THE Phynnodderee, or Hairy-one, is a Manks spirit of the same kind with the Brownie or the Kobold. He is said to have been a fairy who was expelled from the fairy society.
The cause was, he courted a pretty Manx maid who lived in a bower beneath the blue tree of Glen Aldyn, and therefore was absent from the Fairy court during the Re-hollys vooar yn ouyr, or harvest-moon, being engaged dancing in the merry glen of Rushen. He is condemned to remain in the Isle of Man till doomsday, in a wild form, covered with long shaggy hair, whence his name.
He is very kind and obliging to the people, sometimes driving home the sheep, or cutting and gathering the hay, if he sees a storm coming on. On one of these occasions, a farmer having expressed his displeasure with him for not having cut the grass close enough to the ground, he let him cut it himself the next year; but he went after him stubbing up the roots so fast, that it was with difficulty that the farmer could escape having his legs cut off. For several years no one would venture to mow that meadow; at length a soldier undertook it, and by beginning in the centre of the field, and cutting round, as if on the edge of a circle, keeping one eye on the scythe, and looking out for the Phynnodderee with the other, he succeeded in cutting the grass in safety.
A gentleman having resolved to build a large house on his property, at a place called Sholt-e-will, near the foot of Snafield mountain, caused the stones to be quarried on the beach. There was one large block of white stone which he was very anxious to have, but all the men in the parish could not move it. To their surprise, the Phynnodderee in the course of one night conveyed all the stones that bad been quarried, the great white one included, up to the proposed site, and the white stone is there still to be seen. The gentleman, to reward the Phynnodderee, caused some clothes to be left for him in one of his usual haunts. When he saw them, he lifted them up one by one, saying in Mania:
Bayrm da'n choine, dy doogh da'n choine,
Cooat da'n dreeym, dy doogh da'n dreeym,
Breechyn da'n toyn, dy doogh da'n toyn,
Agh my she lhiat ooiley, shoh cha nee Ihiat Glen reagh Rushen.
Cap for the head, alas, poor head!
Coat for the back, alas, poor back
Breeches for the breech, alas, poor breech!
If these be all thine, thine cannot be the merry glen of Rushen.
And he departed with a melancholy wail, and has never been seen since. The old people say, "There has not been a merry world since he lost his ground." [a]
[a] Train. Account of the Isle of Man. ii. p. 148.