Even the fairies have their trou­bles

Irish Examiner - Farming - - NEWS -

Yes­ter­day evening, with the sun about to dis­ap­pear over the hori­zon, I went to check out a few bul­locks that seemed to be in a ter­ri­ble state of ag­i­ta­tion.

They were in the field by the old ring fort and some­thing was def­i­nitely up. So into an old ring­fort I did go to in­ves­ti­gate the prob­lem, for ‘twas there that some aw­ful wail­ing and howl­ing was com­ing from.

Soon the mys­tery was solved when, in the very cen­tre of the fort, I spot­ted this lit­tle fel­low, and he leap­ing up and down in a fright­ful rage. “We are ru­ined!” he squealed. “Ru­ined!” He was mak­ing a most aw­ful nui­sance of him­self and fright­en­ing cat­tle left, right and cen­tre.

Quickly I stole up be­hind him and, grab­bing him by the col­lar, I lifted him up, de­mand­ing to know what was be­hind all the racket. “Let me go,” he screamed in a raspy voice, trash­ing his arms about. “Or I’ll cast a thou­sand mis­for­tunes down upon you.”

“No you won’t,” says I, “for I’m a beef farmer, my life is cursed enough al­ready.” With that, he came to his senses, and I low­ered him to the ground.

With nor­mal­ity re­stored, the fairy be­gan to speak. “I’m very cross!” says he, stamp­ing his lit­tle boots on the sods of earth, “For we are a for­got­ten peo­ple. No­body has any time for the lit­tle peo­ple any more. Hal­loween came and went on Tues­day and not one young­ster in the whole of Ire­land dressed up as a fairy. Tis a dis­grace I’m telling you. No­body re­mem­bers us at all.” “Ah, would you stop with all the non­sense,” says I, “for good­ness sake.”

But on he went, for he was an ag­i­tated lit­tle devil. “It’s all the fault of them damn com­put­ers and mo­bile gad­gets,” says he. “Ev­ery­one to­day is peer­ing blankly into them tiny screens and no­body has time at all to think, pon­der and dream. Imag­i­na­tion,” he went on, “is gone. And with it, the lit­tle peo­ple.” “Yerra, imag­i­na­tion,” says I, “is over­rated.”

“And haven’t ye got Danny Healy-Rae back in South Kerry fly­ing the flag for the fairies? I re­minded him of Danny’s re­cent com­ment that the fairies might be re­spon­si­ble for Kerry pot­holes. “Danny,” says the fairy with his head held high, “is the great­est hu­man of them all.”

And with a sly gig­gle, the lit­tle fel­low added, “And yes, we are re­spon­si­ble for the pot­holes in Kerry. But don’t tell any­one, for ’tis all a bit of harm­less fairy fun.” “Look,” says I, “you might think you have it bad, but ’tis noth­ing com­pared to the life of hard­ship en­dured by the Ir­ish beef farmer. We are the real for­got­ten peo­ple.”

I went on to tell the fairy in the ring fort all about the trou­bling times of the beef farmer. The lousy fac­tory trade, the threats from for­eign im­ports, and storm Ophe­lia, which was the last straw for many, I ex­plained. “I never re­alised,” says he, “that times were so bad. And fair play to you, but you have never tam­pered with my lit­tle home here in the field.” “Never,” says I. “Nor will I.”

“And did you get your Ba­sic Farm Pay­ment last week?” the fairy asked.

“I did not,” I fumed, “and I’m fu­ri­ous. I’m still await­ing the blasted thing.” “Well let that with me,” says he, and he pulled out a tiny lit­tle pen­cil and the smallest note­book I ever did see. “You’ll have it shortly,” he promised.

“Thank you, lit­tle crea­ture,” I said, for I was in­deed grate­ful.

And just like that, with the night com­ing down fast here in Kilmichael, he dis­ap­peared.

Look out for fairy shoes and other signs on your farm.

Hal­loween fright for the cat­tle.

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