Finally…I could squeeze my blog’s schedule to post my Irish Short Story Week. I have finished these stories days ago but the timing to publish it never seem to match. I try not to publish too many posts respectively each day….my posts are in 2 days interval. Fortunately, the Irish Week event hosted by Mel U lasted till March 22 (I have Indonesia Banget at 17 and Kroten’s Gotcha Day at 19).
Stories by Thomas Crofton Croker are NOT ghost stories at all!! It made wonder why they put his shorts in Irish Ghost Stories Collection. I didn’t say I dislike it but I am a bit disappointed that they considered his fantasy stories as ghost stories. Because all 5 (I only read 4 tho) stories of his in The Wordsworth Collection of Irish Ghost Stories are actually Fantasy Stories, I decided to share this review in both Irish Short Story Week hosted by The Reading Life and Magical March hosted by Roof Beam Reader.
Croker seemed like a guy who enjoyed telling stories about little beings and good deed. He kept repeating the same kind of characters and situation in each of his story. His stories were very short and didn’t take too much time to finish them all.
Here are my short reviews of all his stories in the collection book.
The Haunted Cellar (6 pages)
The Haunted Cellar is about a very kind rich man, he was loved by his employee and his butler…however, no butler seemed to stay long with him despite his kindness. It was all because they didn’t want to go down to his cellar where he kept his best wine. One day, a stable boy told him that he wanted to be his butler. The boy’s real challenge came not long after he became the butler. He was asked to fetch few bottles of wine. He heard noises and felt terrified with the cellar. The rich man finally fetched his own wine and found out what had been scaring his butler all this time.
I was expecting to read about a terrible ghost in that cellar…but, my expectation was shattered as the story progress to a small creature of fairy tale. Because of this story, I learn not to expect any ghost in the rest of his stories.
Legend of Bottle Hill (8 pages)
Mick Purcell lived with his wife and children. He was very poor. At one point he had no more to pay his rent and was forced to sell his only cow in the Fair of Cork. On the way to the Fair he met an old man. The old man wanted the cow in exchange of an empty bottle. He convinced Mick that the bottle was a good deal. Mick took the bottle home and was scolded by his wife. Even though she was really angry, she still did what Mick asked her to do. Two small men suddenly came out of the bottle and made the most delicious meal on plates and cups made of gold. Mick became rich. But he told about his good fortune to his landlord and gave the bottle to the landlord in exchange of his land. He regretted it as he became poor again not long after that.
Unfortunately I don’t see any value in the story, in fact I quite dislike it. Mick was lucky to have the bottle, him giving it away was a bad action but to see him unable to manage his new wealth after he didn’t have the bottle was the worst. He had everything but spent it all up was not a good story. He had to get the bottle again to be wealthy again was a bit pointless. It would make a better story if Mick didn’t need the bottle ever again to keep his family in wealthy condition.
The Legend of Knockgrafton (5 pages)
Lushmore was an unfortunate man, he was cursed with bad look as he had a big hump on his back. However, Lushmore was very kind and nice. One day when he was resting on a big rock, he heard a lovely tune singing ‘Da Luan, Da Mort’ over and over again. Lushmore added the lyric with ‘agus Da Darden’. The fairies who were singing the song loved the new addition in their lyric. They blessed Lushmore by taking away his hump a new suit. He became the talk of the people who wondered about his new look. An old woman came to ask him about his miracle so that she could help his son who also had a lump. Unfortunately things didn’t go well with her son, the fairies hated him.
What I like most about this story is the fact that I learned some Irish from it 😉
Da Luan is Monday; Da Mort is Tuesday; agus Da Darden is and Wednesday too; and Da Hena is Thursday.
I didn’t finish this short because after 2 pages I still couldn’t understand the main idea of the story.
Master and Man (5 pages)
The last story by Croker is about a man who was being tricked by a little man who had magical power and had lived for almost 1000 years. The man had to become his slave. The little wasn’t as bad as the man think he was. He had good time being his slave…but things soon come to a change when the little man decided to snatch someone’s future wife as his wife. The slave betrayed him out pity for the woman’s sake.
Have you read anything else by this author?