School: Loughill

Location:
Ballymunterhiggin, Co. Donegal
Teacher:
Eibhlis Ní Mhathghamhna

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Butter Stolen off the Churn

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 1026, Page 128

Image and data © National Folklore Collection, UCD. See copyright details »

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Butter is sometimes stolen off the churn. When this happens a person churns for hours and hours and still no butter appears. To get the butter back procure a box of pins and place them beside the fire. Close the door and do not open it no matter what knocks or noises are heard outside. Then continue churning. Many knocks will be heard and many cries and moans. Before long the butter will appear as usual. Out of the box by the fire the pins will have disappeared and drops of blood will be seen on the doorstep. These pins are supposed to stick in the person who has stolen the bitter and this person is supposed to repent and give it back. Only special people will have this power of bringing back the butter. The person is usually a woman. The above is a description of what she tells one to do in a case of stolen butter.

Informant
Mrs F. Miller
Gender
female
Age
30
Address
Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
Language
English