The Hollow Hill


Come here til I tell you about Knockfennel, the hollow hill on the banks of the enchanted lake of Lough Gur. That’s where the fairies live, deep down in the earth. But don’t be tempted to try to find them, not even through the red cellar door on the hill, or your eyes will be sewn shut, your ears plugged with mud and your limbs will turn to stone. It is not for humans to disturb the fairies and their fancy ways. 

If you want to have anything to do with the fairies, you must wait til the night of the full moon, when Fer Fí, the King of the Fairies plays on his three-stringed harp from deep beneath the surface. Fer Fí plays such beguiling music that none who hear it can fail to respond. He plays three types of music – geantraí (happy music), goltraí (sad music) and suantraí (sleep music). Depending on his mood, Fer Fí will have you dancing a gig, crying into your hip flask or drowsing on your waterproof picnic blanket.

I wonder if he still performs his service to the sick. It used to be that the families of the sick would bring their loved ones up to the top of Knockfennel on the night of the full moon.  If the sick person heard the geantraí they knew that soon they would be healed. If the goltraí was played, the sickness would remain. And if Fer Fí played the suantraí, well it was the most beautifully seducing music and it would lure the listener into a deathly sleep.

SONY DSCI was thinking of Fer Fí yesterday as I was recovering from chemo session number 8. It was the roughest treatment I’ve had sofar. I felt nauseous throughout and my right arm didn’t appreciate being the designated recipient. I did have some of pain as one of the drugs was going in. And eventhough I was suffering a bit, it was tolerable. I’ve never felt like a sick person throughout this journey and I’m sure I’d be dancing a gig to the geantraí if I climb Knockfennel on the night of a full moon!