Isle of Man - A fleet of fairy boats each side of the rock
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
SOPHIA MORRISON, Hon. Secretary of the Manx Language Society. - PEEL, ISLE OF MAN,
Let it be granted that nine out of every ten cases of experiences with fairies can be analysed and explained away--there remains the tenth. In this tenth case one is obliged to admit that there is something at work which we do not understand, some force in play which, as yet, we know not. In spite of ourselves we feel 'There's Powers that's in'.
These Powers are not necessarily what the superstitious call 'supernatural'. We realize now that there is nothing supernatural--that what used to be so called is simply something that we do not understand at present. Our forefathers would have thought the telephone, the X-rays, and wireless telegraphy things 'supernatural'. It is more than possible that our descendants may make discoveries equally marvellous in the realms both of mind and matter, and that many things, which nowadays seem to the materialistically-minded the creations of credulous fancy, may in the future be understood and recognized as part of the one great scheme of things.
At the present moment almost all the older Manx peasants hold to a belief in fairies quite firmly, but with a certain dread of them; and, to my knowledge, two old ladies of the better class yet leave out cakes and water for the fairies every night. The following story, illustrative of the belief, was told to me by Bill Clarke:--
'Once while I was fishing from a ledge of rocks that runs out into the sea at Lag-ny-Keilley a dense grey mist began to approach the land, and I thought I had best make for home while the footpath above the rocks was visible. When getting my things together I heard what sounded like a lot of children coming out of school. I lifted my head, and behold ye, there was a fleet of fairy boats each side of the rock. Their riding-lights were shining like little stars, and I heard one of the Little Fellas shout, "Hraaghyn boght as earish broigh, skeddan dy liooar ec yn mooinjer seilhll shoh, cha nel veg ain" (Poor times and dirty weather, and herring enough at the people of this world, nothing at us). Then they dropped off and went agate o' the flitters.'
'Willy-the-Fairy,' as he is called, who lives at Rhenass, says he often hears the fairies singing and playing up the Glen o' nights. I have heard him sing airs which he said he had thus learned from the Little People.