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, "did you ever hear of the Cluricaun?"--"Is it the Cluricaun? Why, thin, to be shure; aften an' aften. Many 'a the time I h'ard my father, rest his sowl! tell about 'em over and over agin."--" But did you ever see one, Molly--did you ever see one yourself?"--" Och! no, I niver seen one m my life; but my gran'father, that 's my father's, father, you know, he seen one, one time, an' cotch him too."--" Caught him! Oh! Molly, tell me how was that."
"'Why, thin, I 'll tell ye. My gran'father, you see, was out there above in the bog, dhrawin' home turf; an' the poor ould mare was tir't afther her day's work, an' the ould man wint out to the stable to look afther her, an' to see if she was aitin' her hay; an' whin he come to the stable door there, my dear, he h'ard sumthin' hammerin', hammerin', hammerin', jist for all the wurld like a shoemaker makin' a shoe, and whis'lin' all the time the purtiest chune he iver h'ard in his whole life afore. Well, my gran'father he thought it was the Cluricaun, an' he sed to himsilf, sez he, 'I'll ketch you, if I can, an' thin I 'II have money enough always.' So he opened the door very quitely, an' didn't make a taste o' n'ise in the wurld, an' luked all about, but the niver a bit o' the little man cud be see anywhare, but he h'ard his hammerin' and 'whis'lin', an' so he luked and luked, till at last he seen the little fellow; an' whare was he, do ye think, but in the girth undher the mare; an' there he was, wid his little bit ov an apron an him, an' his hammer in his hand, an' a little red night-cap an his head, an' be makin' a shoe; an' he was so busy wid us work, an' was hammerin' an' whis'lin' so loud, that he niver minded my gran'father, till be cotch him fast in his hand. 'Faix, I have ye now,' says he, an' I'll niver let ye go till I git yer purse--that 'a what I won't; so give it here at onst to me, now.' 'Stop, stop,' says the Cluricaun; 'stop, stop,' says he, 'till I get it for ye.' So my gran'father, like a fool, ye see, opened his hand a little, an' the little weeny chap jumped away laughin', an' he niver seen him any more, an' the divil a bit o' the purse did he git; only the Cluricaun left his little shoe that he was makin'. An' my gran'father was mad enough wid himself for lettin' him go; but he had the shoe all his life, an' my own mother tould me she aftin seen it, an' had it in her hand; an' 'twas the purtiest little shoe she ivir seen."--" An' did you see it yourself; Molly?"--" Oh! no, my dear, 'twas lost long afore I was born; but my mother tould me aftin an' aftin enough."