Abstract: Story collected by John J. Smith, a student at Newtownmanor school (Newtownmanor, Co. Leitrim) (no informant identified).
Original reference: 0199/4/11
School Newtownmanor [Vol. 0199, Chapter 0004]
Fairy Forts [duchas:4601911]
In this locality there are a great many fairy forts. It is thought in this locality that chieftains lived in them long ago. They are circular in shape and and there is a boundary round most of them. There is a fort on our hill and I will relate a story about it. There was a widow living in my townland long ago. She had one son, one cow and one calf. It appears that the cow died, as the woman thought, and the calf was left without milk but the woman got some from neighbours to keep him alive. One morning her son rose to go to work before day-break. He went to see the calf before he left and when he went he saw a cow coming towards the calf and the calf suckled her. Then she went back quickly and into the fort. The son informed the priest about it and the priest told
Fairy Forts [duchas:4601912]
him that she would come three times in succession. He told the boy to get hens' manure and boil it in a skillet. He said to watch the the cow next morning and keep the pot-hooks in the pot. Then he told him wind his hand round the cows tail and follow her to the fort until she would enter it. He failed the first two times but the third time he said he would die or be with her. He succeeded with his hand round her tail. Inside the fort there were fairies riding on horses and making lovely music. The boy threw what he had in the pot around and one of the fairies said to the other "Did I not tell you let the widow's cow alone?" They drove out the cow and the boy brought her home. Then the neighbours looked where the cow was buried and there was only a stick in it. There are seven forts in view of this fort and it was called the "bourt"? because all the fairies
Fairy Forts [duchas:4601913]
used go from a fort on Pat Mc Goldrick's hill to this fort. There is a fort in Banagher called "Lisheen" and I often heard my grandmother say she and sister were going for the cows one day and they saw three fairies dancing round a big fire beside the fort. Also there is a house in the same town-land and it is built between two forts. It is said there will never be luck in it because it is on the fairies' path from one fort to another. This house belongs to a man named Meehan now. Also the cows on our farm were drowning themselves long ago in Lough Gill and the people did not know what was the cause of it and they told the priest. One day the priest came and he read out of a prayerbook. The cows came running out of the fort and when he was done reading the cows went back to the grazing field and they never went near the lake
Original reference: 0199/4/11
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