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Sceach Gheal | by Charles Augustus
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Sceach Gheal

"Sceach Gheal" means "bright thorn", and is the Irish name of the hawthorn tree. This is in the Burren, near Carron, one of the quietest places under the sun.

A passage from Charles Nelson's "The Burren" -- "Fairies meet beside thorn bushes, and sometimes live in them. If a fairy thorn is cut, it bleeds and screams; the Little People are provoked into retaliation and take terrible revenge. In an era when too few trees are left standing, this is an admirable notion, and so mature hawthorns are usually not molested. By observing some simple rules, the human race and fairy thorns can co-exist. When walking in the countryside, you may rest beside a thorn bush. But don't hang your jacket or rucksack on it because you will disturb the washing already hung out by the fairies. So be warned; do not interfere in any way with "sceach gheal", and even if you are sceptical about the existence of fairies, it is best not to tempt fate."

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Taken on June 2, 2010