Mariah and Uishneach went traipsing on the Hill of Uishneach. He was home; she was home and they did not have anything better to do so they set off together in amiable moods.
There was a festival with singing and painting on the Hill. They did not bring anything much except Mariah had a rug to sit on and something to draw a picture. She had acquired some new colored chalk from an extremely talented dwarf, whose great great grandmother was from Greece and was related to dragons. The colors were so lovely. She could not wait to use them.
They harnessed up the donkey and cart and set off.
They met some friends, they met some family, and all was very happy. The music was very lovely. One of the singers finished a few songs by dropping to the ground and playing her instrument lying down. Everyone laughed heartily. Mariah missed the leaps on to the ground, as she was busy grinding down the chalk for a picture of the musicians.
There was a competition for all the painters, but Mariah felt a little shy to enter her offerings.
After a while, Uishneach was impatient to go home. Mariah knew this, as he had a way of looking up at the sun to see what time it is, and paces back and forth a bit. She said to him quickly, “I will meet you at the style, where the donkey is tethered, down there, in a few minutes.” She saw him amble off with her rug in hand dragging down to the ground a little. She saw him stop to talk to a friendly horse. He pulled some grass and gave it to the horse.
Minutes later she was finished her conversations and went off after him, reluctant to leave and having a mind to put her feet in the stream as she went down the hill. There were some bushes hiding him from her as she went.
She felt guilty about leaving him there, waiting for her, so she decided to just let him know what she was doing. However when she went to where the donkey was supposed to be tethered, neither of them were there to be seen, not even a trace of dust in the air.
She knew she did not want to use up her tired feet to find him.
The stream was nearby and she sat on a rock and put her feet into the blessed cool stream and gave a sign of relief. Mariah knew she had mumbled about the stream to Uishneach and he would be back to find her.
While she was washing her feet in the stream, her two rings, given to her by Uishneach, almost fell off but she pushed them back on to her finger past her knuckle.
When Uishneach came back a few minutes later, she asked him where he had been. He did not care for her tone, or her relaxed look in the stream. He became rigid, putting out his arms in front and asking her where she had been in a tone similar to the cold of the stream. Mariah jumped onto her feet and walked away in order not to get the brunt of his anger.
She got on to the cart, as the argument went on between them, about why she had so delayed, why she could not be found and she in turn argues that he disappeared. He said he went back to the places she had been to find her but he thought she had left without him with some other people.
They sat up on the cart and were as stiff as wet wool coats, close to each other, stinking and repeating words like the repeating purl stitches in their green wool caps. There seemed no end of words to be spilled out. Everything in shadow that could not have been said before was out on the donkey’s back, as he ran along on his little legs carrying them into some shadow land of their own.
If the donkey could have spoken, if an angel was near by, to strike them for their discontent, and discordance, the donkey could have went wild, but there was no angel there with a sword to alert the poor donkey that he was now carrying around two mad leprechauns.
By the time they had left the hill, and were near home, they were settling down a bit. It was then that Mariah noticed that her two rings had left her finger and fallen into the stream. There was little point in saying anything. It was all used up already and she accepted she would have to do without her gold rings given to her in times past by Uishneach. He was the lord of those rings and it would not help to say they were lost now.
Looking for them in the running stream would be useless. Perhaps the Goddess Bride, that ran all the Irish streams, had taken them as payment for something that Mariah owed to her. Or perhaps they were a gift to the goddess, not lost at all but put into her safe keeping, while both she and Uishneach cleared out their clogged up stables within. She would have the head dwarf keep an eye out for her rings. She supposed she would have to talk to the Druid about her temper again. The end.
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