School: Castlepollard Boys (roll number 5513)

Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath
William Coghlan
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0721, Page 076

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0721, Page 076

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  3. XML “The Fairy Child”

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  1. In Ballycamoyle, about three miles from Castlepollard there lived many, many years ago a family by the name of Kelly. They had been married about a year when a fine, bonny baby boy was born to them. He was the apple of their eye, and the whole day long. Phil, the father who was a tailor of some repute in the area would sing 'carants' (snatches of song) to show his happiness. One morning his wife got up as usual, lit the fire, called her husband to breakfast and when she had cleared the things away prepared to feed her child. Imagine her shock and surprise when she went to the cradle and saw instead of her healthy baby a wizened, pinched old looking 'maneen' of a child, who notwithstanding, how much food and drink was given it howled and yelled and whined both day and night. The unhappy couple were distracted but still did not want to 'let on' to the neighbours but at last they could stand it no longer. They were advised to bring the priest, and Phil, in his Sunday best started walking to the town. He hadn't long left the house when a journeyman tailor arrived looking for work. The woman of the house made him welcome, sat him down and prepared to make tea. She found there was not spring water in the house so she took the can to go to the well for some, asking the stranger to rock the whinging, cross child in the cradle. The journeyman did so and got the shock of his life when the baby sat up in the cradle produced a flute and began to play on it. He was
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    Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.
    1. agents (~1)
      1. supernatural and legendary beings (~14,864)
    Patrick Doherty
    Freaghmore, Co. Westmeath