Irish fairy tales

Irish fairy tales

Princess Finola and the Dwarf

A long, long time ago there lived in a little hut in the midst of a bare, brown, lonely moor an old woman and a young girl. The old woman was withered, sour-tempered, and dumb. The young girl was as sweet and as fresh as an opening rosebud, and her…

Irish fairy tales

Shaking-Head

There was once a king of a province in Erin who had an only son. The king was very careful of this son, and sent him to school for good instruction. The other three kings of provinces in Erin had three sons at the same school; and the three sent…

Irish fairy tales

The Big Poor People

There was a knock at the door, and John opened it. “God save all here except the cat!” said a voice outside. “God save you kindly!” John answered. A young man and a young woman came in. They were neighbors—Peter Sullivan and his wife, Ellen. “Good avenin’ to you, Pether,”…

Irish fairy tales

The Cleverness of Mortals

If you live in the city of New York, or if you have ever been in the city of New York for any long time, you know how disheartening, how terrible, and how altogether unreasonable the climate can be at times. But you also know how heavenly it can be…

Irish fairy tales

The Enchanted Cave

A long, long time ago, Prince Cuglas, master of the hounds to the high King of Erin, set out from Tara to the chase. As he was leaving the palace the light mists were drifting away from the hill-tops, and the rays of the morning sun were falling aslant on…

Irish fairy tales

The Fairy Tree of Dooros

Once upon a time the fairies of the west, going home from a hurling-match with the fairies of the lakes, rested in Dooros Wood for three days and three nights. They spent the days feasting and the nights dancing in the light of the moon, and they danced so hard…

Irish fairy tales

The Golden Spears

Once upon a time there lived in a little house under a hill, a little old woman and her two children, whose names were Connla and Nora. Right in front of the door of the little house lay a pleasant meadow, and beyond the meadow rose up to the skies…

Irish fairy tales

The House in the Lake

A long, long time ago, there lived in a little hut, in the midst of one of the inland lakes of Erin, an old fisherman and his son. The hut was built on stakes driven into the bed of the lake, and was so high above the waters that even…

Irish fairy tales

The Huntman’s Son

A long, long time ago there lived in a little hut, on the borders of a great forest, a huntsman and his wife and son. From his earliest years the boy, whose name was Fergus, used to hunt with his father in the forest, and he grew up strong and…

Irish fairy tales

The Iron Crucifix

Kathleen had not been at home long, of course, before Peter and Ellen came to see her, and Terence came with them. It seemed to Kathleen that she had never seen him look as he did then. She had never seen him look so evil or so crafty or so…

Irish fairy tales

The Little Good People

There was a good deal of commotion that night in the rath near where the O’Briens and the Sullivans lived. Do you know what a rath is? I suppose not. It is hard work to tell stories to you, you are so ignorant. I will tell you what a rath…

Irish fairy tales

The Little White Cat

A long, long time ago, in a valley far away, the giant Trencoss lived in a great castle, surrounded by trees that were always green. The castle had a hundred doors, and every door was guarded by a huge, shaggy hound, with tongue of fire and claws of iron, who…

Irish fairy tales

The Old King Comes Back

When Mrs. O’Brien and Kathleen left home they walked through the Park and to the Sullivans’. Peter was away. Terence half sat and half lay on the floor in a corner. He held his right hand behind him and covered his face with his left arm. His whole body shook…

Irish fairy tales

The Shee an Gannon and the Gruagach Gaire

The Shee an Gannon was born in the morning, named at noon, and went in the evening to ask his daughter of the king of Erin. “I will give you my daughter in marriage,” said the king of Erin; “you won’t get her, though, unless you go and bring me…

Irish fairy tales

The Stars in the Water

This is to be another sort of chapter altogether. I am going to tell you now what happened. The eighteen years are gone now and we have come to the time when there is something to tell. When those eighteen years began, you know, Kathleen and Terence were not much…

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