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The Robin’s First Lesson

I think it was in the beginning of September that I was working in the garden, when a robin began to sing on the top of a hedge close by. Presently I heard the robin stop abruptly, then a funny

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Isle of Kids?

I have heard an old story that long ago there used to be a great deal of kids on the top of the mountains or on the headlands of the Isle of Man, and that raiders called it the “Island

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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 smoke.” “Buy, buy, buy.” “I have not a penny, I have not a penny, I have not a penny.” “Go

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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 lived as an ordinary house-cat during the day but at night assumed his regal powers, and sometimes called together all

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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 the Miller had put himself in the power of a wicked giant and could only win free by answering certain

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The Dalby Spook

A talking mongoose in the 1930s received extensive press coverage, attracted ghost-busters, psychic investigators and numerous reporters, and provoked a sensational court action for libel. In September 1931 Gef (pronounced Jeff), the talking Mongoose, arrived at the isolated farmhouse of

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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, Now bleaching ‘mongst these stones.I was a horse of note and fame Some thirty years ago, Before the king of

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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 curving horns at her and amber eyes. There wasn’t another goat anywhere that gave such rich creamy milk, winter and

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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 to choose themselves a king for they had no deemster (judge) to tell them what was right. Likely enough their

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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 rhyme: The little wedding of the crow Went over the road, Without mother and father, Or sister and brother. Poosey

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