School: Skerdagh, Newport (roll number 3905)

Location:
Skerdagh Lower, Co. Mayo
Teacher:
James Deffely

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Darts or Elf Stones (Another Version)

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0086, Page 94

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Darts or Elve Stones.
When a cow was hit by Darts thrown by the fairies she was said to be ill-shot. The darts were little stones of different shape with the track of fairy fingers on them. A cow when hit by these became sick and unless the cure was applied she died i.e. she went to the fairies. If a cow was sick and if there was a doubt that she was ill-shot she was measured. Her tail was straightened out for the measurement. The unit of measurement was the distance between the elbow and the tips of the fingers. She was measured three times and if she made the same measurement each time it was just some ordinary sickness that had attacked her, but if she measured different she was ill-shot. If she was found to be ill-shot nine darts were put into a jug, some coppers (pence or half pence) and a two shilling piece. The cross on the two shilling piece had a certain charm. The jug was then filled with soft water. This was allowed to stand for a while and then the cow was bottled with the liquid. Some of it was poured into her ears and if she shook her head

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Language
English