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The Fairy Saddle

by Bernadette Weyde

Manx Fairies seem to have been especially fond of the chase. If a horse were found in his stall wet with perspiration – for which no particular reason could be given – it would be said that he must have been ridden by Themselves, and of this the following story is an instance.

Once upon a time an old Vicar of Braddan was very much troubled by having his horse taken out of the field during the night and finding him in the morning sweating all over, and as much exhausted as if he had been furiously ridden many miles. In spite of all enquiries he could never learn who had done this. But one morning, just at day-break, as he was returning home from the bedside of one of his sick parishioners, he observed as he was passing his field, a little man in a green jacket, carrying a riding whip in his hand, in the act of turning his horse loose into the field.

On this little individual turning around, he saw the Vicar standing by the gate and then he immediately vanished. The saddle, which he had placed at the side of the fence was turned into stone in the shape of a saddle. It has remained there ever since, and so the road which passes this point is called “The Saddle Road” to this day. The old Vicar’s horse was never molested again.

(Folklore of the Isle of Man by AW Moore, 1891; photo http://bit.ly/1ajP9IR)

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