Celtic fairy tales

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Andrew Coffey

My grandfather, Andrew Coffey, was known to the whole barony as a quiet, decent man. And if the whole barony knew him, he knew the whole barony, every inch, hill and dale, bog and pasture, field and covert. Fancy his surprise one evening, when he found himself in a part…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Beth Gellert

Prince Llewelyn had a favourite greyhound named Gellert that had been given to him by his father-in-law, King John. He was as gentle as a lamb at home but a lion in the chase. One day Llewelyn went to the chase and blew his horn in front of his castle.…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Brewery of Eggshells

In Treneglwys there is a certain shepherd’s cot known by the name of Twt y Cymrws, because of the strange strife that occurred there. There once lived there a man and his wife, and they had twins whom the woman nursed tenderly. One day she was called away to the…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Conal Yellowclaw

Conall Yellowclaw was a sturdy tenant in Erin: he had three sons. There was at that time a king over every fifth of Erin. It fell out for the children of the king that was near Conall, that they themselves and the children of Conall came to blows. The children…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Connla and the Fairy Maiden

Connla and the fairy maiden Connla of the Fiery Hair was son of Conn of the Hundred Fights. One day as he stood by the side of his father on the height of Usna, he saw a maiden clad in strange attire coming towards him. “Whence comest thou, maiden?” said…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Gold-tree and Silver-tree

Once upon a time, there was a king who had a wife, whose name was Silver-tree, and a daughter, whose name was Gold-tree. On a certain day of the days, Gold-tree and Silver-tree went to a glen, where there was a well, and in it there was a trout. Said…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Guleesh

There was once a boy in the County Mayo; Guleesh was his name. There was the finest rath a little way off from the gable of the house, and he was often in the habit of seating himself on the fine grass bank that was running round it. One night…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Hudden and Dudden and Donald O’Neary

There was, once upon a time, two farmers, and their names were Hudden and Dudden. They had poultry in their yards, sheep on the uplands, and scores of cattle in the meadow-land alongside the river. But for all that they weren’t happy. For just between their two farms there lived…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Jack and His Comrades

Once there was a poor widow, as often there has been, and she had one son. A very scarce summer came, and they didn’t know how they’d live till the new potatoes would be fit for eating. So Jack said to his mother one evening, “Mother, bake my cake, and…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

King O’Toole and His Goose

Oh, I thought all the world, far and near, had heard of King O’Toole—well, well, but the darkness of mankind is untellible! Well, sir, you must know, as you didn’t hear it afore, that there was a king, called King O’Toole, who was a fine old king in the old…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Munachar and Manachar

There once lived a Munachar and a Manachar, a long time ago, and it is a long time since it was, and if they were alive now they would not be alive then. They went out together to pick raspberries, and as many as Munachar used to pick Manachar used…

Celtic fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

Preface

Last year, in giving the young ones a volume of English Fairy Tales, my difficulty was one of collection. This time, in offering them specimens of the rich folk-fancy of the Celts of these islands, my trouble has rather been one of selection. Ireland began to collect her folk-tales almost…

Celtic fairy tales

The Black Thief and Knight of the Glen

In times of yore there was a King and a Queen in the south of Ireland who had three sons, all beautiful children; but the Queen, their mother, sickened unto death when they were yet very young, which caused great grief throughout the Court, particularly to the King, her husband,…

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