Flann told the Spae-Woman all his adventures. And when he had told her all he said -"What Queen is my mother, O my fosterer? "Your mother," said the Spae-Woman, "is Caintigern, the Queen of the King of Ireland."
"And is my mother then not Sheen whose story has been told me?" "Her name was changed to Caintigern when her husband who was called the Hunter-King made himself King over Ireland and began to rule as King Connal."
"Then who is my comrade who is called the King of Ireland's Son?"
"He too is King Connal's son, born of a queen who died at his birth and who was wife to King Connal before he went on his wanderings and met Sheen your mother."
And as the Spae-Woman said this someone came and stood at the doorway. A girl she was and wherever the sun was it shone on her, and wherever the breeze was it rippled over her. White as the snow upon a lake frozen over was the girl, and as beautiful as flowers and as alive as birds were her eyes, while her cheeks had the red of fox-gloves and her hair was the blending of five bright soft colors. She looked at Flann happily and her eyes had the kind look that was always in Morag's eyes. And she came and 'knelt down, putting her hands on his knees. "I am Morag, Flann," she said.
"Morag indeed," said he, "but how have you become so fair?"
"I have eaten the berry from the Fairy Rowan Tree," said she, "and now I am as fair as I should be."
All day they were together and Flann was happy that his friend was so beautiful and that so beautiful a being was his friend. And he told her of his adventures in the Town of the Red Castle and of the Princess Flame-of-Wine and his love for her. "And if you love her still I will never see you again," said Morag.
"But," said Flann, "I could not love her after the way she mocked at me."
"When did she mock at you?"
"When I took her a message that the Spae-Woman told me to give her."
"And what was that message?"
"'Ask her,' said the Spae-Woman, 'for seven drops of her heart's blood--she can give them and live--so that the spell may be taken from the seven wild geese and the mother who longs for you may be at peace again.' This was the message the Spae-Woman told me to give Flame-of-Wine. And though I had given her wonderful gifts she laughed at me when I took it to her. And by the way she laughed I knew she was hard of heart."
"Yet seven drops of heart's blood are hard to give," said Morag sadly.
"But the maiden who loves can give them," said the Spae-Woman who was behind.
"It is true, foster-mother," said Morag.
That evening Morag said, "To-morrow I must pre-pare for my journey to the Queen of Senlabor. You, Flann, may not come with me. The Spae-Woman has sent a message to your mother, and you must be here to meet her when she comes. A happy meeting to her and you, O Flann of my heart. And I shall leave you a token to give to her. So to-morrow I go to the Queen of Senlabor with the Rowan Berry and I shall bring my Little Red Hen for company, and shall stay only until my sisters are wed to Dermott and Downal, your brothers."
The next day when he came into the house he saw Morag dressed for her journey but seated at the fire. She was pale and ill-looking. "Do not go to-day, Morag," said he. "I shall go to-day," said Morag. She put her hand into the bosom of her dress and took out a newly-woven handkerchief folded. "This is a token for your mother," she said. "I have woven it for her. Give her this gift from me when you have welcomed her."
"That I will do, Morag, my heart," said Flann.
The Spae-Woman came in and kissed Morag good-by and said the charm for a journey over her.
May my Silver--
Shed all lights
Across your path.
Then Morag put the Little Red Hen under her arm and started out. "I shall find you," said she to Flann, "at the Castle of the King of Ireland, for it is there I shall go when I part from my foster-sisters and the Queen of Senlabor. Kiss me now. But if you kiss anyone until you kiss me again you will forget me. Remember that."
"I will remember," said Flann, and he kissed Morag and said, "When you come to the King of Ireland's Castle we will be married."
"You gave me the Rowan Berry," said Morag, "and the Rowan Berry gave me all the beauty that should be mine. But what good will my beauty be to me if you forget me?"
"But, Morag," said he, "how could I forget you?"
She said nothing but went down the side of the knowe and Flann watched and watched until his eyes had no power to see any more.