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Main > Irish folktales > Fairy tale "A Year and a Day"

A Year and a Day

"How can they find the very place again?" said John. "It's been a year since then. It's likely they have forgot the spot. How could they remember it so long?"

"John," said his mother, "will you never trust me? Do you think that I've been waiting for them to forget all this time? The very evening after Kathleen was lost they brought me here and then took me to the very spot where they saw her last. They talked of it between themselves and decided just where it was, and many a time since they've been with me here, so that they could not forget it."

In a few minutes the girls stopped. "This is the place where we saw her last," they said; "just here. She stood here and seemed to be looking at something there on the grass."

Mrs. O'Brien whispered: "Stand still here, all of you, and do not speak or stir unless I call to you; then do whatever I tell you, and do it quickly."

Mrs. O'Brien drew out something which was hung about her neck, by a chain, under her gown. She held it before her in her hand. She stepped upon the grass and looked all around her. She went a few steps forward and looked around again. She went a little to the left, then a little more to the right. And then, to those who were watching, it seemed as if she saw something, though they could see nothing but her. For she made a few hurried steps and then put out her left hand, as if to take hold of something. Then they saw her raise her right hand, as if to touch the something that she had taken hold of, with what she held in it. Still they could see nothing except her, but now she hurried toward them, and suddenly they saw that she was leading Kathleen, with her left arm around her and holding her right hand against her forehead.

"Take her and go home with her," she said to John, "as quickly as you can. The rest of us will follow."

"Oh, father," said Kathleen, "I am so glad that you came to meet me! Have you and grandmother been worried about me all day? I was afraid you would be, but the baby needed me, and I couldn't send any word to you.

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