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The Red Man (Far Darrig)

The far darrig (or fear dearg) is a near relation to the leprechaun, with similar features and a short stocky body. His face is splotched yellow. He dresses in red from his hat to his tail-trailing cape to the woolen stockings which cling to his calves. This is the reason he is called the far darrig or red man.

He is known not only for his color (sometimes he travels invisibly) but for his delight in mischief and mockery. He can be a gruesome practical joker. He manipulates his voice, emitting sounds like the thudding waves on the rocks or the cooing of pigeons. His favorite is the dull, hollow laugh of a dead man; which he makes sound as if it's coming from the grave. He has also been know to give evil dreams.

Mortal terror amuses the far darrig. Occasionally, he invites a mortal to enter a lonely bog hut, then he orders him to make dinner out of a hag skewered on a spit. The man usually faints. When he recovers, he finds himself alone with the sound of laughter filling the air, but coming from no distinguishable source. It is advisable to say 'Na dean maggadh fum'-- do not mock me', when you encounter a far darrig, that way you cannot be used in one of his macabre games. Unfortunately, he plans his tricks so well that a mortal is snared long before he realizes the need to protest.

With all his pranks, the far darrig desires not to do harm but to show favor. He actually is good natured and will bring luck to those whom he approves; but he cannot resist a preliminary teasing.

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