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The Little Shoe

" Now tell me, Molly," said Mr. Coote to Molly Cogan, as he met her on the road one day, close to one of the old gateways of Kilmallock, ["Kilmallock seemed to me like the court of the Queen of Silence." - OKeeffe's Recollections] did you ever bear of the Cluricaune?"

"Is it the CIuricaune? why, then, sure I did, often and often; many's the time I heard my father, rest his soul! tell about 'em."

"But did you ever see one, Molly, yourself?"

"Och ! no, I never see one in my life ; but my grandfather, that's my father's father, you know, he see one, one time, and caught him too."

"Caught him! Oh ! Molly, tell me how?"

"Why, then, I'll tell you. My grandfather, you see, was out there above in the bog, drawing home turf, and the poor old mare was tired after her day's work, and the old man went out to the stable to look after her, and to see if she was eating her hay; and when he came to the stab]e door there, my dear, he heard something hammering, hammering, hammering, just for all the would like a shoemaker making a shoe, and whistling all the time the prettiest tune he ever heard in his whole life before. Well, my grandfather, he thought it was the Cluricaune, and he said to himself, says he, 'I'll catch you, if I can, and then I 'll have money enough always.' So he opened the door very quietly, and didn't make a bit of noise in the world that ever was heard; and looked all about, but the never a bit of the little man he could see any where, but he heard him hammering and whistling, and so be looked and looked, till at last he see the little. fellow; and where was he, do you think, but in the girth under the mare; and there he was with his little bit of an apron on him, and hammer in his hand, and a little red nightcap on his head, and he making a shoe; and he was so busy with his work, and he was hammering and whistling so loud, that he never minded my grandfather till he caught him fast in his hand. ' Faith, I have you now,' says he, ' and I'll never let you go till I get your purse - that's what I won't; so give it here to me at once, now.' -' Stop, stop,' says the Cluricaune, ' stop, stop,' says he, ' till I get it for you.' So my grandfather, like a fool, you see, opened his hand a little, and the little fellow jumped away laughing, and he never saw him any more, and the never the bit of the purse did he get, only the Cluricaune left his little shoe that he was making; and my grandfather was mad enough angry with himself for letting him go, but he had the shoe all his life, and my own mother told me she often see it, and had it in her hand, and 'twas the prettiest little shoe she ever saw.

"And did you see it yourself, Molly ?"

Oh ! no, my dear, it was lost long afore I was born: but my mother told me about it often and often enough."




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