Paddy was worried because his farm wasn’t doing as well as he thought it should. His crops were all too often blighted and his beasts were poorly. Paddy always did all he reasonably could to steer clear of The Troubles. Still, he wondered, could he have offended the fairies who lived in the Fairy fort on his farm? Paddy wanted to go and ask the fairies but he feared he would offend them further. All evening he debated with himself what to do.
Later that night Paddy was at the Fairy fort. The fairies were there dancing. One little leprechaun was sitting in a corner making dancing shoes. The other fairies were dancing in complicated patterns but seemed to point roughly towards the North Star. “If you please”, Shouted Paddy of Rathmoor, “could you tell me why there is so much rust on my grain and why my beasts are so thin you can sometimes see their bones?”
“It is not we who do that.” the fairies sang eerily as they danced. “It is the Protestant fairies from another fairy fort further to the north.” In the twinkling of an eye the Protestant fairies came. Both groups of fairies sang out about wrongs which they claimed the other side had committed from the 16th Century and before to the present day. Neither would listen to what the other side was saying as each side was intent on voicing its own complaints.
Poor Paddy cried out in anguish, “All this is very well but I beg you, just you leave my crops and my beasts in peace!” But alas, no fairy heard him above the din of accusations and counter accusations. Then again in the twinkling of an eye Paddy of Rathmoor was removed from the Fairy fort and found himself in his own bedroom. But he could still see the Protestant fairies and the Roman Catholic fairies arguing at the foot of the bed. Paddy listened transfixed as they argued. Then after a few minutes the arguing fairies disappeared. So it had all been one unpleasant dream. Or was it?
It didn’t take long before Paddy of Rathmoor told the story to other folk round him. Stories about the fairies and the fairy forts started circulating, especially in places like Public houses and other drinking establishments. These stories got steadily more imaginative as time went on.
Fortunately Paddy of Rathmoor had a practical, down-to-earth neighbour who didn’t take the fairy fort stories too seriously. Paddy’s neighbour paid a visit to Rathmoor Farm and suggested very nicely that Paddy should go to his local Agricultural extension centre for advice. The kind scientists there told Paddy which varieties of crops had been found resistant to diseases common in his area and which breeds of livestock had been found to thrive on farms like his. They also advised which fertilizers would improve his rough moorland soil and which seeds would improve his pasture. Paddy followed the advice of the Agricultural extension centre and after that most years Rathmoor farm did at least as well as the average for that type of farm. Paddy then decided that all the fairies must be on his side.
- This draws on several cultural traditions. It reflects English cynicism about some aspects of Irish culture. It also reflects the worldwide Freethought tradition. There is of course the Irish supernatural tradition as well.
- Fusion of elements from different cultural traditions on the Internet will become increasingly important in the future.
This story draws from information in the Article, Fairy fort, also the links and references in that article.