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40 O/S Memoirs, Parishes of County Londonderry II, vol. 9, Parish of Drumachose, J. Butler Williams, J. Bleakly, C.W. Ligar, May 1835. (p. 126) ‘Joseph McFarcin, a linen weaver in the townland of Derryork about 70 years ago, was taken by night up into the air, it is said, by the fairies.’ Belfast Newsletter, 29 January 1870, Fairies in Belfast. Yes, indeed! In Belfast – in this utilitarian town of ours, as well as in those German cities and villages whose bright mythology carried from Arabia by the crusaders still lives in the popular belief, is to be found a lingering recollection of the beautiful little people in whom many of our grandmothers believed so steadfastly. In one of the crowded streets of small houses with which Belfast abounds, an incident occurred the other evening which, for the nonce, transports us to the “hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves” once sacred to the elves. A woman had gone out of her house leaving it the charge of a child who, in turn, went out locking the door after her. After sundown, a neighbour passing happened to look in and saw – a fairy. Looking in she saw an ample ring of them, the Queen, the veritable Empress Mab it must have been – sitting in the centre, dressed in the most brilliant green and attended by little Hop and Mop and Drop and Pip and Skip and Gill and Tit and Nit and all the rest of the tiny and beautiful maids of honour. In a while she brought another woman to look and, in the gloaming, this new spectator certainly saw one which was quite enough to confirm her friend’s revelation, since she knew that fairies had the power of making themselves invisible and could get through any enclosure. Good gracious! She had a fine baby at home and perhaps they were gone to steal it and leave instead thereof one of their own mischievous little vixens. And off she hurried, for her mother – peace to her ashes – had often told her of a good woman whose lovely child was stolen in the same way. As crows gathered and as the shades of began to deepen, the convictions deepened, too, that all was not right. To heighten the alarm it was whispered that the good woman had left one of her little girls in the house. What had become of her? Few dared to speculate for the fairies were present, though unseen, and could hear what was said of them. In a remote country district we have actually heard the peasantry speak with baited breath about the exploits of these airy creatures in the belief that an incautious word would be avenged. But if the townspeople dared not to speak ill of them, they would do ill by deputy. In a trice, a messenger was away for the people. In due course came the men in green, but not the delightful green which gives such fitting relief to the beautiful complexions of the fairies. The police actually looked in through the key-hole and

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