One day a neighbor was passing, and she said, when she saw it on the
road, 'That's a fine child.'
Its mother tried to say 'God bless it,' but something choked the
words in her throat.
A while later they found a wound on its neck, and for three nights
the house was filled with noises.
'I never wear a shirt at night,' he said, 'but I got up out of my
bed, all naked as I was, when I heard the noises in the house, and
lighted a light, but there was nothing in it.'
Then a dummy came and made signs of hammering nails in a coffin. The
next day the seed potatoes were full of blood, and the child told
his mother that he was going to America.
That night it died, and 'Believe me,' said the old man, 'the fairies
were in it.'
When he went away, a little bare-footed girl was sent up with turf
and the bellows to make a fire that would last for the evening.
She was shy, yet eager to talk, and told me that she had good spoken
Irish, and was learning to read it in the school, and that she had
been twice to Galway, though there are many grown women in the place
who have never set a foot upon the mainland.