The Fairies

The Fairies [i]

     In the early days of land settlement on Prince Edward Island, a young man named Peter MacPhee arrived on the Northside to claim his plot of land. In the woods of Rock Barra, MacPhee built a little log cabin. He didn't have a well there, so for water he would take his pail and walk down to a nearby spring. One day, he was taking an afternoon nap by the brook when he was awakened by the sounds of piping. In front of him was a fairy, or "Sithichean" as he would of called it in his native Gaelic. The fairy had come up out of the spring. He went by the name Togany (Togaigh). Afterwards, MacPhee went home to his log cabin where he took out his own pair of bagpipes and learned the tune now known as Togany's Reel. Today, Peter MacPhee's cabin is gone and the spring has dried up, but a few post holes can still be found in the area.

     Centuries later, another man who lived in the Glen, nearby, had an experience with the fairies, although his was much more troubling. He claimed the fairies had gotten into his barn. It's not known exactly what sort of a nuisance they created for the man, but it was so severe that he burnt the barn believing that to be the only way to rid himself of the fairies. Unfortunately, they then got into his house. Exhausting any other methods to rid himself of the Sichiliean, he resorted to burning his house as well. The only building then left untouched was a shed the man used to store some machinery. Unfortunately, that building, too, became infested by the little people, leaving the man no other choice but burn it as well. Left without any shelter, the man was invited to stay with Harry Dixon in the Baltic.

     By no account were experiences with the little people as vast on Prince Edward Island as they were in the Old World. However, it has been passed down by some Scottish settlers to the Island, that if one encounters a fairy, the most effective way to rid yourself of it is to run across the rows of a potato field. The fairies, not being able to cross, will need to run up and down each row to get to the other side.



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