A: Ailm, or Elm.
World folktales include different magical species of intelligent creatures—birds, animals, even fish.
Ailpein means “white” in Gaelic, but in Granny’s version, is a shape-shifter that can change color. Here are the bones:
GK calls army. Young Knight spies, disguised as a friar .
Ailpein Bird rescues Stolen Princess, takes her to 3 castles in 3 lands, last one his. YK, given 3 feathers by SP's maid, searches, proves worthiness, brings her home.
|My Ailpein Bird|
You can read a version, "The Ailpein Bird, the Stolen Princess, & the Brave Knight" in Heather & Broom, collected by Sorche nic Leodhas. If you know any other Ailpein bird stories, please tell me!