As I got up from my slumber I felt the doom overwhelm me as I knew I had to leave the house to go to the fields. I would have to avoid the forest. I rubbed my eyes to shake off the sleep. When my hands came down something reflected into my eyes, it came from the window sill.
The gold coins were there, he must have tried stealing them from the house. I must admit I did a small laugh because I knew how he would have been.
He would have cursed the whole night.
My brothers were still sleeping, I tried waking them so they could get up and do chores and some to leave for work. One by one they got up, their bellies still full of food from the night before.
I took hold of the coins and got dressed, ready for the new day. I walked for miles around the forest to get to o’Carroll’s farm. I was put straight to work tilling the fields.
As I worked I could not shake the dream I had last night. What did it all mean? Was it real? Was I dreaming about someone else? Or me?
So many questions.
I kept working through the questions in my head whilst ploughing and tilling. Then he came.
“Now Fergal, give me the coins” he said calmly and patient.
“No! Go away devil! I have had enough of you! Be away with you!” I shouted.
The leprechaun hopped onto a bucket of seeds I was carrying.
“Are ye sure ye wanting to go down this road fergal?” He angrily spat “all I want is rid of ye now!” He sat down cross-legged on the bucket of seed as if in defeat.
“Well it’s your own fault so, trying to trick me” I said.
He instantly stood up, pointed his gnarly finger at my heart.
“You mortals are all the same, pushing the blame to someone else. You shouldn’t have seen me, ye shouldn’t have talked…” I stopped his little tirade.
“If I remember rightly King Cornarght” I bowed mockingly “you bade me to sit for a “wee” chat”.
He was not happy with my mocking.
He looked me up and down as if studying me, he was looking for answers to why I was special. Why was it the faerie folk had helped me? His eyes were all over the place, left to right, up and down, around and around. There was something about me he could not put his finger on.
Suddenly his eyes lit up, he looked scared as if some realisation had hot him. Something had scared him. Something dark hurt his soul and he ran away.
I shrugged my shoulders and carried on with my work. O’Carroll’s daughter came over with a flask of water an hour later.
“Fergal, you’re a grand man, look at the work you’ve done!” She brushed her hand across the field. “My father will be proud!”.
I was a little startled at the work I had done, then I looked at her green eyes and was more startled by that. She liked me.
“Ah, Kate tis nothing. I’m paid to work” I said to her staring at her beautiful auburn hair.
She got a bit lost in our moment, she shook her head fast and offered me the drink. Then she run off as if embarrassed
I then heard giggling in the field. Then light flapping. The faeries.
They must have helped me with the fields. I drank the water, it was refreshing. More better than leprechaun stout, I chortled at the sad joke.
I continued to work hard into the evening until it was time to go. I packed up my things and left the fields after saying goodbye to a puzzled Brendan O’Carroll. He saw the field was ploughed and tilled all by me, I did a 7 man job in a shift. Nevertheless he was thrilled and gave me some extra money.
“You’re a good lad Fergal, regards to your da!” He waved as I went.
I walked down the little country lane around the edge of the forest when I saw a woman in the woods. She came closer as she saw me, her face. I knew it. She edged closer out of the forest.
It was the woman from my dreams. My mother.