Tales of the Tuatha (chapters 16 and 17 of the keep it sweet and short tales)
On Mother’s Day
Another Dream Retrieved and The Butterfly’s Kiss
Snatching the jewel from under the thirsty butterfly, she returned it to the pouch. The creature flew to her lips as though to kiss her but instead, Niamh sensed a slight admonishing sting before it fluttered off on a casual breeze. Light-headed, she walked toward the shoreline and sat, certain that what she had felt was the butterfly giving back a tiny sip of her dream. But which dream?
Through misty eyes she saw some children of fair beauty standing sadly by the lagoon. “What are you doing?” she asked. A sweet faced girl replied, “We are waiting for our mother.”
The West Coast of Clare
The Child’s Tale
“As long as we can remember, every night at the gate mother watched the swans in the lagoon. She would weep inconsolably and none of us could cheer her, nor would she leave the garden. We didn’t know that long ago our father had hidden her only cloak.
One day when father was away, our little brother found it buried behind the wood pile- a fine cape of white feathers! He gave it to mother and her tears stopped. She kissed us tenderly and walked through the gate to the dark lagoon. We now keep watch every night, and weep.”
Niamh wept too, thinking of her own mother and father waiting.
Background: The story of Odette, and the ballet, Swan Lake, are recreations of old tales similar to the celtic stories of Selkies and Kelpies. An enchantment changes a girl into a swan and reversely as in this tale, a swan is changed into a maiden who years later still longs for her true nature. The Norse Valkyries were also called swan maidens.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and swans