A young chief once wooed the daughter of another chief, whose dun lay by the edge of Loch Ennel in Westmeath, The damsel was rather haughty and fastidious, and plainly told him that she would not require possession of his grianan as its mistress till she could see as beautiful a lake from its casement as that which lay before her father's house. This was annoying. The valley was suitable, but the hill sides were covered with cottages, and the nil which meandered in the bottom would, perhaps, take a score of years to fill it, after the dam, which it would require a dozen years to construct, should be finished. He would be an elderly man by that time. His foster-mother, an enchantress (this was during the times of the Danaans), seeing him take in his perplexity two or three vicious pulls at his long hair, induced him to unbosom himself, and ordered him to respect his flowing locks till to-morrow. She at once repaired through the air by the ordinary witch conveyance then in use, to the shealing of a Firbolg sister in the magic art, on the western bank of the Shannon. This hut was snugly seated on the brow of a hill above a pleasant lake, and the Danaan woman was hospitably entertained by her of the Firbolg race.
After their simple repast, the visitor unfolded the cause of her journey, and besought her sage friend for the loan of her lake till the next moon's day, deceitfully adding under her breath, "after the week of eternity." It was a difficult request to obtain, but at last obtain it she did, and triumphantly bore it in her cloak to the Leinster valley. The hill-side dwellers were awakened from their sleep that night by the noise, as it were, of ten thousand waterfalls. All made their escape to the upland, and were hospitably sheltered in the buildings of the dun; and at the dawn of morn, thousands of astonished eyes were gazing on the placid sheet of water that covered their dwellings of yesterday.
Thus the haughty bride was won. The misguided Conacht woman waited till the second moon's day, sorely annoyed by the muddy bed of her lake under the influence of a hot sun, and yet no appearance of the grateful waters returning. The patience even of a wise woman may be exhausted. She rode to the house of her deceitful fellow-witch in flying haste, and she was received with feigned welcome. "No time for compliments, gossip," said she; "the next moon's day and the moon's day after that have come, and, instead of my pleasant lake, I still see nothing but rocks, and mud, and decayed fish. Restore my lake, I say." "Alas, dear sister! your anger has driven away your memory. I promised you the return of your fine piece of water the moon's day after the week of eternity--not before claim it when it becomes due."
The rage of the betrayed witch knew no bounds, but she was without remedy, owing to the treacherous self-reservation of the cunning Danaan. The result was tragic to most of the parties concerned, but the acquisition of Loch Owel to the pleasant plains of Meath is all that we are concerned with for the present.