Posted on May 8th, 2014 | by Leslie

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Wanderling no. 15

(Read my full description of the project here)

Wanderling no. 15 – “As Old As the Stone”

The Cailleach, an ancient hag goddess of the land roams her territory of SW Ireland collecting food and (in this case) rescuing a lobster from the cooking pot, which in turn protects her great treasure from thieves.

Story’s country of origin – Ireland

Based on the story “Cailleach Bhéara” as presented in Gearóid Ó Crualaoich, The Book of the Cailleach: Stories of the Wise-Woman Healer (Cork: Cork UP, 2003) pp. 111-112. Originally collected in Coimisiún Béaloideasa Éireann (Irish Folklore Commission), vol 11, pp. 103-5.

From Ó Crualaoich’s notes (pp. 112-113): “This text is noted as having been supplied by schoolchildren from Dún Chaoin in Dingle in 1933.” [Which, I must say, is one of my favourite things about this story. The phrase “You did well, lobster” has become part of my vernacular.]

Cnoc an tSídhe (mod. Knockatee, Co. Kerry) = “The Hill of the Fairy Mound/otherworld”

V1
Have you heard the story
Of the Cailleach on the hill of Cnoc an tSídhe?
Living on the summit
In a cabin that overlooks the sea

REFRAIN
Oh, the wind it is a buffet
And it beats back the waves
Where she wanders and wonders and plays
As old as the stone
Of her limestone caves
No, it’s nary a wonder she stays
It’s nary a wonder she stays

V2
Once upon her travels
Did the Cailleach find a lobster in a pot
She stole it home alive
So it could guard her wealth from those who had it not

V3
As she gathered dulse and fish and garlic
Came a thief in search of her gold
Who found the box beneath her bed
And reached inside but when he did he felt a thing take hold

REFRAIN

V4
When the sun was setting low, the Cailleach came home
To find the stranger with his hand trapped
“You did well, my lobster,” she said and smiled
Raising o’er the thief her shiny axe

REFRAIN

<BREAK>

REFRAIN
Oh, the wind it is a buffet
And it beats back the waves
Where she wanders and wonders and plays
As old as the stone
Of her limestone caves
No, it’s nary a wonder she stays
It’s nary a wonder she stays
It’s nary a wonder she stays
No, it’s nary a wonder she stays

Surviving the waves
She’s as old as the stone, she says

For more in the series:
Wanderling no.1 – “But Not Too Bold” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no1/
Wanderling no.2 – “Sedna of the Sea” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no2/
Wanderling no.3 – “The Rift” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no3/
Wanderling no.4 – “Red Bird” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no4/
Wanderling no.5 – “The Last Thing I’ll Beg Thee” –  http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no5/
Wanderling no.6 – “Tantalized” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no6/
Wanderling no.7 – “The Cloud Princess” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no7/
Wanderling no.8 – “My Song is Done” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no8/
Wanderling no.9 – “Vasilisa Trilogy” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no9/
Wanderling no.10 – “Drink Up” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no10/
Wanderling no.11 – “Abandon This” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no11/
Wanderling no.12 – “A Dreadful Thing” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no12/
Wanderling no.13 – “Hairy Man Is Comin’” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no13/
Wanderling no.14 – “These Shapes Three” – http://lesliehudson.com/wanderling-no14/

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