THERE was once upon a time a gentleman and lady. And the lady was spinning one evening. There came to her a fairy, and they could not get rid of her; and they gave her every evening some ham to eat, and at last they got very tired of their fairy.
One day the lady said to her husband:
"I cannot bear this fairy; I wish I could drive her away."
And the husband plots to dress himself up in his wife's clothes just as if it was she, and he does so. The wife goes to bed, and the husband remains in the kitchen alone, and the fairy comes as usual. And the husband was spinning. The fairy says to him:
"The same to you too; sit down."
"Before you made chirin, chirin, but now you make firgilun, fargalun." 1
The man replies, "Yes, now I am tired."
As his wife used to give her ham to eat, the man offers her some also.
"Will you take your supper now?"
"Yes, if you please," replies the fairy.
He puts the frying-pan on the fire with a bit of ham. While that was cooking, and when it was red, red-hot, he throws it right into the fairy's face. The poor fairy begins to cry out, and then come thirty of her friends.
"Who has done any harm to you?"
"I, to myself; I have hurt myself."
"If you have done it yourself, cure it yourself." 1
And all the fairies go off, and since then there came no more fairies to that house. This gentleman and lady were formerly so well off, but since the fairy comes no longer the house little by little goes to ruin, and their life was spent in wretchedness. If they had lived well they would have died well too.
55:1 That is, the wife span evenly with a clear steady sound of the wheel, but the man did it unevenly.
56:1 Cf. Campbell's "The Brollachan," Vol. II., p. 189, with the notes and variations. "Me myself," as here, seems the equivalent of the Homeric "οὔτις".