the rash Uddereek the error he has been guilty of; for never did I behold a mortal maiden so beautiful before. I wish it was within the limits of my mystic power to transform thee into a fairy maid, for I would do so."

On hearing this the queen looked anything than either pleased or flattered, and her verbena-leaf fan went faster than ever, while she and also most of the ladies and beauties of the court felt very well pleased and contented that their monarch's powers were so limited, and that they were safe from the advent amongst their ranks of so dangerous a rival.

"You must, however," continued the king to Kitty, and unheeding the disapproval of his remarks expressed so plainly by his royal consort's looks and undisguised annoyance--"you must depart from Ellan Vannin and leave the island forever, never to return, for if you are found upon its shores at the rising of the next new moon you will be at this lady's mercy," pointing to the fuming Estella, "and I cannot aid or protect you from her vengeful power. So farewell, and take heed; fly from her machinations and depart from hence."

In a moment Kitty was alone. King, court, fairy guards, and Uddereek had all vanished. The last to disappear was the rejected but now triumphant Estella, who lingered to cast upon her fair mortal rival a look in which was concentrated the most exulting revenge and the intensest hatred.

* * * * * *

Kitty Kerruish could not forget her elfin love, though she tried to think all a dream. She came night after night, heedless of the elfin king's warning, to sit under the blue rowan tree in the Magher-Glass of Glen Aldyn, there to sit in hopes of Uddereek's return.

The rising of the next new moon found her still true to her love at the old trysting-place, but, alas for the last time. Her spiteful elfin rival was there too; and now having poor Kitty in her power she proceeded to execute her vengeance in a most sure and subtle way. She caused noxious mist to rise from the damp ground of the Glen--a mist loaded with the vapours of nightshade, henbane, and every deadly and poisonous plant she could collect. The mist, unnoticed by poor Kitty, spread round her, and every sigh for her lost fairy lover was but the means of taking a fresh draught of the insidious poison, till, feeling chilled by what she innocently thought the evening air, she reluctantly left the Glen and slowly turned her footsteps home.

The fated vapour had too surely done its work. Estella was avenged. From that night the health of the tailor's daughter was gone--her very life was sapped. Slowly she pined away till the evening of the next new moon, when poor old Billy Nell sat beside the couch of his darling child as her sweet spirit calmly took its flight.

* * * *

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From THE PHYNODDERREE and Other Tales from the Isle of Man
ISBN: 978-1-907256-77-6
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_tp....


The Phynodderree (and Other Tales from the Isle of Man) by Edward Callow
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Published on March 11, 2012 04:04 • 53 views • Tags: cushla, estella, fairy-lover, fairy-tales, folk-tales, folklore, hairy, isle, isle-of-man, kerruish, kitty, lover, man, manx, phynodderree, spin, uddereek
For Uddereek a different and even worse fate was in store. He was formally tried by his peers and condemned to banishment from the fairy community, to remain a lonely wanderer in Ellan Vannin till the crack of doom. His sentence was no sooner pronounced by the king than Uddereek was instantly changed from his beautiful elfin form into a figure resembling a satyr, half boy half billy-goat, from whence he derives his present name of PHYNODDERREE, or HAIRY ONE.

He has remained in the Isle of Man ever since--at least until a very recent date; but after the introduction of railways into the island neither Phynodderree nor fairy of any kind has ever been met with by any sober man. It is currently supposed by the Manx people that the shrill, discordant blast of the railway whistle has been more than the delicate aural organs of so sensitive a race as the fairies could stand, and that, disgusted with the inventions of men and the introduction of board schools and other so-called improvements, they have taken their departure from the shores of Mona's Isle forever, flying to some land where civilization is not so far advanced, and where life is not conducted upon such high-pressure principles as it now is in the British Isles.

The Phynodderree, before his flight from the island, delighted in good-naturedly assisting those whom he befriended, and many are the tales told of the little fellow's beneficence.

To help an industrious farmer or fisherman was Phynodderree's greatest pleasure. For one he would reap his crops in a single night; or if he wanted to build a wall or a cow-shed, would convey stone enough between sunset and sunrise to the required spot to enable him to complete his work. For a favoured fisherman he would repair his nets or boat whilst the owner slept.

One man, desirous of showing his gratitude to the good-natured little creature for his work of conveying stones from a quarry, with which to build a house, and remembering he was naked, thought some clothes would be acceptable, and so took a suit and laid them on a place where he was supposed to frequent. Phynodderree on finding them took them up one by one, and throwing each garment away over his shoulder as he named it, gave vent to his feelings in his native Manx, exclaimed--

"Bayrn da’n choine, dy doogh da’n choine!
Cooat d’an dreeyn, dy, doogh d'an dreeyn!
Breechyn d’an toyn, dy, doogh da’n toyn!
Agh my she Chiat ooily, shoh cha nee Chiat Glen reagh Rushen."

The literal English translation of which is--

"Cap for the head, alas, poor head!
Coat for the back, alas, poor back!
Breeches for the breech, alas, poor breech!
If all these be thine, thine then cannot be the merry Glen of Rushen;"

and away he went with a melancholy cry that was heard far away over the glens and valleys, leaving all the fine clothes behind him.

Any man who through industry and attention to his business made good progress in the world and thrived, was said by the Manx country folk to have been favoured and helped by Phynodderree.

When badly treated or provoked, Phynodderree could be spiteful, and an instance is recorded of his having shown this side of his character to a farmer whose field he had mown for him. The ungrateful man grumbled and found fault with the way it was done, saying he could have done it better himself. This enraged Phynodderree, who waited till next year, and when the farmer set to work to mow it he came with a scythe in his hand and chased him off the field. For many years after this the grass remained uncut, every one being afraid to attempt to mow it.

During the Civil War, when the island was occupied by the Parliamentary army, a trooper, having heard the reason of the grass being left uncut, volunteered to mow it himself. He proceeded to the middle of the field and commenced mowing all round him in a circle. Phynodderree set to work as well, and with such vigour that the soldier had great difficulty to prevent him cutting his legs off. He persevered, however, keeping a sharp look out on his elfin fellow workman, till at last it was completed.

The Manx Phynodderree was evidently much the same kind of being as the Lubber Fiend mentioned by Milton in his "L’Allegro," and also the Scottish Brownie and the Swart-Alfar of Edda in the German.

In conclusion, I will quote the words of a well-known poet in describing him and his charitable work:

"Ah, Phynodderree!
His was the wizard hand that toiled
At midnight witching hour,
That gathered the sheep from the coming storm,
Ere the shepherd saw it lour;
Yet asked no fee, save a scattered sheaf
From the peasant's garnered hoard,
Or a cream bowl, pressed by virgin lip,
To be left on the household board."

Again, in allusion to the sad fate of his mortal love, and the long, long lament of his true heart for poor Kitty Kerruish, the same delightful writer says:

"You may hear his voice on the desert hill,
Where the mountain winds have power
’Tis a wild lament for his buried love,
And his long-lost fairy bower."

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From THE PHYNODDERREE and Other Tales from the Isle of Man
ISBN: 978-1-907256-77-6
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_tp....



The Phynodderree (and Other Tales from the Isle of Man) by Edward Callow
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Published on March 11, 2012 22:52 • 71 views • Tags: cushla, estella, fairy-lover, fairy-tales, folk-tales, folklore, hairy, isle, isle-of-man, kerruish, kitty, lover, man, manx, phynodderree, spin, uddereek