Gearrchaile a Tugadh As
ó Scéalta Chois Cladaigh
Fada ó shin, ar ndóiche, ‘ bhfeicfeá a ceathair nó a cúig déag de bhlianta an uair sin nuair a ghabhadh bróg ort. Bhíodh na daoine ag imeacht ‘ cosnocht. Ní ghabhadh aon bhróg ort go mbeifeá in ann a luacht a shaothrú go maith. Ach bhí cineál…ba é an dlí a bhí ann an uair sin… bhíodh fataí bruite, ar ndóiche, ar bhoilg an lae agus ba é an bhéile deiridh ag gabháil a chodladh dófa, fataí.
Ach caithfí na cosa, an té a bhí ag imeacht cosnochta – an t-aos óg, chaithfeadh siad na cosa a ní in uisce na bhfataí. Bhí sé go maith leis na cosa a ní.
Ach an oíche seo taobh thiar ag an Lag, an áit ‘a raibh na seantithe (bhí mé dá insint cheana féin), bhí teach ansin. Agus nuair a bhí na fataí ite acu dúirt lánúin an tí, (bhí triúr clainne acu; triúr gearrchaile agus an ceann ba sine seacht mbliana a bhí sí), dúirt siad, láúin an tí, leis na gearrchailí na cosa a ní. Ach nuair a chuaigh siad chuig uisce na bhfataí, bhí uisce na bhfataí ruidín beag ró-the leis na cosa a ní.
‘Tabhair leat an sáspan sin thíos,’ a dúirt an t-athair leis an ngearrchaile seo ba shine anois. Seacht mbliana a bhí sí. ‘Agus tabhair isteach sáspan uisce agus fuaraigh an t-uisce na bhfataí go nífidh sibh na cosa.’
Chuaigh sí amach chuig an lochán beag a bhí giota ón teach ach níor phill sí ariamh ó shin, an créatúir! Ach nuair a b’fhada leofa a bhí amuigh, déirigh an cuartú amach agus ní raibh aon dath di le fáil. Déirigh muintir an bhaile amach nuair a chuaigh an gleo amach go raibh sí imithe.
Ach, lá arna mhárach, shiúil siad na bogaigh i mBaile na Cille agus chuaigh siad amach go barr aillte ag cuartú. Agus tá aill ansin a dtugann siad Gob Leaba Choimín air agus fuair siad an t-anúnfairt déanta thiar ar bharr an ghoib. Agus bhí lorg cosa bó, fuair siad amach, mar a bheadh dhá bhó ag troid.
Ach bhí siad ag faire síos fúthu agus thíos ar an gcarraig chonaic siad an corp thíos ar an gcarraig. Agus d’ísligh siad síos agus thug siad aníos í. Agus, an créatúir, ba í an gearrchaile a bhí ann. Agus bhí sí chomh dubh leis an mbac uile go léir.
Ach cuireadh an créatúir agus sin a méid atá. Bhítear ag leagan amach gur tugtha a bhí sí.
Sin an méid a mhoithigh mise anois faoi ghnoithe tiomáint ar an gcaoi sin ag an tslua sí.
The Stolen Girl
Long ago, of course, you’d have seen four or five years of this life before a shoe would go on you. People went around barefoot. You wouldn’t have a shoe on you until you were well able to earn the price of it. And it was like…it was the way it was that time …you’d have boiled spuds in the middle of the day and it was also the last meal as people would go to sleep, the spuds.
But the feet had to be, the people who were barefoot – the young people, they’d have to wash their feet in the water in which the spuds had been boiled. It was good for washing feet.
But this night back at a place called The Lag, a place where the old houses were (I was telling about this before) there was a house there. And when the people in it had eaten, the full house of them, (they had three children; three girls and the eldest was seven), they all told the girls to wash their feet. But when they went to the potato water it was a bit too hot for them to wash their feet with it.
‘Take that saucepan,’ said the father to the oldest girl. She was seven years old. ‘And bring in a saucepan of water to cool down the potato water so you can wash your feet.’
She went out to the pond, a short distance from the house, but, the poor thing, she never returned., the poor creature! But as soon as they felt she was too long out, the search party went out but there was not a trace of her to be found. The townspeople came out when the heard the commotion of her being gone.
But then, the next day they walked the bogs in Baile na Cille (Kilgalligan) and they went out along the cliff tops looking for her. And there is a cliff there they call Gob Leaba Choimín and they found the ground there in bits at the edge of the cliff. And there were cattle prints as if two cows had been fighting there.
But then they were looking down and below them on a rock they saw the body, on a rock. And they lowered themselves down and brought it up. And it was the little girl, the poor creature. And she was black all over, as black as the hob.
And she was buried and that’s it. They were making out that she had been spirited away.
That’s all I heard now of that kind of carry on by the fairy crowd.