Fairy Ireland: Stalking Fairies in Tuatha de Danaan Land
You may have read about our Amazing Tribe of Fairy Cats. However, you have not yet been introduced to the little dog, which we latterly discovered is very much in tune with all things faerie. Little did we know that a Fairy Dog was about to be taken under the matronage of the Fairy Cat matriarch.
The little dog came in to our lives in quite a serendipitous way. And where there is whim and whimsy then you are getting closer to the fairies. He was found by a friend on a roundabout near Bundoran on New Year’s Day and he narrowly escaped being hit. This kindly person took him in once he ascertained with the Gardai that no one had reported him lost. Over the next three days it became clear that the puppy was profoundly deaf.
Well, that kind soul knew that taking on a special needs puppy when you have a full time job is not the responsible way to look after dogs. He took him to work on 4th January at the Organic Centre and asked if any of his colleagues could adopt him. Tony got his offer in fast. We seemed the ideal home for this special needs pooch – a couple with no children, living on a quiet road, where someone is always at home to look after him.
One evening Tony looked up from his reading. He had Patricia Monaghan’s The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit open. “It says here,” he said, “that animals that are all white with just one spot of red on them are fairy animals. Obe’s a fairy dog!” The little dog is all white except for one tawny ear.
We had already begun to notice that he would raptly attend to empty space. We couldn’t see anything but he certainly could! At first we thought it was a sixth sense that was compensating for his congenital deafness. Or maybe he was picking up spirit vibes from our dog Pippin, who died three weeks before his arrival? Or maybe something from my mother, who passed away four days after he came to us?
However, I was sure he was in with the fairies after one specific incident. We picked up a young friend to give him a lift. He knew the dog and they sat happily together in the back seat of the car. Tony had to make a brief stop enroute to take some photos at a sweathouse. We all piled out of the car and took a little stroll while Tony snapped away to his heart’s content. This sweathouse is at the foot of Slieve Anieran, which is the homeplace of the Tuatha de Danaan in Ireland. When the Tuatha de Danaan first arrived in Ireland they landed on this mountain. And the Tuatha de Danann became the fairy folk.
Now Emmett walked down to have a closer look at the sweathouse while Obe and I remained at the stile since it was a bit slippery underfoot. When Emmett came back to us Obe began to bark, pointedly looking at Emmett’s trouser legs. No blandishing could make him take his eyes off the spot or make him stop.
“I think you’ve picked up a fairy and he wants you to leave it here.” Emmett, looking a little sheepish brushed his hands down his trouser legs. And Obe promptly stopped barking. I recommended leaving a coin as an offering/apology but Emmett would not be parted with a two euro coin, had no smaller change and would not take some from me.
Since then we have kept noting the things that are not visible to us that he is captivated by. It’s as if he is chasing with invisible flies. And in the dead of winter I don’t think there are even gnats flying in Ireland! But he is playing away. Or rather, they are playing with him.
If you want to stalk the fairies in their native habitat you would do far worse then to walk the hills and glens surrounding the Tuatha de Danaan’s homeplace. You see when the Tuatha de Danaan were vanquished at the Second Battle of Moytura, just over the border in County Sligo, they headed back to Iron Mountain to cut ties with this side of the world. It was here that they went to ground and became the fairy folk. Little wonder that this part of Ireland is what I consider Fairy Central!
If you would like to book a Fairy Hunting tour with Bee and her Fairy Dog Obe as your guides you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stalking the fairies can be part of a package tour or it can be a day’s outing for a small group. Email Bee and let her know what your hopes and dreams. And don’t forget to bring an offering for the fairies!