KildareHistory is a voluntary on-line historical resource focussing on the local history of Kildare. We are about collecting field names and folklore associated with county Kildare and are currently seeking additional volunteers to help us in preserving our history. The following is a synopsis of an off-told tale to young children.
One of the earliest memories of growing up was of the tale of a mysterious being which inhabitated more remote areas of the farm. These tended also to be the more dangerous parts for young children with open drains and ponds. It was only later we realised that it was our parents' efforts to keep us from harms way. It was assumed that we were the only victims of our parents ruse- not true as there are various references in literature.
It was commonly believed that a Dartlookar would slip down the throat of a person who fell asleep in the open, possibly causing death. Especially to an errant young felllow! A possible cure would be a visit to a local bone-setter. He would order the victim to eat nothing but salted fish, drink nothing and to return in a few days.
Then with over-whelming thirst, the victim would kneel beside a bucket of water and stay completly still. Eventually a Dartlookar would jump from the man's throat and dive into the water, followed by his off-spring. Thus the victim was cured. Thankfully we always heeded our parents advice and didn't need the above therapy!