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Marita Conlon-McKenna

Faoin Sceach Gheal

    clairemaher18har citeretfor 8 måneder siden
    dhiaidh sin chuidigh sé leo go léir na cléibh a iompar, fad a bhí Páid ag treorú Mhosaí agus á choinneáil socair.

    B’fhadálach tuirsiúil é an turas abhaile. Dar leis na páistí, bhí an talamh níos achrannaí ná riamh, agus bhí pianta ina ndroim agus ina gcuid sciathán agus guaillí. Stadaidís go minic lena n-anáil a tharraingt. Bhuail Peig fúithi ar an talamh cúpla uair agus dúirt nach bhféadfadh sí coiscéim eile a shiúl, agus thosaigh ag caoineadh. Rinne Dónall greann léi. An rud a dhéanfadh seanasal bacach mar Mhosaí, a dúirt sé, ní theipfeadh ar chapaillín óg mar í féin a dhéanamh.

    Thóg sé tamall fada orthu teach mhuintir Choileáin a bhaint amach. D’fhág na Drisceolaigh óga slán ag a gcairde agus bhuail ar aghaidh. Ba é an leathmhíle deireanach ba mheasa. Bhí lámha Mhichíl ag cur fola agus é ag iarraidh greim a choinneáil ar an gcliabh ba throime. Bhí an clapsholas ann faoin am a shroich siad an baile.

    Bhí an cliabh mór le fágáil cois na tine, ach caitheadh an chuid eile den mhóin le taobh an tí. Ní raibh ann ach clampa beag ar fad. Ní fhéadfaidís gan smaoineamh ar an gcruach mhór a dhéanadh a n-athair nuair a bhí saol níos fearr ann, cruach a bhféadfá seasamh uirthi, í beagnach chomh hard le binn an tí.

    Bhrúigh siad an doras rompu. Bhí a máthair ag míogarnach chodlata sa chlúid agus Bríd bheag ina hucht. Bhí cuma thuirseach ar an máthair, agus d’aithin siad go raibh sí i ndiaidh a bheith ag caoineadh.

    Gan aon torann a dhéanamh, rinne siad atéamh ar bhrachán mine coirce. Bhí siad uilig sáraithe amach, agus gan uathu ach titim iseach sa leaba. Leis na pianta a bhí ina gcnámha uilig, ar éigean a mhothaigh siad an gheonaíl sna putóga folmha acu sular thit a gcodladh orthu.

    Uair éigin i gcaitheamh na hoíche d’airigh siad a máthair ag caoineadh go bog di féin, agus Bríd ag casachtach agus ag iarraidh a hanáil a fháil. Tháinig Micheál gur luigh sé isteach sa leaba leis na girseacha. Fuair siad greim láimhe ar a chéile agus thosaigh ag guí. Dúirt siad gach aon phaidir dár fhoglaim siad riamh.

    “A Dhia fóir orainn! Fóir orainn, impímid ort, a Dhia!” ar siad.

    Níor chodail duine ar bith néal. Bhí moch na maidine ann sular stop an chasachtach. Go tobann bhí tost ann. Bhí an mháthair ag pógadh aghaidh an linbh agus gach méar dá cuid i ndiaidh a chéile.

    “Go dtuga Dia go n-éireoidh an ghrian gan mhoill agus deireadh a chur leis an oíche léanmhar seo,” arsa na páistí.

    D’aithin siad go tobann nach raibh smid as a máthair. D’éirigh siad agus chuaigh anonn chuici. Bhí na deora móra ag sileadh léi.

    “Tá sí ar shiúl. Tá mo stóirín beag féin ar shiúl!”

    Thosaigh Peig ag gol. “Teastaíonn Bríd ar ais uaim,” ar sise. “Teastaíonn sí uaim.”

    “Tá sé ceart go leor, a stór,” arsa an mháthair. “Bhí sí rólag le fanacht sa saol crua seo níos mó. Féach uirthi. Nach í féin an tachrán breá girsí, anois ó tá sí faoi shuaimhneas.”

    Ní raibh cor as an leanbh ach mar a bheadh sí ina suan. Dúirt an mháthair leo í a phógadh, agus tháinig siad duine ar dhuine gur phóg go muirneach an deirfiúr bheag nár chuir siad aithne uirthi ach ar éigean.

    Bhí cuma an-chiúin ar an máthair, aisteach go leor, agus d’ordaigh sí dóibh dul ar ais a luí. “A luaithe a ghealfas an lá, a Mhichíl, caithfidh tusa rith suas tigh Dhónaill Uí Choileáin agus iarraidh air fios a chur ar an Athair Ó Dúill. Suífidh mise tamall eile anseo ag faire ar mo leanbhán gléigeal.”

    Ar ball beag chuir Micheál chun siúil. Bhí a aghaidh bán agus a shúile dearg ón gcaoineadh. Chuir aer fuar na maidine creathanna tríd agus d’fháisc sé a chóta éadrom thart air.

    Bhí roinnt uisce téite ag an máthair agus nigh sí Bríd go cúramach le ceirt, agus scuab arís is arís a gruaig bhog chatach fhionn. Tharraing Eibhlín an seanchófra adhmaid amach as faoi leaba a tuismitheoirí. D’oscail sí é, mar a dúradh léi. Ní mór a bhí ann, agus ní raibh moill uirthi teacht ar an ngúna baiste lása a rinne a sin-seanmháthair fadó. Bhí an lása buí leis an aois. Bhí sé deich mí ó chaith Bríd an gúna cheana, ach bhí a colainn bheag chomh caite sin go raibh sé fós mór go leor di. Bhí sí mar a bheadh aingeal beag geal agus an gúna sin uirthi, ach chuir sí i gcuimhne d’Eibhlín bábóg phoircealláin ón bhFrainc a chonaic sí uair i bhfuinneog siopa sa bhaile mór. Bhí an bhábóg ina seasamh go díreach righin faoina gúna de lása bán agus fo-ghúna beag stáirseáilte faoi, agus folt fada dualach síos léi. Ba é ab aoibhinn léi an bhábóg sin a bheith aici féin agus í a fháscadh lena croí. Anois bhí an mothú céanna aici, ach é níos treise. Bhí fonn millteanach uirthi Bríd a fháscadh lena croí agus gan scaoileadh léi go deo.

    afterwards he helped them all carry the chests, while Paddy guided Moses and kept him calm.

    The journey home was a long and tiring one. According to the children, the ground was more awkward than ever, and there were pains in their backs and wings and shoulders. They often stopped to catch their breath. Peig hit her on the ground a few times and said she couldn't walk another step, and started crying. Daniel joked with her. What a lame old man like Moses would do, he said, a young pony like herself would not fail to do.

    It took them a long time to reach the house of the Collins family. The young Driscolls said goodbye to their friends and moved on. The last half mile was the worst. Michael's hands were bleeding as he tried to hold on to the heaviest basket. The claplight was there by the time they reached home.

    The large basket was to be left by the fire, but the rest of the peat was thrown by the side of the house. There was only a small clamp at all. They couldn’t help but think of the great steel their father would make when there was a better life, a steel you could stand on, almost as high as the gable of the house.

    They pushed the door open for them. Her mother was sleeping soundly in the cover and little Brigid was in her bosom. The mother looked tired, and they recognized that she had been crying.

    Making no noise, they reheated an oatmeal mash. They were all overwhelmed, wanting only to fall into bed. With all the pain in their bones, they barely felt the groaning in their empty guts before they fell asleep.

    Sometime during the night they felt her mother crying softly to herself, while Brigid was coughing and trying to catch her breath. Micheál came to lie in bed with the girls. They shook hands and began to pray. They said every prayer we ever learned.

    “God bless us! Help us, we implore you, God! ” on them.

    No one slept soundly. It was early in the morning before the coughing stopped. Suddenly there was silence. The mother was kissing the baby's face and all her fingers one after the other.

    "May God raise the sun soon and end this sad night," said the children.

    They suddenly realized that her mother was not a smid. They got up and went over to her. The big tears were flowing with her.

    "She is OK. My own little sweetheart is gone! ”

    Peig started to cry. "I want Brigid back," she said. "I need her."

    "It's all right, darling," said the mother. "It simply came to our notice then. Look at her. Isn't she the perfect girl toddler, now that she's relaxed. ”

    The baby was just as if she were asleep. The mother told them to kiss her, and they came face to face that the little sister had kissed dearly whom they barely knew.

    The mother looked very quiet, strangely enough, and she ordered them to go back to bed. “As soon as the day dawns, Michael, you must run up to Daniel Collins' house and ask him to call Father O'Doyle. I'll sit here for another while watching my baby growl. ”

    Soon Micheál set off. His face was white and his eyes red from crying. The cold morning air shook him and he squeezed his light coat around him.

    The mother had some heated water and she washed Brigid carefully with a rag, and repeatedly brushed her soft curly blond hair. Eibhlín pulled the old wooden chest out from under her parents' bed. She opened it, as she was told. It must have been, and she did not hesitate to find the lace baptismal dress made by her great-grandmother long ago. The lace was yellow with age. It had been ten months since Brigid had already worn the dress, but her little body was so worn that it was still big enough for her. She was like a bright little angel wearing that dress, but she reminded Evelyn of French porcelain dolls she had once seen in a shop window in town. The doll stood upright stiff under her white lace dress and a small starched undercoat underneath, with long curly hair down to her. She loved to have that doll of her own and squeeze it with her heart. Now she had the same feeling, but stronger. She had a terrible desire to squeeze Brigid with her heart and never release her.

    clairemaher18har citeretfor 8 måneder siden
    Sheas an ghaoth. B’iontach an aimsir thriomaithe í. Bhí Dónall Ó Coileáin i ndiaidh scéala a chur chucu go dtabharfadh sé chun an phortaigh iad an mhaidin sin. Bhí Peig ag preabadh ó chois go cois agus í ar bís le himeacht. Ó tháinig an t-ocras agus an tinneas sa saol is ag crochadh thart faoin mbothán a bhíodh na páistí bunús an ama. Theastaigh óna máthair iad a bheith ar na gaobhair. Óna ndoras féin, bhí radharc ag muintir Dhrisceoil ar an deatach ag éirí ina dhual as gach simléar i nDúinín. Áit álainn a bhí ann. Bhí na comharsana an-chineálta, ach is beag cuartaíocht a bhí ar siúl san am i láthair. Bhí náire ar na daoine as dóigh chomh bocht sin a bheith orthu, agus b’fhearr leo an scéal a cheilt ar na comharsana. Agus ar chuma ar bith, is beag duine a raibh an fuinneamh ná an misneach ann le bheith ag gabháil don cheol ná don rince ná don scéalaíocht a thuilleadh.

    Ach inniu bhí Eibhlín agus Peig agus Micheál ag dul chun an phortaigh! D’fhág siad slán ag a máthair, a raibh a haghaidh bán agus cuma bheag imníoch uirthi. Bhí Bríd bheag fós an-tinn. Ina codladh a bhíodh sí bunús an ama, agus ní chaoineadh sí ach amháin nuair a leagadh a máthair síos í.

    Bhí cliabh le gach duine acu faoi choinne na móna. Bhí canna fíoruisce leo chomh maith, agus roinnt craicne prátaí agus crústa tur aráin leis an ocras a bhaint díobh.

    Bhí Páid agus a athair ag fanacht leo. Fear mór a bhí i nDónall Ó Coileáin, agus barr fionn catach gruaige air, agus súile meidhreacha ag rince ina cheann nuair a bheadh giúmar maith air. Amuigh faoin spéir a bhíodh sé formhór an ama, agus é eolach ar an uile áit a mbeadh sméara nó caora nó muisiriúin ag fás. Bhí an seanasal, Mosaí, leis, agus na pardóga móra folmha ar a dhroim.

    “Mo náire sibh, mar le dream óg, ag cur moille orainn lá breá mar seo!” arsa Dónall go magúil, agus é ag caitheamh a gcuid cliabh ar dhroim an asail. “Ar aghaidh libh anois, agus tiocfaidh mé féin agus Mosaí suas libh ar ball.” Bhí an t-asal aosta, mallsiúlach, agus ní raibh maith a bheith á bhrostú.

    Bhí neart ama ag na páistí le bheith ag súgradh agus ag pleidhcíocht fad a bhí siad ag bailiú na bhfód tirim agus á gcur ina gcairn bheaga shlachtmhara. Bhí Peig gnóthach ag piocadh dos bainne bó bleacht dá máthair.

    Faoi dheireadh tháinig Dónall, agus thosaigh siad ag líonadh na gcliabh le hoiread móna agus a d’fhéadfaidís a iompar, agus go deimhin níor mhór an méid é sin. Ní iompródh Mosaí féin ach leathualach na laethanta seo.

    Ba ghearr go raibh siad ag cur allais, agus tart orthu. Shuigh siad síos gur shlog siar an t-uisce fuar agus gur chaith an bia a bhí leo. Bhí bolgam tae ag Dónall agus greim bacstaí, agus ina

    The wind stood still. The drying weather was great. Dónall Ó Coileáin had sent word to them that he would take them to the bog that morning. Peig was bouncing from foot to foot and she was excited to go. Since the time when hunger and illness came to life, children have been hanging around the hut most of the time. Her mother wanted them to be on the sidelines. From their own door, the Driscoll family saw the smoke rising from every chimney in Downing. It was a beautiful place. The neighbors were very kind, but there was little visiting at present. The people were ashamed of how poor they were, and preferred to hide the news from their neighbors. And in any case, few people had the energy or the courage to engage in music or dance or storytelling.

    But today Eibhlín and Peig and Micheál were going to the bog! They said goodbye to their mother, whose face was white and she looked a little anxious. Little Brigid was still very ill. She was asleep most of the time, and she only cried when her mother laid her down.

    They each had a basket for the turf. They also had a can of fresh water, and some potato skins and a baked crust to satisfy their hunger.

    Paddy and his father were waiting for them. Dónall Ó Coileáin was a big man, with a curly blond top of hair, and merry eyes dancing in his head when he was in a good mood. Most of the time he was out in the open, and knew all the places where berries or berries or mushrooms would grow. The old man, Moses, was with him, with the big pardons empty on his back.

    "I'm ashamed of you, as a young group, for delaying us on a great day like this!" said Daniel mockingly, throwing their baskets on the donkey's back. "Go ahead now, and Moses and I will come up with you later." The donkey was old, slow, and not good at speeding.

    The children had plenty of time to play and play while they collected the dry sods and put them in neat little piles. Peig was busy picking up her mother's milkshake.

    Eventually Daniel arrived, and they started filling the baskets with as much peat as they could carry, and that was a big deal. Moss himself would only bear half a load these days.

    They were soon sweating, and thirsty. They sat down and swallowed the cold water and ate the food they ate. Daniel had a sip of tea and a bite to eat, and

    clairemaher18har citeretfor 8 måneder siden
    í ag tógáil na bprócaí agus ag ardú na gclaibíní orthu féachaint cad a bhí iontu. Faoi dheireadh fuair sí an ceann a bhí uaithi, bholaigh de, agus shín chuig Eibhlín é.

    “Agus abair le do mháthair go mbeidh mé ag iarraidh an phróca sin ar ais.”

    “An gcuirfidh sé biseach ar Bhríd?” arsa Peig. Bhí iontas ar Eibhlín a chróga is a labhair a deirfiúr bheag, agus gan í ach seacht mbliana d’aois.

    Tháinig gruaim in éadan Cháit. “Níl a fhios agam, a stór. Tá oiread galar ag imeacht ar na saolta seo—agus galair aite. Ní féidir liom ach mo dhícheall a dhéanamh.”

    Leis sin thug Cáit aghaidh ar an doras le dul amach faoin ngrian arís. Bhí sí díreach taobh amuigh den doras nuair a chuardaigh sí i bpóca a naprúin gur tharraing amach úll. Seanúll smeartha a bhí ann. Thug sí cuimilt dó. Ní raibh na girseacha ag iarraidh breathnú, ach le cúinsí móra bhronn sí ar Pheig é.

    Tháinig dhá shúil mhóra do Pheig. Baineadh stangadh as Eibhlín.

    “Go raibh míle maith agat … ní thiocfadh linn é a ghlacadh uait … go raibh maith agat … ach ní bheadh sé ceart,” arsa Eibhlín.

    “Tá sé glas, agus é chomh crua le leac ifrinn,” arsa Cáit de gháire, ag nochtadh a cuid fiacla bearnacha. “Go deimhin, ní mise a íosfas é!”

    Tháinig aoibh ar na girseacha agus d’iompair Peig an t-úll abhaile chomh cúramach is dá mba sheoid é, lena roinnt ar an líon tí.

    An oíche sin bhí min bhuí acu don suipéar agus blonag leáite tríthi mar aon le dosán creamha a chaith an mháthair isteach leis an drochbhlas a cheilt. Rinneadh ceithre chuid den úll agus itheadh go blasta é, siúd is go raibh sé rud beag crua, agus géar lena chois.

    “Tá sé coicís ó chuaigh bhur n-athair ag obair ar na bóithre, agus gan scéala ar bith uaidh go fóill,” arsa an mháthair. Bhí a fhios ag Eibhlín go raibh imní ar a máthair, idir Bríd a bheith tinn, agus an mála de mhin bhuí sa chúinne a bheith á ídiú in aghaidh an lae.

    “Níl a fhios agam cad é a tharlóidh dúinn, nó cad a dhéanfaimid,” arsa an mháthair agus í ag croitheadh a cinn. “Deirtear go bhfuil an teach mór féin le dúnadh agus an máistir agus a mhuintir ag brath filleadh ar Shasana ar fad.”

    D’aithin Micheál an t-éadóchas ina guth agus ar seisean go haigeanta, “Tá dea-scéala agamsa! Fan go gcluine tú seo, a Mham.”

    Bhí uaireanta agus ní chreidfeá nach raibh sé ach naoi mbliana d’aois. Bhí barr dubh catach gruaige air mar a bhí ar a athair, agus súile gorma a mháthar ann agus an fhéachaint bhog chneasta chéanna iontu. Níor mhaith leis í a bheith faoi bhrón.

    “Bhí mé féin agus Páid thuas ar an bportach. Chuamar giota ní b’fhaide ná mar is gnách, agus thángamar ar áit nár baineadh fód as go fóill. Tá athair Pháid le dul suas leis amárach le roinnt móna a bhaint agus a shrathnú, agus deir sé má mhaireann an ghaoth agus an triomú seo go bhféadfaimisne ár sciar féin di a bheith againn ach í a thabhairt abhaile muid féin. Nach iontach sin?”

    Tháinig aoibh ar an máthair. “Is maith an fear é Dónall Ó Coileáin, agus sin é an focal fíor.”

    Lig sí í féin siar sa chathaoir agus scaoil roinnt den imní di. Chuaigh Eibhlín ar a glúine taobh léi, agus shuigh Peig ina hucht.

    she picked up the jars and raised the lids on them to see what was in them. Eventually she found the one she wanted, smelled it, and handed it to Eibhlín.

    "And tell your mother I'll want that jar back."

    "Will it heal Brigid?" said Peig. Eibhlín was amazed at how brave her little sister, when she was only seven years old, spoke.

    Kate's face grew gloomy. "I do not know, my dear. There are so many diseases going on in these worlds — and strange diseases. I can only do my best. ”

    With that Kate headed to the door to go out in the sun again. She was just outside the door when she searched in the pocket of her apron that pulled out an apple. It was a smeared old man. She gave him a tear. The girls did not want to look, but with great circumstances she presented it to Peggy.

    Two big eyes came to Peggy. Eibhlín was taken aback.

    "Thank you… we couldn't take it from you… thank you… but it wouldn't be right," said Eibhlín.

    "It's green, and it's as hard as a slab of hell," said Kate with a laugh, exposing her gnarled teeth. "In fact, I won't eat it!"

    The girls smiled and Peig carried the apple home as carefully as if it were a jewel, to be shared with the household.

    That night they had yellow flour for supper and melted lard through it as well as a handful of garlic which the mother threw in to hide the bad taste. Four portions of the apple were made and eaten deliciously, the ones that were a little hard, and sour with its side.

    "It's been two weeks since your father went to work on the roads, and he hasn't heard from him yet," said the mother. Eibhlín knew that her mother was worried about Bríd becoming ill and consuming the bag of yellow flour in the corner every day.

    "I don't know what will happen to us, or what we will do," said the mother, shaking her head. "It is said that the great house itself is about to close and the master and his people are waiting to return to the whole of England."

    Micheál acknowledged the despair in his voice and he exclaimed, “I have good news! Wait and hear this, Mum. ”

    There were times when you would not believe he was only nine years old. He wore a curly black top of hair like his father had, and his mother 's blue eyes and the same gentle soft look in them. He didn't want her to be sad.

    “Páid and I were up on the bog. We went a little further than usual, and came to a place that had not yet been sown. Paddy's father is going up with him tomorrow to cut and stratify some turf, and he says that if this wind and drying lasts we could have our share of it just by bringing it home ourselves. Isn't that great? ”

    The mother smiled. "Dónall Ó Coileáin is a good man, and that's the real word."

    She let herself back in the chair and released some of her anxiety. Eibhlín knelt beside her, and Peig sat in her bosom.

    clairemaher18har citeretfor 8 måneder siden
    Shoiprigh Eibhlín í féin isteach le droim Pheig agus ba ghearr gur tháinig teas inti. Bhí codladh uirthi agus thit néal arís uirthi.

    “A Eibhlín! A Eibhlín! An bhfuil tú chun éirí?” arsa Peig de chogar.

    Bhain na girseacha searradh astu féin agus i gceann tamaill bhig eile chaith siad na pluideanna díobh. Chuaigh Eibhlín anonn chun na tine gur chuir fód móna ar an ngríosach. Bhí cliabh na móna beagnach folamh. Bhí obair ansin do Mhicheál.

    Chuaigh an bheirt ghirseach amach sa chlós. Bhí grian na maidine ag taitneamh. Bhí drúcht ar an bhféar. Ní dhearna siad moill ar bith mar bhí sé fuar amuigh agus gan orthu ach a léinte. Nuair a tháinig siad isteach arís bhí a máthair fós ina codladh, agus Bríd bheag ag míogarnach taobh léi.

    “’Bhfuil bia ar bith sa teach?”

    “Á, a Mhichíl, is furasta a aithint go bhfuil tusa i do shuí,” arsa Eibhlín go magúil.

    “Tar uait, a Eibhlín. Féach an bhfuil dada ann, le do thoil,” arsa Micheál.

    “Amach leat agus nigh an smúit sin de d’aghaidh agus ansin féachfaimid,” arsa Eibhlín.

    Bhí ga gréine ag teacht isteach an doras oscailte. Dar le hEibhlín, bhí an bothán lán deannaigh agus salachair.

    Rinne an babaí casacht agus mhúscail sí. Thóg Eibhlín ina baclainn í agus shuigh síos ar chathaoir sa chlúid fad a bhí a máthair ag timireacht thart. Bhí trí phráta fágtha ó inné roimhe sin agus dath liath orthu. Ghearr an mháthair iad sin ina slisní agus líon amach deoch bhainne as crúiscín mór. Bhí sé gann go leor, mar bhéile. Níor labhair duine ar bith, ach iad ag ithe leo, agus a smaointe féin ag an uile dhuine acu.

    Thosaigh Micheál ag caint… ag iarraidh… ach d’athraigh sé a intinn. Bhí ceacht foghlamtha aige le tamall.

    An chéad chúpla uair a d’iarr sé tuilleadh is amhlaidh a d’ardaigh a athair nó a mháthair an spúnóg adhmaid gur bhuail anuas í ar bhois a láimhe. Ina dhiaidh sin agus é ag éileamh orthu thagadh féachaint bhrónach i súile a athar agus bhriseadh an gol ar a mháthair. Ní fhéadfadh sé sin a fhulaingt, gan trácht ar a bheirt deirfiúracha a bheith ag baint gach re liomóg agus pluc as. B’fhearr gan dada a rá.

    Faoi mheán lae bhí cúrsaí imithe i bhfeabhas.Bhí teas sa ghrian agus anáil bhog ghaoithe ann. D’imigh Micheál suas an bóthar ag triall ar a chara Páid. Shiúlfaidís in éineacht an cúpa míle slí chun an phortaigh féachaint an bhfaighidís lán an chléibh de mhóin.

    Bhí srannán beag i mBríd, ach chodail sí léi. Thug sin misneach don mháthair, agus bhailigh sí na léinte agus cúpla ball éadaigh eile lena ní, agus ansin scar sí ar an talamh amuigh iad le triomú. Bhain sí croitheadh maith as na pluideanna agus chroch iad ar an gclaí cloiche.

    Bhí folt gruaige fada donn ar Pheig, gan aon fhí ann, ach é síos léi ina sraoilleanna salacha. Chrom an mháthair os cionn Pheig agus thosaigh ag ní a cuid gruaige le huisce as buicéad, ag sciúradh agus ag cuimilt an chraicinn san am céanna. Bhí gach aon bhéic ag Peig, ach ba mheasa arís an bhéicíl nuair a chuir an mháthair chuici an chíor mhín gur thosaigh á tarraingt tríd an ngruaig fhada aimhréidh, á grinniú go géar féachaint an raibh sneá nó míolta ann. Bhí Eibhlín ag gáire, mar rinneadh an cleas céanna léi féin díreach coicís roimhe sin agus bhí a fhios aici go raibh sí slán an iarraidh seo.

    Ar ball, sheol an mháthair an bheirt acu suas tigh Cháit Mhór Uí Chonmhaí féachaint an mbeadh ruainne d’úsc gé aici a chuimleodh sí d’ucht Bhríde. Bhí leigheas ag Cáit agus chuidíodh sí le daoine a mbeadh tinneas nó buairt orthu.

    Bhí fál tiubh sceach thart ar an mbothán aici le príobháid éigin a thabhairt do na daoine a thiocfadh ar cuairt chuici.

    Bhí an tseanbhean ina suí ar stól amuigh faoin ngrian.

    “M’anam murar sibhse na girseacha cearta,” arsa Cáit de gháire. “An dada atá uaibh, a stóiríní?”

    “Ruainne d’úsc gé atá ó mo mháthair le haghaidh an linbh,” arsa Eibhlín.

    “Mo thrua í an leanbh céanna,” arsa Cáit. “Murab é an t-am é le teacht ar an saol!”

    D’éirigh sí ón stól agus sméid ar na girseacha í a leanúint. Thit Peig siar agus greim aici ar ghúna Eibhlín. Bhí scéalta cluinte aici faoin tseanbhean agus bhí eagla bheag uirthi roimpi.

    Bhí an bothán dorcha, agus seanbholadh ann. Chuaigh Cáit de choiscéim bhacach anonn chuig an seandrisiúr adhmaid, a bhí lán buidéal agus prócaí. Thosaigh sí ag monabhar di féin agus

    Eibhlín tucked herself into Peggy's back and soon she became warm. She was asleep and fell asleep again.

    “Eibhlín! Eibhlín! Are you going to get up? ” said Peig in a whisper.

    The girls took off their shears and after a while they took off their blankets. Eibhlín went over to the fire and put a sod of peat on the rash. The peat basket was almost empty. There was work there for Michael.

    The two girls went out into the yard. The morning sun was shining. There was dew on the grass. They didn't delay at all because it was cold outside and they were only wearing their shirts. When they came in again her mother was still asleep, with little Brigid moaning beside her.

    "Is there any food in the house?"

    "Ah, Michael, it's easy to recognize that you're sitting," said Eibhlín mockingly.

    “Come away, Eibhlín. See if there is anything, please, ”said Micheál.

    "Go out and wash that dust off your face and then we'll look," said Eibhlín.

    A ray of sunshine was coming in through the open door. According to Eibhlín, the hut was full of dust and dirt.

    The baby coughed and woke up. Eibhlín lifted her in her arms and sat down on a chair in the cover while her mother waved around. There were three potatoes left from yesterday before and they were gray in color. The mother cut these into slices and filled out a milk drink from a large jug. It was quite scarce, as a meal. No one spoke, but they ate with them, each with his own thoughts.

    Micheál started talking… asking… but changed his mind. He had learned a lesson for a while.

    The first few times he asked for more, his father or mother lifted the wooden spoon and struck it on the palm of his hand. Afterwards, as he was pleading with them, his father looked into a sad look and his mother broke down in tears. He couldn't stand that, let alone his two sisters alternately plucking a lemon and a plug. It would be better not to say anything.

    By noon things had improved. There was warmth in the sun and a soft breath of wind. Micheál walked up the road to meet his friend Páid. They would walk the couple of miles together to the bog to see if they could find a chest full of peat.

    Brigid had a small snoring, but she slept with her. That gave the mother courage, and she collected the shirts and a few other garments for her washing, and then she spread them on the ground outside to dry. She shook the blankets well and hung them on the stone fence.

    Peggy had long brown hair, no weave, just down to her in dirty streaks. The mother bent over Peggy and started washing her hair with water from a bucket, scrubbing and rubbing the skin at the same time. Peig was all screaming, but the scream was even worse when the mother sent her the gentle comb that began to pull her through the long tangled hair, scrutinizing it hard to see if there was snow or lice. Eibhlín was laughing, because the same trick had been done to her just two weeks earlier and she knew she was safe this time.

    Later, the mother sent the two of them up to the house of Cáit Mhór Uí Chonmhaí to see if she could find a goose extract that she would rub on Brigid's chest. Kate had medicine and she helped people who were sick or worried.

    She had a thick hedge around the hut to give some privacy to those who would visit her.

    The old woman was sitting on a stool outside in the sun.

    "My soul, if you are not the right girls," said Cáit with a laugh. "What do you want, sweethearts?"

    "My mother gave me a goose extract for the baby," said Eibhlín.

    "My pity is the same child," said Kate. "If it's not the time to come to life!"

    She got up from the stool and motioned for the girls to follow her. Peig fell back and grabbed Eibhlín's dress. She had heard stories about the old woman and was a little afraid of her.

    The hut was dark, with an old smell. Cáit walked lamely over to the old wooden dresser, which was full of bottles and jars. She began to monologue to herself and

    clairemaher18har citeretfor 8 måneder siden
    Bhí an t-aer fuar tais nuair a d’iompaigh Eibhlín sa leaba agus í ag iarraidh imeall na pluide a tharraingt aníos thar a guaillí. Mhothaigh sí a deirfiúr bheag Peig ag bogadh taobh léi. Bhí Peig ag srannadh arís, mar a dhéanadh sí aon uair a bhíodh slaghdán uirthi.

    Bhí an tine beagnach as. Bhí deirge na gríosaí ag cur teolaíochta sa bhothán dorcha.

    Bhí a máthair ag crónán go híseal leis an mbabaí. Bhí na súile dúnta ag Bríd bheag, agus cuma níos báine ná riamh ar a haghaidh agus í fillte i seál na máthar, agus greim docht aici ar dhual dá gruaig fhada dhonnrua.

    Bhí Bríd breoite — bhí a fhios acu go léir é. Taobh istigh den seál úd, bhí a corp róthanaí, agus a cneas bán, agus é róthe nó rófhuar faoi do láimh. D’fháisceadh an mháthair chuici í de lá is d’oíche mar a bheadh sí ag iarraidh le barr tola cuid dá neart féin a chur ina leanbhán gléigeal.

    Bhraith Eibhlín na deora i gceann a súl. Uaireanta dar léi gur brionglóid a bhí sa rud ar fad, agus go músclódh sí as gan mhoill agus go mbeadh gáire aici air, ach ba leor goin an ocrais ina goile agus an brón ar a croí lena dhearbhú gurbh fhíor é. Dhún sí na súile agus chuimhnigh siar.

    Ba dheacair a chreidiúint nach raibh sé ach beagán le bliain ó bhí siad ina suí i seanteach na scoile nuair a rith Tadhg Ó Ceallaigh isteach faoi choinne a dhearthár Seán, agus go ndúirt leo go léir an baile a bhaint amach go beo agus cuidiú lena muintir, mar go raibh an dubh tar éis teacht ar na prátaí agus iad ag lobhadh sa talamh.

    Bhí siad go léir ag fanacht leis an máistir a bhata a ardú agus béic a ligean le Tadhg: Imigh leat, a phleidhce, agus ná bí ag cur isteach ar an gceacht. Nach orthu a bhí an t-iontas nuair a dhún an máistir an leabhar agus go ndúirt leo deifriú abhaile. “Ná déanaigí aon mhoill faoi bhealach,” ar seisean. “Abhaile libh agus tugaigí lámh chúnta do bhur muintir.” Agus bhain siad as chomh tiubh géar sin gur tháinig ga seá iontu, agus imní a ndóthain orthu faoin scéal a bheadh rompu sa bhaile.

    Ba chuimhin le hEibhlín é. Bhí a hathair ina shuí ar an gclaí cloiche agus a cheann idir a dhá láimh. Bhí a máthair ar a glúine sa ghort, agus a lámha agus a naprún clúdaithe le cré agus í ag tarraingt na bprátaí as an talamh, agus boladh trom ar an aer sa timpeall. Agus a leithéid de bholadh — boladh lofa, gránna, é ag dul suas i do shrón, isteach i do pholláirí, isteach i do bhéal. Boladh bréan na haicíde.

    Ar fud an ghleanna bhí na fir ag mallachtach agus na mná ag guí Dé fóirithint orthu. Gach aon ghort riamh, bhí na prátaí seargtha ann agus iad ag lobhadh sa talamh. Bhí an barr loite, agus iad taobh leis mar bhia. Leath na súile ar na páistí leis an scanradh, mar d’aithin siadsan chomh maith le duine go raibh an t-ocras chucu.

    The cold air was damp when Eibhlín turned in bed trying to pull the edge of her thighs over her shoulders. She felt her little sister Peig moving beside her. Peig was snoring again, as she would whenever she had a cold.

    The fire was almost out. The redness of the rash was tingling in the dark hut.

    Her mother was humming low to the baby. Little Brigid had her eyes closed, and her face looked whiter than ever as she wrapped in her mother's shawl, with a tight grip on a lock of her long brown hair.

    Brigid was ill - they all knew it. Inside that shawl, her body was too big, and her skin was white, and it was too hot or too cold under your hand. The mother squeezed her day and night as if trying to instill some of her own strength into her gleaming baby.

    Eibhlín felt the tears in her eyes. Sometimes she thought the whole thing was a dream, and she would wake up without delay and laugh at it, but the hunger in her appetite and the sadness in her heart were enough to confirm that it was true. She closed her eyes and remembered.

    It was hard to believe that it was only a little over a year since they had been sitting in the old school house when Tadhg Ó Ceallaigh ran in to meet his brother Seán, and told them all to get home alive and help their family. , as the black had found the potatoes rotting in the ground.

    They were all waiting for the master to raise his stick and let out a shout to Tadhg: Go away, you bastard, and don't interrupt the lesson. They were not surprised when the master closed the book and told them to hurry home. "Don't delay," he said. "Go home and lend a helping hand to your family." And they got out of it so thick that a ray of semen came into them, and they were quite worried about what would happen to them at home.

    Eibhlín remembered it. Her father was sitting on the stone wall with his head between his hands. Her mother was on her knees in the field, her hands and apron covered with clay as she pulled the potatoes out of the ground, and the air around her smelled heavy. And such a smell - a foul, ugly smell, going up in your nose, into your nostrils, into your mouth. The foul smell of the disease.

    Across the valley the men were cursing and the women were praying to God for relief. Every field ever, the potatoes were withered and rotting in the ground. The top was spoiled, and they were beside it as food. The children closed their eyes in horror, as they, along with someone, recognized that they were hungry.

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