Folk Tales of Breffny | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Girl and the Fairies, The

THERE was a beautiful young girl living in these parts, and she was greatly admired by every person that seen her.

               It happened when she was about nineteen years of age that she fainted one day on the street before the house, where she was washing the spuds for dinner. The mother and sister went out for to carry her in, and they laid her down on the bed--the poor girl never rose from it more. Maybe a week she was lingering dying, not a word ever came from her lips and she used no food at all.

               Not a long after the burying her mother heard a rapping on the window, close upon midnight. She rose and she says, "Oh Bridget dear, is it you?"

               "It is indeed, mamma," says a voice. "Let you give me a drink of sweet milk and a small taste of bread."

               "I've heard tell of the dead were uneasy, but never of one needing food," says the mother.

               "The fairies have me away," answers Bridget. "'Tis myself is living this day, and you are after giving decent burial to an old thing they left in my place."

               With that the poor mother brought milk and bread to the window and handed it out.

               "Will you ever contrive to get home, my poor Bridget?" says she.

               "Aye surely," answers the girl, "if the men of this place are worthy their keep. Let you make inquiries among them until you find two strong daring boys are willing to attempt my rescue."

               She went away off the street, and the mother went back to her bed.

               The next evening there were some of the neighbours came in, and herself gave out all she was after hearing. There were two clever lads in it and they promised for to bring the girl snug and safe to her home.

               Not a long after Bridget came back to the window to speak with the mother, so when she heard of the offer was made she says: "The Good People are going away over the moor on Wednesday night and I must journey with them. It is mounted on horses we'll be, and tell the two lads I told them to stand by the gap and watch for the squad going through. I'll be upon the third grey horse to go by, and let the two lads take a hold of me, one at each side. Now if they're not full sure they'll have courage and daring to hold their hold, let them not come near me at all. For if I pass on with the fairies they'll kill me dead for vengeance that night."

               The mother promised she'd give the lads great warning to keep their hold and do all as Bridget was saying.

               Well on the Wednesday night the venturesome lads went down to the gap of the fort field, and there they stood waiting one at each side of the pass. Not a long were they in it before the Good People began to go through. One grey horse went down beside another and a third came behind with Bridget sitting upon his back.

               The two lads caught a hold of her, but didn't the horse let a stag lep and they lost their grip on the girl. She gave the lonesomest cry as she was carried from them, and the fairies began for to cheer and to laugh.

               "We'll follow the Good People on," says one of the boys, "and maybe we'll vanquish them yet."

               So the two travelled after the riders, away towards the moor. The river flows convenient to that place, and a fine bridge spans it across. It was there that the awfullest cry rose out of the throng of the fairies, and when the boys came on to the bridge they seen it all red with my poor Bridget's blood. The horsemen were after dashing her down on the stones to her death.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Girl and the Fairies, The
Tale Author/Editor: Hunt, Bampton
Book Title: Folk Tales of Breffny
Book Author/Editor: Hunt, Bampton
Publisher: Macmillan and Co.
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1912
Country of Origin: Ireland
Classification: unclassified

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