20 Mar 2015

FOLKLORE FRIDAY: IT ALL BEGAN WITH THE SAGA OF FERGUS MAC LETI.

Said to lie in a realm somewhere between the physical and spiritual. There have been stories told of me for more than a thousand years though traditionally not one notes a female of my kind.

Renowned for my shoe making skills and the granting of wishes. Smaller than you might think, legend has it a royal courtier once tried to drown one of my kind in a wine glass.

Known to be miserly, it is said I carry not one but two pouches. In the first of which is a  silver coin that when paid out always returns. In the other a gold coin that once received from me turns to ashes.

Whilst renowned for partaking in mischief I am actually a somewhat solitary individual who finding humans foolish tends to shy away from contact.

I'm a 
............ Leprechaun.


Alternative English spellings have me a lubrican and a lepreehawn though my name is believed to be derived from the Irish leipreachan. 

Though nowadays most often portrayed a jolly little fellow clad in green (pre-twentieth century I wore red) who is seldom found without a Guinness in his hand I actually made my first appearance in an eighth century poem, The saga of Fergus mac Leti


A water sprite known as luchorpain (little bodies), it is said we gave King Fergus the ability to breathe underwater provided he wore one of our cloaks over his cloaks on his head or filled his ears with herbs.

Whilst I am often described as a fairy, the other branch of my family tree are the Cluricauns. Known for their love of raiding wine cellars and the and the creating of mayhem, it is said they harness animals (including domestic fowl) riding them through the night.


If you hap' to have a button 
That may need a little thread,
'Pon a coat that needs repairing
But with still some wear ahead,
Or yer dress may need a ribbon
For to bring it up to date,
To the fashion of the moment
Which yer love to emulate.

- Paddy O'Mara Written by LuLu Gee
(Read full poem here)


8 comments:

Brandi Kosiner said...

Hmm, funny how they get the almost jolly green midget personality

Karen Alderman said...

Enjoyed this post :-))

Kelly said...

These "educational" posts are always fun! I liked this one.

Suko said...

Wonderful post! I feel lucky to have learned a bit about lubricans or lepreehawns or leipreachans.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

There are a few versions of this fellow. Interesting and I didn't know that about the King. Brilly post!

Aunt Mary said...

I liked your post Tracy, very well-written , have a wonderful day :)

Brian Joseph said...

Marvelous post Tracy.

In love folklore and I especially love tales relating to the Small Folk.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Lovely post- I learned so much. Interesting how things change over the years! :)