Friday, March 17, 2017

Lesson From An Irish Fable

"Throw your heart over the wall,
then follow it!"

Boy Rides Fairy Horse
Illustration By Gertrude Kay

*Some time ago I read an Irish fairy story which told 
how a mortal, on a fairy steed, went hunting with the fairies.
He had his choice of whether the fairy horse
should become large enough to carry a 
man-sized man or be small enough to ride
the horse as it was.

He chose to become of fairy size, and, after 
the magic was worked, rode gaily with
the fairy king until he came to a wall
so high he feared his tiny horse could 
not carry him over;
 but the fairy king said to him,
 "Throw your heart over the wall,
then follow it!" 
So he rode fearlessly at the wall,
with his heart already bravely past it,
and went safely over.

I have forgotten most of the story
and do not remember the name of the author,
though I wish I did;
but often I think of the fairy's advice.

Anyone who has ridden horses much
understands how the heart of the rider going over
fairly lifts the horse up and across an obstacle.
And I have been told, by good drivers,
that it holds true in taking
 a motor car up a difficult hill.

But the uplift of a fearless heart 
will help us over other sorts of barriers.
In any undertaking,
to falter at a crisis means defeat.
No one ever overcomes difficulties
by going at them in a hesitant, doubtful way.

If we would win success in anything,
when we come to a wall that bars our way,
we must throw our hearts over
and then follow confidently.
It is fairy advice, you know,
and savors of magic,
so following it we will ride with the fairies
of good fortune and go safely over.

 Traditional stone wall in the Mourne Mountains
Northern Ireland

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

* "Lesson From A Irish Fable"
By Laura Ingalls Wilder
From the book,
"Little House In The Ozarks"
A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler
The Rediscovered Writings
Edited By Stephen W. Hines

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