Fairies or no fairies for saint Andrew's day written by Elizabeth Langford November 2023

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John Mulligan was as fine an old fellow as ever threw a Carlow spur into the sides of a horse the world was very beautiful he was besides as jolly a boon companion over a jug of punch as you would meet from Cantore point to bloody farmland and a good horse he used to ride and a stiffer jug of punch than his was not in nineteen baronies there might be fairies or no fairies until saint Andrew’s day may be he stuck more to it than he ought to have done but that is nothing wherever to the story I am going to tell this is my twenty second on this list John believed devoutly in fairies and an angry man was he if you doubted them he had more fairy stories than would make if properly printed in a rivulet of print running down a meadow of print of margin two thick quartos for Mr. Murray of Albemarle street all of which he used to tell on all occasions that he could find listeners his place was very beautiful many believed his stories many more did not believe them but nobody in process of time used to contradict the old gentleman for it was a pity to vex him but he had a couple of young neighbours who were just come down from their first Trinity college to spend the summer months with an uncle of theirs Mr. Whaley an old Cromwellian who lived at Bally Beg Mullinax Hone and they were too full of logic to let the old man have his own way undisputed as a little fairy had appeared in front of him who was called Josephine every story he told they laugh at and said that it was impossible that it was merely old woman’s gabble and other such things when he would insist that all his stories were derived from the most credible sources nay that some of them had been told him by his own grandmother a very respectable old lady but slightly affected in her faculties as things that came under her own knowledge they cut the matter short by declaring that she was in her dotage and at the best of times had a strong and at the best of times propensity to pulling a long bow the land was very flat but said they Jack Mulligan did you ever see a fairy yourself? never was the reply never as I am a man of honour and credit the wish was granted by Josephine the little fairy well then they answered until you do, do not be bothering us with anymore tales of my grandmother the world was very magical Jack was particularly nettled at this and took up the cudgels for his grandmother but the younkers were too sharp for him and finally he got into a passion as people generally do who have the worst of an argument this evening it was at their uncle’s an old crony of his with whom he had dined he had taken a large portion of his usual beverage and was quite riotous he at last got up in a passion ordered his horse and in spite of his host’s entreaties galloped off although he had intended to have slept there declaring that he have nothing of a pair of Jackanapes puppies who because they had learned how to read good for nothing hooks in cramp writing and were taught by a parcel of wiggy red snouted prating prigs not added he however that I say a man may not be a good man and have a red nose they imagined they knew more than a man they imagined who had held buckle and tongue together facing the wind of the world for five dozen years

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