[From Shadowland in Ellan Vannin, 1880]



Glen Rushen and the tiny revellers — Glen Auldyn — The Manx maiden — The ' little man' and his unfortunate love suit — How he was changed into the form of a Satyr.

Oh, merry were the 'little people' in the pretty Glen of Rushen ! How they danced and sang beneath the moon's pale beams, or under the brighter rays of the sun, or chased each other from one tall fern to another, playing hide and seek under the shade of the dark trailing ivy that spread its sheltering leaves over the soft green moss, from whence peeped out many a purple violet and gentle primrose, with here and there the starlike daisies that scarce bent their bright heads under the light tread of the fairy feet. Ay ! merry indeed were they, and fairy music and fairy laughter sounded out on the air, mingling with the pleasant ripple of the stream that took its sparkling way to the wide sea beyond, scattering as it flowed showers of grateful moisture to the waiting flowers that grew along its banks.

Amongst all the joyous crew one alone stood aloof, pensive and sad, taking no part in all the mirth and revelry. He was what might be called a giant by the'good people,' being nearly two feet high, with dark hair and flowing beard. His eyes, that rivalled in hue the deep shade of the violets near, and his whole face were clouded o'er with melancholy. In vain did many a pretty fay try to lure him to the dance, or at least a game. He was not to be tempted from his unhappy musings, and while the revels were at their height, he had disappeared from among the sportive throng. When again we see him, it is in the first hours of the new day. In some mysterious way he has been conveyed in so short a space of time as from the previous midnight from Glen Rushen to the beautiful Glen of Auldyn, near Ramsey. Whether he had flown all those many miles on a bat's backthe fairy's favourite steed-or on 'the wings of love,' we are not prepared to state ; but this we can positively aver, that our hero was at those early hours standing under the blue tree in Glen Auldyn, and gazing with anxious, longing eyes at a cottage built under the shade of this tree against which he leaned. No sound broke the stillness, save the murmur of the little stream that ran swiftly on its course to swell the waters of the river Sulby, or now and again the faint bleating of the sheep on the hillside might be heard. Over this hillside, as the hours passed, came gleams of ruddy light ; and as these rays rose higher and higher, proclaiming the advancing day, signs of wakefulness were perceptible at the little cot. A tiny wreath of smoke curled upwards in the fresh morning air ; sturdy roosters woke the echoes with their shrill cry. Presently the door of the cottage opens, and a clear voice rings out blithe and cheery

' Oh ! Vollee Charane craad hooar oo dty Sthoyr ? My lomarcan daag oo mee

and then the singer comes into view-a pretty, brightfaced Manx girl, and as she does, the watcher steps forward and is met by anything but pleased looks by the country maid.

'What! you here again, little man?' she cries in angry tones. ' I want naught to do wi' ye.'

In vain the fairy pleaded as full many a morn before he had done. Promises of untold grandeur or threats of dire misfortune were powerless to move the obdurate fair one to listen with favour to his vows of love.

'Get ye gone, and let me never see ye more,' was all he got for answer. And, alas ! his ill luck was not to end here, for the king was so incensed at his repeated absences from the fairy court, and, what aggravated his offence, his daring to make love to a mortal maid, that he not only expelled him from Glen Rushen and association with any of his former friends, but by spells-unknown, we trust, to fairies of the present day-changed his appearance into something, we should judge, resembling a satyr's, for we are told he was suddenly transformed to the height and size of an ordinary man, his body clothed with long shaggy hair like the beasts of the field, and all his former beauty gone ! Misfortune, however, seems not to have had the ill effect it is said to exercise sometimes on the mind, by souring the temper and exciting unamiable feelings towards those more happily placed; for this poor fay, whose strength must have been supernatural indeed, used it always in behalf of those who were in great need of help. The anxious, weary farmer has many a time had his heart lightened when he has risen in the early morn to see, perhaps, a field ploughed, or crops gathered in, or some other labour performed in a night, that weeks of toiling, late and early, with many to help, and consequently many to pay, would not see accomplished. But woe betide him if, in gratitude of heart, he placed some offering for the kindly fairy, for from that day he lost all chance of his good offices. Indeed, it is sometimes given as a reason why farmers of more recent times are left without this supernatural aid, that one, to show his appreciation of the Phynodderee's assistance, left a gift for him of wearing apparel, and so offended was the fairy that he has never since mixed himself up in mortal affairs.*

* This account of the Phynodderee hears a striking resemblance to the 'brownie,' or good-natured fairy, of the Scots.-J. H. L.



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