I had an encounter with a Faerie when I was 8 or 9 years old. I don’t remember a lot of it myself, although I definitely remember it happening.
Luckily my Mum was there too and has told the story so many times since it happened, I couldn’t forget it if I tried!
I live in Dublin now raising my own children, but back in 1972 when we had our ‘encounter’, we were living outside of Bunclody in the County Wexford.
So, the day I encountered the Faerie dog had been like any other day. I was after getting off the school bus to find that, once again, Mum was late and not there in the car to drive me home. This had happened a thousand times before and I knew what to do: stand still and wait for her. This I did, and can remember running the nine times table through my mind over and over, for to keep myself occupied.
So, I was there alone, the bus long gone and the road was quiet but I wasn’t worried. It was a safe town after all.
Then I noticed this olive green car with 2 men in it drive past me, real slow like, looking at me all the while, then a few minutes later it drove past going the other way, turned and came back toward me.
All of a sudden, this black dog, or it could have been brown, appeared out of no place and stood beside me. It was big. Not so big as a wolfhound but heavier. I think it had a real barrel chest and a thick, short coat but can’t be certain, and to this day, I couldn’t tell you if it were male or female.
Anyway, this dog rested a paw on my foot, hard like, pushing my foot into the ground as it stared at the car approaching us. I remember the sound of it growling low and deep so that its whole body shuddered and the fur on its back shackled upright.
I was scared stiff. Truly I couldn’t move a muscle, not knowing whether to stay or run or whether to be more scared of the dog or the car.
The car with the 2 men stopped right in front of me and the fella in the passenger seat rolled his window down and said something like “hop in and come for a ride”.
Next thing I know, he opened the car door, stepped a foot out onto the road and the dog flew at him, grabbed his leg, shook it hard and pulled on it something fierce, I thought he was going to rip his whole leg off!
I remember the fella shrieking high, like a girl, and his pal hollering at him to get back in the car. But he just kept shrieking and wailing.
The dog was latched on that fella’s leg and wasn’t letting go and I tell you, the snarl coming from it was like nothing I’d heard before, or since. Just the thought of it gives me shivers, even today.
And that’s when I noticed my Mum pull up in her car behind. She hurled herself from out behind the wheel and round her car and the driver of the car hit the pedal.
The shrieking man was dragged along the road, half in the car, half out of it, with the dog still attached to his leg. There was blood everywhere, all over the road, all over the dog. It was awful. I remember the smell of the blood, sweet but foul, like a gutted fish left sat in the Sun.
My Mum stood in the middle of the road, flailing her arms and hurling abuse after the car. The dog let go the man and the car sped off. I was crying, Mum was screaming and the dog… well it was stood in the middle of the road too, but then it turned and looked hard at Mum.
No word of a lie, with only one glare, that dog silenced my Mum (and if you knew my Mum you’d think it a miracle!).
The dog, blood covering its head and chest and still dripping from its jaw, walked right up and stood about a metre in front of her. The two of them stood staring at each other for about half a minute. It wasn’t long but I remember it felt like forever.
Do you know, not for a second did I think it would attack her, I don’t know why, I just knew it wouldn’t. Anyway, then the dog walked away toward the cluster of trees I guess it came out of and it was gone.
Without a word, Mum scooped me up and put me in the car, a mustard Cortina it was (I loved that car), grabbed paper and pencils from her bag, and shoved them at me. Then she barked at me to write down everything that just happened, and fast. Well this I did, and she did the same. Every now and again she would say, “EVERYTHING, WRITE EVERY LITTLE THING”.
We both finished and sat in silence for I don’t know how long until eventually my Mum said, “you were just saved by a Faerie. And if we aren’t careful, we’ll forget the whole thing”.
Mum drove like a Banshee to my Auntie’s house which was only 5 minutes from the bus stop, and burst through her door yelling “Nora, I’ve just been scolded by a Faerie!”.
We told Auntie Nora everything we could remember and then passed her our written notes. I remember my Auntie raising an eyebrow and saying “There’s a lot you have written that you didn’t tell me. You are forgetting and no doubt”.
Then she frowned and said to Mum “Please tell me you didn’t thank the Faerie”.
“Of course I didn’t thank the Faerie Nora, what sort of fool do you take me for? You never thank a Faerie!”
I didn’t have a scratch on me, nothing to prove what had happened, and then I remembered my foot. The weight of the dog pushing on my foot. I rolled my sock off and there it was, a purple bruised pawprint. I saw it with my own eyes, and showed it to Mum and Auntie too. Not that Auntie needed convincing, she always believed in the Good Folk. Sure, she’d have plenty of stories for you herself.
That was the day I encountered a Faerie of Ireland. I can safely say that every week of every month of every year since that day in 1972, either Mum or Auntie have told this story to someone, to keep it alive like, so it’s never forgotten. Thank goodness my Mum knew enough of the Faerie to write the experience down before it was lost to us.
Oh! I almost forgot the best part. When the dog stood in front of Mum and stared at her, she said she heard its voice in her own mind. She wrote down only moments later what it had said to her.
“Manys the time I have watched over your unguarded daughter. If she is left alone once more, I will claim her to live among Faerie.”
From Sharon – Dublin, Ireland