William Carleton was a writer I first became aware of during my research for Irish Short Story Week. (I hope Irish Short Week II will be March 11 to March 21, 2012.) Carleton (1794 to 1869-Clogher, Ireland) received his initial education in Irish folklore from his father. Carleton did not get a lot of formal education but he made up for this by a love of reading. He worked at various clerical and teaching jobs. He began to write articles and stories. He soon was able to support himself from his writings and went on to become one of Ireland's best known novelists of the time. He always had a deep interest in Irish Fairy lore. I think it is for his stories of Irish fairies that he is now most read.
"The Fairies's Dancing Place" is a short simple feel good type of story. Lanty M'Clusky had recently married and he decided to build a house on his six acre farm. There was a beautiful green circle on his land and he decided to build his house there. Everyone told him "No don't do that it is a dancing ground for fairies". M'Clusky says he does not care he is building his house in the circle. Once the house is built he says before he and his wife move in he will host a big party there for everyone he knows. Everyone is having a great time when they suddenly begin to hear strange noises from the attic and roof area. They hear what sounds like 1000s of tiny foot steps above them. Then the hear a voice that says, "Hurry, we must tear this house down before the dance tomorrow". Even the very bold young M'Clusky becomes worried. He asks the leader of the faires if his house can be let standing until the morning at which time he will tear it down himself.
The ending is fun and I will not tell any more of the plot so as not to spoil it.
You can read it HERE