School: Druim Mór

Location:
Dromore, Co. Sligo
Teacher:
Seosamh Ó Catháin

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Johnny in Tír na nÓg

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0167, Page 0440

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

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Long ago it was the custom in all landlord's houses to shake whatever fell on the tablecloth outside the front door. This the birds ate and sometimes a daring rat came to lunch on the remains. At a certain landlord's house a rat and a robin came to feed on the crumbs. They quarrelled over the division of the spoils and the rat became so enraged that he speaking on behalf of his brother rats challenged the birds of the air to a battle in a certain field at a certain time. When the day for the battle came Johnny the heir to the estates on which the battle was to be fought said to his grandmother he was going to see what would be the result. When he reached the appointed place he found all the birds of the air except an eagle lying dead on the field of battle. The one remaining survivor had a wing broken. Johnny took pity on him and brought him home. He put him into a barn of wheat and in the morning when Johnny came to me how he was, he found the barn empty. The eagle had devoured all the wheat. The eagle was now whole again and the wing had recovered. He now asked Johnny to come with him on his back to his country and he would show him some high life. Johnny told his grandmother of the invitation he had received from the eagle.
"Well" said the grandmother "it may be dangerous to go and it may not. However it will do you no harm." Johnny told the eagle he would accept the invitation. Before Johnny and the eagle left the grandmother gave Johnny three cherries and said that

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Collector
Seosamh Ó Catháin
Gender
male
Occupation
múinteoir
Address
Dromore West, Co. Sligo
Informant
John Fox
Gender
male
Address
Farranmacfarrell, Co. Sligo
Language
English