by Jim McCarthy
An old belief in the Ireland of long ago was, if anybody saw the fairy mist rise from a tuft of grass and if they were to drink a bowl of milk from the first cow to eat that grass, the one who drank it was blessed for life with supernatural gifts.
Old Mr Dawley sat one summer evening outside his farmhouse at a place called the Windmill, in the parish of Churchtown. There before his eyes in the field in front of the house he saw the fairy mist rise from a tuft of luscious green grass. Then Polly, the favourite cow in the herd ran over and began eating from the green tuft of grass. Old Mr Dawley called his son Carroll, the wild boy of the family, telling him to get a bowl of milk from the kitchen, and go and milk the full of it from Polly, the cow. He ordered Carroll to bring him the milk as he needed a drink.
Carroll Dawley carried out his fathers orders, on his way back he took a good drink from the bowl. At that moment Carroll felt a very strange feeling come over him, and from then on he felt he could do everything at ease. That evening he rolled an empty barrel out on to the road at the top of the Windmill hill. He pushed the barrel down the hill and at the same time jumping on top of it. The barrel gained great speed with Carroll Dawley still dancing on it. When it came to the cross road at the bottom of the hill it struck the ditch at the opposite side jumping 20 feet into the air and landed in the field across the road. When it landed, Carroll Dawley was still standing in the barrel. From that day forward Carroll Dawley could not settle anywhere. He travelled all over the world, we are told, where he worked at various trades, which he could work at expertly.
This story has been handed down generation after generation in the Churchtown district.