Curran says that « Many coastal dwellers have taken merrows as lovers
and a number of famous Irish families claim their descent
from such unions, notably the O'Flaherty and O'Sullivan families of Kerry
and the MacNamaras of Clare. The Irish poet W B Yeats reported a further case in
his Irish Fairy and Folk Tales: "Near Bantry in the last century, there is
said to have been a woman, covered in scales like a fish, who was descended from
such a marriage".
gives the most interesting case which occurred in the XII
century. Gervase of Tilbury, a monastic English chronicler, recorded the
report of two "children" suddenly appearing close to a village near
Burry St. Edmunds, England. Gervase's tale was also recorded in the
writings of chroniclers who were more less his contemporaries, such as the
Abbot, Ralph of Coggeshall in the CHRONICON ANGLICARUM; William of Newbury, in
the HISTORIA RERUM ANGLICARUM, and also the chroniclers Walsingham and Giraldus
importance of these records can not be underestimated, as medieval Christian
monks were not in the habit of lying. The reports about strange events were
always investigated by the Church itself, before being categorized as natural,
unnatural, or supernatural events.
Near the village of Wolf-pittes at ancient trenches or pits known locally as the "wolf pittes (pits)," for which the village was named, two disoriented, haggard young children –a boy and a girl were found. They wandered like blind, stumbling over the stones and falling. They were hungry and exhausted, and spoke some strange language, which nobody could identify. But most important thing that attracted the attention of the peasants was the color of their skin and hair: olive-green. Despite their outlandish language and greenish coloration, the villagers took them in and they were sent to a local home to be cared for.
At first, the children refused any food, until someone brought some beans, still in the pods; these they fell upon ravenously, and for a long time this was all they would eat. The boy, however, could not cope with new conditions, he began to suffer from melancholy grew thinner, was tormented and died. The girl flourished, began eating more surface foodstuffs, and lost her green pigmentation. She learned to speak English and lived to serve in the household of the knight, Sir Richard de Caine at Wikes, who had taken her in, even baptized; but she was she was "rather loose and wanton in her conduct (from Ralph of Coggeshall, as translated by Thomas Keightly, 1828)."
asserted that she came from a vast cavern world of eternal twilight, where all
the inhabitants were of green coloration. There was a wide underground
river there, which they never crossed, but they could see another cavern world
on the far side, which was «more brightly lit». More than once hearing the
strange rings (perhaps these were the distant local church bells), she and her
brother decided to find out, where they coming from.
This "immunity" to "church bells," which according to
the tradition are usually anathema to underworld beings, points to the human
origin of children, i.e. they were either stolen being babies, or were Naga -
NEIGHBORS: The Genetic Victimization of the Surface World