Monday, March 17, 2014

Never Disturb a Fairy Ring

Duncan O'Malley
Thanks to my best friend's daughter, Regan Worth, I'm here this St. Paddy's Day to share a warning with you all about the dangers of fairy rings. I felt it only right to pass on the warning I gave my daughter...the same warning my mother gave me, albeit most likely too late. Now some will tell you that a fairy ring is just a fungus that ruins the lawn. Gardening folk will tell you to dig them up and destroy the ring. I will tell you different. Leave them be.

It was a spring day and I was still a lad, living on my parents' farm in Ireland. I was a light-hearted boy and I loved to explore the bog. That's where I saw my first dead body, but that's a story for another day. The day I learned of fairy rings was a rare sunny one. I followed my mother  down to the bog when she went to fetch the butter. I was a wee lad, maybe three or four.

I skipped along beside her, singing:

O-ro the rattlin' bog
The bog down in the valley-o
O-ro the rattlin' bog, 
The bog down in the valley-o

I was young enough that I couldn't remember the order of all the things you see -- tree, limb, branch, twig, nest, egg, bird, feather, flea -- so Mum sang along with me. We were on the verse about the bird in the egg when she stopped singing.

"Don't you do that, son."

"What, Mum?" I asked. I saw she'd grown pale and was staring at the ground.

"See those mushrooms?"

"Sure I do. Can we pick some?" I loved mushrooms, even then.

"Not those mushrooms. Those belong to the fairies. If you disturb them, they'll come after you."

I stared at the nearly perfect circle of mushrooms -- perfect except for where I'd kicked one away. It lay there broken and sad. "Do you think they saw me?" I asked.

"Let's hope not." Her voice was stern. She took me by the hand and led me to the bog. "Let's tiptoe the rest of the way so we don't wake them."

And so we did. It might have been that night the nightmares started...or sometime soon after. They have never left me, only changed as time went on. I was still a mostly carefree lad and I never saw a fairy in the bog, but I have to wonder sometimes if they didn't see me kick that mushroom. How else can I account for the bad luck I've had and the things I've seen?  Not that it was all bad. I wouldn't trade my luck in finding Maggie Bloom for all the pots of gold in the universe.

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, my daughter Mary has asked me to give away copies of Angels in Hell's Kitchen, the story about the first day I met Mary's mum. All you need to do is fill out the form.

I also need to tell you that High Rollers is only 99 cents today through Wednesday. That's a 66% discount from its regular $2.99. By the time High Rollers happened, I had gone on from the physical realm, but I think you'll like the story anyway. Many of the people I loved through life are in it.

Well, I guess I'm off. Thank you Regan for helping me tell my story. I hope a lot of people buy your story this week. It's a great price for a fun tale. Of course, I wish I had been there to help solve the crime, but a ghost can't be everywhere.

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop.I'm sure you will -- It's All Things Irish, so who wouldn't?

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