I didn’t believe in The Wishing Well. I just didn’t. It was a famous tale told in my family probably 8 billion times, but I refused to believe it was true.
Now, there I was, sitting around my grandmother, Grandma Catherine, listening to the story of The Wishing Well.
“…A man came dancing down the cobblestone streets and saw a wishing well. He was a leprechaun, and being a man of mischief, he looked around and than jumped into the well. ‘Now if folks come by,’ he thought to himself, ‘they’ll see this here well, and lean over-and POP! I’ll surprise ‘um just like that, scaring them poor travelers.‘
So the leprechaun sat and waited.”
Grandma Catherine paused for a moment and looked at her grandchildren.
“Finally, a pretty young girl came down the street, and saw the well. And you know what, that girl was me!”
My little sister, Fiona, frowned, and said, “Grandma Catherine, you were a little girl like me?”
Grandma laughed in a raspy voice. “Of course, My Child!” she said, and then continued.
(I could quote this part word-for-word.) “So I leaned over the well and closed my eyes to wish, when the leprechaun popped up from inside the well. I jumped back in surprise. ‘Ha ha! Gotcha!’ he shrieked. I frowned, and yanked him out of the well.
‘Are you all right, Sir?’ I asked him, believing he was ill. ‘Oh yes, quite fine,’ he said, and dusted his trousers and skipped away.
And I never saw that mischief-maker again! The End.”
My sister’s clapped, as I pulled my ratty shawl around my shoulders and frowned. I wished that the Potato Famine would end. My whole family was affected by it…in fact, all of Ireland was.
I got to my feet and stood beside my mother. “Mum, I’m going to bed now. Do you want me to put Fiona and Darcy to bed?”
My mum smiled gently at me. “Sure, Nora. Thanks,” she replied.
I picked up Fiona and carried her into our old, stone home. The curved roof was covered in straw, and tightly packed together. I lay Fiona on her little mat bed, and tip-toed outside for Darcy. After she was inside, I too, went to bed.
The next morning, I took a walk, following the narrow road that lead to town. I held a basket, tucked under my arm with an apple, a rare treat that I had hand-picked the day before. Now I ventured into the deep forest. I decided to take a different route, and turned to my left.
As I walked along, I heard a rustle in the bushes. My eyes darted towards the berry bush. I prayed it wasn’t a robber, and thankfully, it was only a deer, thank God. I watched the doe move towards a well, and than disappear into the forest. Next to the bushes was an old, run-down well. A vine coiled around it, and the dirt beneath it revealed some cobblestone. I stepped closer, frightened and excited at the same time. Could it be? No…it couldn’t have been The Wishing Well!
TO BE CONTINUED…