Animal Lore

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The country Manx folk of not so long ago lived very much by the seasons and knew the ways of birds and beasts much better than we do now. They knew how to interpret the weather from watching the skies and believed that horses and dogs could see the Little People.

Isle of Man animal folklore is rich with stories of people experiencing - first hand - the wonders of the animal kingdom both in this world and the Other, as the veil between the two is ever shifting to claim our attention.

Goats in Isle of Man Folklore

The practice of letting a goat accompany flocks and herds at pasture was favoured in the Isle of Man. It

The Hare

The animal most intimately allied with magic in the Isle of Man is the hare, whose shape is often assumed

The People of Colby…

Tradition states that before there were any attorneys, the people of Colby used to adjust their differences over the dead

The Cormorant and The Bat

There was a time in the olden days when the cormorant and the bat took counsel together to do something

Manx Superstition

When the robin will not sing in churchyard trees, the place is said to be haunted. (source: photo; text from


The ancient legal penalty of Deodand, well known in England, by which an animal or object causing a death was

To a Manx Kitten 0

Thou little tailless cat with coat of jet, Whose amber eyes with ecstatic dew are wet, As on my lap thy paws beat even tread, “In-out, in-out” – as though thou’rt making bread! “Alice” we called thee from the day

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Song of the Thrush

“Big Robin, big Robin, take a smoke, take a smoke, take a smoke.” “I have no smoke, I have no

The King of the Cats

There was a curious belief that the cats of the Isle of Man had a king of their own who

The Wisest Living Creature

And then there was the Miller’s Cat who seems to have had the power of human speech. By some mischance

Lament of the Old Horse’s Ghost

Ye horses all, who may pass by This spot where rest my bones, Behold my head, which once was high,

The Wonderful Goat of Laxey

There was once an old woman living in Laxey Valley that had a wonderful queer goat. White she was, with

How the Herring Became ‘King of the Sea’

The old fishermen of the Isle of Man have it to say that years and years ago the fish met

A Crow’s Wedding

A wedding with none of the bride’s relatives in attendance was called a ‘Crow’s Wedding’ and there is the following

The Tarroo Ushtey (Water Bull)

From ‘A HISTORY OF THE ISLE OF MAN’ by Joseph Train (1844): A neighbour of mine who kept cattle, had

The Four ‘Moddey Dhoo’

The Moddey Dhoo is a black hound in Manx folklore that reputedly haunts a number of places on the Isle

Manx Lullaby – Ushag Veg Ruy

♫ Ushag veg ruy ny moanee doo, Ny moanee doo, ny moanee doo, Ushag veg ruy ny moanee doo, C’raad