A Dingle Folk Tale

Dear Reader:

Memorial Day… Kaitlyn and Tommy gave me a beautiful gemstone bracelet from Ireland! I haven’t taken it off since… so special! But just as memorable was this compilation of Irish folk tales given to me also by them..,that has kept me reading non-stop since returning home Tuesday.

One tale in particular caught my attention because a popular cafe Tig Aine in County Kerry ( Graigue) is located nearby … the origin setting of the tale.

Almost fifty years ago Micheal and Aine Ui Dhubhslaibe bought and rebuilt a ” ruined” house from Mary Shuilleabhain . She told the couple ” I”ll sell you my old house, but a house is no good without a field… so I’ll give you ” Field of the Menhir” too.

The field is also known as Gortna Sprice- which means field of the projecting rock. …true to its name, a standing stone of almost 1.5 m high, stands as a boundary marker overlooked by the sea. north of Clogher Head. The stone is of unknown age, it’s origin lost in the mists of time,and many such stones-have their own story.

So Micheal and Aine bought the ruin house and were given the field with the standing stone. They opened the cafe Tig Aine in 1975 and finally moved it to its present-day location in 2007. Both have remembered the one condition Mary had stipulated ” Whatever you do, don’t interfere with the standing stone! Because that’s the place where the fairies meet.

It is well-known in Ireland that it is best not to mess with fairies, such as foolishly removing standing stones-to do so has often lead to disastrous results for the reckless offender!

Aine concludes that she calls the fairies Na Daoibe Maithe meaning good people so as not to offend them. Just like she entertains tourists in their cafe… she lets the fairies meet and gather on their standing stone.

The fairies are drawn to the cafe’s summer songfests and parties and many a customer has cited seeing the twinkling fairies … if they land on your shoulder and leave pixie dust…one will have good fortune and happiness!

Lately I feel like my house is starting to fall in on me with one problem after another ( plumbing, electricity, and broken appliances.) So yesterday I decided to try changing my luck. I moved some of the garden fairies to my entrance garden rock Vickie gave me… am hoping I will get sprinkled with some magical pixie dust soon- very soon or pixie gold.

So until tomorrow… Let’s pick June as the month we will be kind to ourselves. Finally … read that book we keep putting off because we don’t have the time or travel or gather with friends and loved ones… let June be your memory-maker month… keep a look-out for fairies and find a standing rock for the fairies to gather! And always check your shoulders for pixie dust!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Jake sure kicked off his summer in a big way-braces! Rainbow braces!

Double hibiscus bloom -Hibiscus 2 -Deer 1

Need a fresh sweet smell… freshly cut gardenias do the job! Best diffuser around!

Check out this menu at Tig Aine (that also has an art gallery adjacent to the cafe)

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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