The Woodlands in Ballyyahoo is known as the Witchy Woods and you can find them where the border of Ballyyahoo meets the border of Ballyuseless.
In the daytime it’s just like any other woods, with tall trees, short trees, shrubs, ferns, wild flowers, natural ponds, mushrooms, berries and lots of woodland creatures like rabbits, hedgehogs and frogs.
There’s also a very shy and beautiful herd of deer.
IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS AT NIGHT
In the night time the Witchy Woods are exactly the same as they are in the day time, except for one thing: at night the woods are darker than you can imagine in your darkest dreams, even if you wear an eye-mask and have blackout curtains on your bedroom windows – except when there’s a full moon.
Who knows what the woods are like when there’s a full moon – unless you’re the sort of person who goes walking around the woods on the nights of a full moon.
There’s only one person I know goes walking around the woods on the nights of a full moon and that’s the hen-woman of Ballyyahoo.
The hen-woman is called Cori and if you think she’s going to be half-woman and half-hen, like some kind of clucking mermaid, with a feathery tail instead of fish scales, then you’ve got another think coming, because the hen-woman is just a normal, everyday Ballyyahoo woman.
Normal that is, apart from having a habit of making sandwiches out of her own homegrown peas and smothering them with her own lumpy onion chutney made from onions grown under a particular bunch of ferns in the Witchy Woods, and having them for tea every second Sunday at five o’clock precisely.
CROOKED LITTLE TOES
Apart from having two crooked little toes, Cori is about as ordinary as any woman who spent their whole life in the totally non-ordinary town of Ballyyahoo can be.
In fact, Cori has a totally unspooky reason for walking around the woods at night, full moon or not, and if you want to know just what that is you can find out more here.
CROOKED LITTLE PATHS
One of the best things in the Witchy Woods is the fact that there are lots of little trails that wind around and through the trees and lead to lots of other little trails that never seem to end.
Apart from Cori, the hen-woman, not many other Ballyyahooians go walking around the crooked little paths of Ballyyahoo woods at night.
However, there are rumours that Biddy, the woman who just might be a witch, goes walking, or more precisely, flying, around the Witchy Woods on a regular basis but that’s a whole other story.
That story may, or may not be true, but if you want, you can find out more about the Witch of Ballyyahoo here.
Sometimes, just sometimes, those same little trails lead to woody little hiding places, or holes like little caves between rocks or even under rocks.
You have to look very closely to see a hiding place.
In the Witchy Woods you never know who, or what, might be hiding in those particular places.
Can you see a face between the trees below?
Sometimes Maggie many cats walks through the woods to make sure there are no hungry or lost cats that need her care.
Anyone in Ballyyahoo will tell you that some of the best hiding places in Ireland are in the wonderful woodlands of the Witchy Woods.
But, if you went looking in your own nearest woodlands, or forest I’m sure you found some great hiding places too.
For more stories from Ballyyahoo click right here.