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Mischievous fairies braid a horse's tail each night

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"The fairies, or so it seems, have a long association with horses. Fairies were often accused of stealing horses, which they rode hard all night before returning to the barns," writes The Telegram's Dale Jarvis. "In England, the malicious sprites known as goblins were regarded as pranksters, and were known specifically to tangle horses' manes." Jarvis goes on to recount a tale he heard whilst traveling St. Vincent's in England.

Image from Sleezy Barb Horsewear Tailtubes

An equine-lover purchased a beloved new horse, which he made most comfortable with food, water, lodging, and grooming. However, on its very first night in the barn, the horse began kicking and screaming from dusk til dawn. The next morning, unable to sleep on account of the noise, the owner's neighbor complained.

The concerned owner quickly investigated the commotion at the barn. Much to his surprise, he discovered the horse's tail in neat braids, even though the owner knew he had securely locked the barn door at night.

Each morning thereafter, the confused young man would awaken to find the horse's tail neatly braided. Suspecting a prankster at hand, he made entry into the barn impossible. He sealed all entrances, he kept the barn tightly locked, and he carried the only key on his body at all times.

However, his precautions had no effect, for the next five mornings, the owner would find the poor horse's tail braided. Dumbfounded at his ill luck, the young man worried about the involvement of spiritual forces. Therefore, he consulted with a sincere church-goer, who poured a vial of holy water across the barn door.

"According to Katharine Brigg's excellent Encyclopedia of Fairies, the sprinkling of holy water is one of the chief protections against fairy thefts, spells and ill-wishing," Jarvis notes, "On the night of Samhain, holy water was sprinkled on animals to protect them against evil forces."

The woman's cure apparently succeeded, for immediately thereafter, the horse stopped making a commotion by night, and the young man no stopped finding its tail braided by morning.

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