About a hundred years ago a certain Peter Malone lived at the corner where the Stang Road meets the Castlewellan Road. One Halloween Night he was coming home from Stang Tops at a late hour. It was a bright moonlit night and as Peter hurried along he could hear sweet sounds as of music coming from a field a short distance from the roadside. He paused for a moment to listen and this is the refrain he heard, coming from a chorus of voices:
‘Saddle and Bridle; Saddle and Bridle,
‘Saddle and Bridle; Saddle and Bridle.’
Peter listened for a while, then carried away by the music he chimed in;
‘Saddle and Bridle for me!
‘Saddle and Bridle for me!’
Instantly he was surrounded by a company of fairies on horseback. Then one of the fairies led up a gray mare with a saddle on her back and a bridle on her head and motioned Peter to mount. Up Peter got and off they all went at full gallop over hill and dale and never slackening for a moment till they arrived in the sunny land of Spain.
On and on they galloped over high mountains and through deep valleys until at length they arrived in a large town. Tightening their bridles Peter and the fairies cantered through the main street till by and by they struck up with a funeral procession heading towards a grand church in the centre of the town. The fairies and Peter followed the cortege and dismounting from their steeds walked respectfully into the church behind the coffin. They took their places in the pews and looked on while the priest recited the prayers. Then someone called out, ‘Who will lift the offerings?’ At this the chief mourner pointed to Peter.
So Peter took the plate and collected the offerings. This done he pocketed the money. And just as he was putting the last coin into his pocket he found himself at his own gate in Stang, his coat pocket bulging with money. It was now far into the night and the family were all in bed so Peter crept softly up to the door and knocked.
After a few moments delay the wife unbarred the door and seeing it was Peter began to ‘give out’ about the bad hours he was keeping.
‘Now don’t be going on like that, woman dear,’ says Peter.
‘Wait a moment till I show you the big heap of money I have brought home to you from Spain.’
Then he put his hand in his coat pocket. But no money was there.
Instead of coins, Peter drew out a handful of clabber.