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Dana o'Shee

by Micha F. Lindemans
In Irish folklore, they are small, graceful creatures. The Dana o'Shee live in a realm of eternal beauty and remain eternally young as nobles from the age of chivalry with their own king and queen and royal household. They wear beautiful clothes enriched with precious jewels. They love music, dancing and hunting and can often be seen riding in a procession, led by the king and queen.

But even these lovely creatures can be treacherous, and some people say they come from the realm of the dead. A person enchanted by their beauty or music is forever lost.

An Irish story tells of a man whose wife was held captive by the Dana o'Shee. To save her, according to tradition, he must stand watch on All Saint's Eve when the Dana o'Shee and his wife would ride past. Then he must empty a jug of milk over her head. However, the man didn't know that the milk was watered. That broke the spell and the woman fell off the horse. The little creatures closed in around her, and she was never seen again. The next day the road was sprinkled with her blood: the Dana o'Shee had taken revenge.


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