IRISH FAR DARRIG
The far darrig, pronounced "fear dearg", is
an Irish fairy, though its original home may have been
Scotland. Translated, the name means "red man." They
are also known by the name Rat Boys, largely due to
their appearance; they have dark, hairy skin, long snouts,
skinny tails and are rather fat. Even their clothing looks
as though it might have been scrounged from a sewer, being
extremely torn and shabby.
The far darrig wears a red cap and coat, and busies
himself by being the practical joker of the otherworld.
Of all these solitary, and mainly evil fairies, there is
none more wretched than the far darrig. Like many other
phantoms, he presides over evil dreams. Some legends hold that the far darrig
is an unlucky former human who wandered into fairy land by
mistake and now attempts to warn others from making the same
IRISH SOLITARY FAIRIES
apparently good natured move, they revel in cruel and gruesome
practical jokes, which they play upon those who have made the
mistake of irritating them. A favorite trick is to make some poor
mortal tramp over hedges and ditches, carrying a corpse on his back,
or to make him turn it on a spit.
Possessing a similar lack of taste in their
choice of foodstuffs, far darrigs consume carrion as their
Most active in winter, and found along
polluted coastlines, in swamps, marshes and coastal ruins,
it is best to avoid these creatures at almost any cost.
Occasionally they venture into the land of humans, where
they delight in startling people by knocking upon their
doors in the dead of night and asking to warm themselves at
the fire. Never refuse such a request, as it is exceedingly
bad luck and you may wake to find a
changeling in your child's crib or that your cows have
come down with the pox.
Should you happen to encounter a far darrig,
take great pains to be polite to it, lest you become the
victim for one of its practical jokes.
fir darrig, rat boys, red man.
what one doubts,
one never doubts the fairies....
William Butler Yeats