School: Árd an Rátha (M.) (roll number 1733 or 12242)

Ardara, Co. Donegal
Sinéad, Bean Uí Ghibhín

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The Witches' Cows

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 1041, Page 271

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In my grandfather's old home, they used to keep several cows. During the night, the cows would be milked.
My grandfather sat up, night after night, to catch the thief and although he could see no one around, the cows would have no milk in the morning.
Every night, he carried his gun with him, but one particular night he loaded it, not with the usual change, but with sixpences. While watching, as usual a hare came into the cow shed and he fired, wounding it in the leg. It ran away limping but next morning, the cows had their usual supply of milk.
Next day, it became known that a neighbour woman lay in her home with a broken leg. On investigation, it was found that traces of blood marked the way from where the hare had been shot to the house, where the woman lay with the broken leg.
It was the poor unfortunate woman who had turned herself into a hare, who had been milking the cows.

Andrew Adair
Shanaghan, Co. Donegal