The Grandest Small Folk Tales (Small Folk Tales - 5)

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Tired and weary was he, and noways comfortable in his own mind at thinking how much farther he had to travel, and that he should be walking all the night; so he sat down under the moat to rest himself, and began looking mournfully enough upon the moon. Presently there rose a wild strain of unearthly melody upon the ear of little Lusmore; he listened, and he thought that he had never heard such ravishing music before.

It was like the sound of many voices, each mingling and blending with the other so strangely that they seemed to be one, though all singing different strains, and the words of the song were these: "Da Luan, Da Mort, Da Luan, Da Mort, Da Luan, Da Mort"; when there would be a moment's pause, and then the round of melody went on again.

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Lusmore listened attentively, scarcely drawing his breath lest he might lose the slightest note. He now plainly perceived that the singing was within the moat; and though at first it had charmed him so much, he began to get tired of hearing the same round sung over and over so often without any change; so availing himself of the pause when the "Da Luan, Da Mort" had been sung three times, he took up the tune, and raised it with the words "augus Da Cadine," and then went on singing with the voices inside of the moat, "Da Luan, Da Mort," finishing the melody, when the pause again came, with "augus Da Cadine.

Glorious to behold was the sight that burst upon him as he came down through the moat, twirling round and round, with the lightness of a straw, to the sweetest music that kept time to his motion. The greatest honor was then paid him, for he was put above all the musicians, and he had servants tending upon him, and everything to his heart's content, and a hearty welcome to all; and, in short, he was made as much of as if he had been the first man in the land. Presently Lusmore saw a great consultation going forward among the fairies, and, notwithstanding all their civility, he felt very much frightened, until one stepping out from the rest came up to him and said: Lusmore!

Doubt not, nor deplore, For the hump which you bore On your back is no more; Look down on the floor, And view it, Lusmore! When these words were said, poor little Lusmore felt himself so light, and so happy, that he thought he could have bounded at one jump over the moon, like the cow in the history of the cat and the fiddle; and he saw, with inexpressible pleasure, his hump tumble down upon the ground from his shoulders. He then tried to lift up his head, and he did so with becoming caution, fearing that he might knock it against the ceiling of the grand hall, where he was; he looked round and round again with greatest wonder and delight upon everything, which appeared more and more beautiful; and, overpowered at beholding such a resplendent scene, his head grew dizzy, and his eyesight became dim.

At last he fell into a sound sleep, and when he awoke he found that it was broad daylight, the sun shining brightly, and the birds singing sweetly; and that he was lying just at the foot of the moat of Knockgrafton, with the cows and sheep grazing peacefully round about him.

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The first thing Lusmore did, after saying his prayers, was to put his hand behind to feel for his hump, but no sign of one was there on his back, and he looked at himself with great pride, for he had now become a well-shaped dapper little fellow, and more than that, found himself in a full suit of new clothes, which he concluded the fairies had made for him. Towards Cappagh he went, stepping out as lightly, and springing up at every step as if he had been all his life a dancing-master. Not a creature who met Lusmore knew him without his hump, and he had a great work to persuade every one that he was the same man -- in truth he was not, so far as outward appearance went.

Of course it was not long before the story of Lusmore's hump got about, and a great wonder was made of it. Through the country, for miles round, it was the talk of every one, high and low. One morning, as Lusmore was sitting contented enough, at his cabin door, up came an old woman to him, and asked him if he could direct her to Cappagh. And now I have told you the reason of my coming so far: 'tis to find out about this charm, if I can.


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The woman thanked him very much, and then went away quite happy and easy in her own mind. When she came back to her gossip's house, in the county of Waterford, she told her everything that Lusmore had said, and they put the little hump-backed man, who was a peevish and cunning creature from his birth, upon a car, and took him all the way across the country. It was a long journey, but they did not care for that, so the hump was taken from off him; and they brought him, just at nightfall, and left him under the old moat of Knockgrafton.

Jack Madden, for that was the humpy man's name, had not been sitting there long when he heard the tune going on within the moat much sweeter than before; for the fairies were singing it the way Lusmore had settled their music for them, and the song was going on; "Da Luan, Da Mort, Da Luan, Da Mort, Da Luan, Da Mort, augus Da Cadine," without ever stopping. Jack Madden, who was in a great hurry to get quit of his hump, never thought of waiting until the fairies had done, or watching for a fit opportunity to raise the tune higher again than Lusmore had; so having heard them sing it over seven times without stopping, out he bawls, never minding the time or the humor of the tune, or how he could bring his words in properly, augus Da Cadine, augus Da Hena, thinking that if one day was good, two were better; and that if Lusmore had one new suit of clothes given him, he should have two.

No sooner had the words passed his lips than he was taken up and whisked into the moat with prodigious force; and the fairies came crowding round about him with great anger, screeching, and screaming, and roaring out, "Who spoiled our tune? Jack Madden! Your words came so bad in The tune we felt glad in; This castle you're had in, That your life we may sadden; Here's two humps for Jack Madden!

And twenty of the strongest fairies brought Lusmore's hump and put it down upon poor Jack's back, over his own, where it became fixed as firmly as if it was nailed on with twelve-penny nails, by the best carpenter that ever drove one.


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Out of their castle they then kicked him; and, in the morning, when Jack Madden's mother and her gossip came to look after their little man, they found him half dead, lying at the foot of the moat, with the other hump upon his back. Well to be sure, how they did look at each other! But they were afraid to say anything, lest a hump might be put upon their own shoulders.

Home they brought the unlucky Jack Madden with them, as downcast in their hearts and their looks as ever two gossips were; and what through the weight of his other hump, and the long journey, he died soon after, leaving they say his heavy curse to anyone who would go to listen to fairy tunes again. Croker provides additional notes to this legend on pp. In his notes Yeats offers the following explanations and comments: Moat does not mean a place with water, but a tumulus or barrow [i.

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Douglas Hyde has heard the story in Connaught, with the song of the fairy as "Peean Peean daw feean, Peean go leh agus leffin," which in English means, "a penny, a penny, twopence, a penny and a half, and a halfpenny. Well, there was a poor, honest, quiet little creature, that lived just at the pass of Glanamoin, between the hill of Coolgarrow and Kilachdiarmid.

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His back was broken when he was a child, and he earned his bread by making cradles, and bosses, and chairs, and beehives, out of straw and briers. No one in the barony of Bantry of Scarawalsh could equal him at these. Well, he was a sober little fellow enough, but the best of us may be overtaken. He was coming from the fair of Enniscorthy one fine summer evening, up along the beautiful shady road of Munfin; and when he came near the stream that bounds Tombrick, he turned into the fields to make his road short.

He was singing merrily enough, but by degrees he got a little stupefied; and when he was passing the dry, grassy ditch that surrounds the rath, he felt an inclination to sit and rest himself.

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It is hard to sit awhile, and have your eyes a little glassy, and the things seeming to turn round you, without falling off asleep; and asleep my poor little man of straw was in a few minutes. Things like droves of cattle, or soldiers marching, or big flakes of foam on a flooded river, were pushing on though his brain, and he thought the drums were playing a march, when up he woke, and there in the face of the steep bank that was overgrown with bushes and blackthorn, a passage was open between nice pillars, and inside was a great vaulted room, with arches crossing each other, a hundred lamps hanging from the vault, and thousands of nice little gentlemen and ladies, with green coats and gowns, and red sugar-loaf caps, curled at the tops like old Irish birredhs , dancing and singing, and nice little pipers and fiddlers, perched up in a little gallery by themselves, and playing music to help out the singing.

He was a little cowed at first, but as he found no one taking notice of him, he stole in, and sat in a corner, and thought he'd never be tired looking at the fine little people figuring, and cutting capers, and singing. Combined Shape Created with Sketch. Fill 1 Created with Sketch. Page 1 Created with Sketch. Icon Quirky Created with Sketch. See all stories. Drum Castle. He had no clothing and no covering at night except the one gown that he wore. He had some baskets of grain and sacks of tsamba, an earthen-ware pot for tea, and a small wooden bowl from which he ate.

He dwelt in this house away from people that he might meditate and pray a good deal, and so acquire holiness. Every day he sat pondering the questions of life, and thinking about the little animals as well. There was a cony by the name of Susha and a rat by the name of Mukjong. These two were great friends and cronies, and both pretended to be friends with the old Lama, but at night when he was asleep for a little while, they would sneak into his hut and steal all the grain they could find.

One day the Lama decided that these two were not really his friends, but were just pretending to be, and that they came to see him every day to discover what he had in the hut and then plan to come back at night and steal it. He said, "I'll just set a trap and catch them. Next morning he found them, cut off their whiskers, ears and tails and turned them loose. They were very angry and said to him, "We belong to the Aberrang, and that is a class that doesn't lie, nor steal nor do any bad or dishonest thing.

And you know we are your friends and have not stolen your stuff at all. We just wanted to see what you had in your basket and now see what you've done to us. Well, we're going to our own kings and ask them to send an army to take your grain for sure. So you better make a lot of traps to catch us all when we come.

The rat, very much ashamed of his condition, went to the king and showed him what had been done to him, telling him that he was innocent and asking that his king organize an army and attack the old Lama as a punishment for what had been done to him.

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The king, who was an old man, agreed to do so at once if the king of the conies would aid him. But when he asked the king of the conies he refused to help, as he knew the rat had been guilty. After the delegation had gone, the king of the conies called the cony to him, who came, looking very much ashamed, and told what had happened to him. The king said, "You only got what you deserved. When you are found in bad company you are judged as guilty as they. The rats are thieves and robbers and have been since the beginning of time, and when you are found with that kind of people you are thought to be just as bad as they.

The conies are not a thieving folk, as you well know, and my advice to you is never to be found in the company of the rat or his kind of people again. Between iron and brass there is union if the welding is skillful. A VERY long time ago, somewhere in that faraaway land of Tibet, away up so high that it seems a little nearer the sky than any other land, in one corner was a country governed by a very just man. He was noted in all parts of the dominion for his fair judgment in all cases. In the city where this good king lived and had his home, dwelt two poor men.

Both were very good, did the very best they could every day and each had an old mother to support. One day one of the men started to a village high up in the mountains carrying a jar of oil, selling it as he went.

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Walking along, he grew very tired and set his jar of oil on a rock by the roadside while he sat down to rest a while. As he sat there, his neighbor came down the mountain driving his donkey in front of him. There were two big loads of wood stacked one on each side of the little donkey, which almost covered him.

He didn't happen to see the jar, so came too near and knocked it off, breaking it, and spilling all the oil. The man who owned the oil was very angry indeed, and the man who owned the donkey said it wasn't he who had done the damage, but the donkey. So they quarreled and quarreled and kept on quarreling. The man who owned the oil said he couldn't afford to lose it, as it was all he had in the world to sell for food for his mother and himself, and it couldn't have been his fault the jar was broken. They both went to the king who questioned them very carefully about the matter and finally said he couldn't see that either one was to blame.

They were both good men, took good care of their old mothers and were honest in all their dealings, and so far as he could see no one was at fault but the donkey and the rock, and he would judge them.

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