A Sidhe Fairytale
My grandma took me with her everywhere when I was little. She showed me all the herbs and taught me how to use them. I used to think of the woods as my best friend since our home was there. But grandpa told me it was also full of dangers. He knew many lovely stories and each night he would tell me a different one.
One day I was playing with my doll outside.
"How are you, young lady?"
He called me "young lady"! Such a weird man!
"I'm not a lady! And I'm doing fine."
He stood by his horse, dressed in green, with boots and everything.
"I've heard your grandma is a midwife. My woman is about to bear and needs help."
He was so beautiful and there was something about his horse too; it kind of glittered and I stretched my hand to stroke it. I don't know what happened, I lay down and my belly hurt bad.
"Go inside, Ilana!" Grandma rushed out of the house. "You, naughty child!"
"I only wanted to stroke the horse!"
"Go now, I said!"
"But grandma, you always take me with you..."
"Not this time!"
He put her next to him on the back of the horse and they rode off. She came back late. I had lain in bed all day long. She said: "You are different".
"It was the hoof. And look what happened to me!" I showed her the blood stain on the sheets. She smiled. "Now you are a young lady!"
"Who was that man, grandma?"
"You'd better not meet one of these again!"
The years passed and I learned new things every day. I went with grandma in many homes to heal wounds or to relieve people's griefs and children loved my stories. I only told them the stories I knew from grandpa.
One evening we were on our way home and I had sprained my ankle and couldn't walk fast.
"You don't have to wait for me, grandma."
"If you see something, you must hide quickly, no matter what!"
I walked alone for some time and thought I heard a distant flute. I drew close to the place from where the sound came and suddenly saw them. There were two couples; the men played the flute and the women danced. I hid in the huge hollow of a tree and tried to keep my breath.
"There's someone here with us!"
"Someone hiding from us!"
"Here she is! How beautiful she is!"
"Beautiful indeed. What are you doing here, young lady? It's such a late hour for a walk, don't you think?"
"Leave me alone, please! My grandma helped you once. Don't hurt me!"
"They say you are a story teller. Tell us a story about us, a beautiful one. If we like it, you can go; if not, we take you with us."
His hand still rested on my waist. His face nearly touched mine.
"My lord, I would follow you everywhere and even to the otherworld, but you have a wife and I am engaged."
They all burst into laughter.
"She wants to follow you! Uuh! Uuh! Uuh!"
"You tell us the story, young lady, or else you go with us!" I was surrounded.
"Then I will tell you about Oisin and his beautiful Niamh."
I saw how tears filled their eyes.
"We know the story but we do want to hear it again".
We sat down in circle and each time I ended the story they asked me to tell it again and again until dawn.