School: Castlecoote (roll number 6344)

Castlecoote, Co. Roscommon
Máire, Bean Uí Ghabhláin

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Old Crafts - Bird-Cradle

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0263, Page 256

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

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In making a Bird Cradle which boys use for catching birds; a boy gets branches from the ash and alder trees, also some sally rods.
He selects two alder and two ash sticks about one foot in length. He bores two holes in then ends of the two alders, points the ash sticks and puts them into the holes made in the alders. This is the frame and four (corners) holes are bored again at the four corners into which the sally rods are doubled and placed in a slanted position. These are tied at the top with string.
About twelve alders are then placed on the four sides of the frame, getting shorter as they come near the top. They are tied at each side to the sallys. The cradle is finished when it comes to a point, Then it is trimmed.
One strong sally rod is bent like a bow and placed inside the frame. A short stick is placed on top of the bow and this is held in position by a small forked stick.
Crumbs are placed inside the bow and when the bird steps on it the stick falls and down comes the cradle and the little bird is a captive.