10 Ballyfey Tales - Goddess Sive

Ch2 pt3

While all this was going on Ollie had gone to the far end of the table to enjoy a lemonade with some of the younger druids.
At the same time Alice and Rosheen stepped out of the cafe and into the garden, both heading in the same direction towards Ollie. Alice having longer legs managed to reach him first and said,
“You were very brave to speak out as you did at the gathering Ollie”.
Ollie blushed bit and then Rosheen stepped up saying:
“Your words today showed great a deal of wisdom, young bard.” Ollie’s face turned a brighter red and he was lost for words.

The Ollave, Dermot leant over and whispered in Grandpa Druids’ ear,
 “Can I have a quiet word with you in private ?”
“Yes of course, shall we stretch our legs along the river bank”
replied Grandpa Druid.

They walked in silence for a while until they came to a large Oak tree where they sat to enjoy the peace and quiet of the river.
“Robur” said Dermot ( for that was Grandpa Druids’ proper name)
“I have been observing Ollie, our young Bard, for some time now and I believe that he needs to be trained as a Filli.
As you know in the past Bards were people who were
semi-illiterate and uneducated but Ollie, as young as he be, is definitely not uneducated. What say you to my suggestion ? ”

“I quite agree with you Dermot, for I too have been thinking along those lines and he can of course always follow in my footsteps when he is older, if he wants to. I am pleased that you raised the subject, after all you are the Ollave”

“ Right, that’s settled and no better time than on a New Moon for the starting of new projects. We shall tell him now” said Dermot

The two men sat in silence considering this for a little while before strolling back to Brambles where Grandpa Druid borrowed a large handbell from the cafe and gave it Dermot. The Ollave  rang it several times to get peoples’ attention then addressed the the crowd:

“My honoured friends, it is with the agreement of Arch Druid Blavma that I make this formal announcement. He who is presently known as Bard Ollie is to be a Filli in-training and he begins on the night of the New Moon.
He may be addressed from this day onwards as Ollie the Filli”

Grandpa whispered to Ollie telling him all about Dermot’s rank as a senior poet and explaining that an Ollave, female or male, is the highest rank of Poet, the equivalent to a doctorate or a professor in a college.

Granny returned to the garden and gave a loud shriek when she found out that she had missed the announcement, saying to Grandpa:
“Why did you let me go, I would have enjoyed being here for that ?”
Grandpa replied “It was Dermot’s idea not mine and I agreed to his proposal. Where have you been anyway ?”

“Well actually I have been busy picking comfrey leaves, there are lots of them growing wild just behind Brambles back garden”
said Granny.

“You must have second-sight my dear, because Ollie is going to need a green tabard to go over his blue robe, so that all shall know he is in training as a Filli” said Grandpa

“Well, I need these comfrey leaves to make lotions with and it will keep me busy enough so I think I will ask Seersha, in the craft shop, to make it for him. I can do some embroidery on the front and back, what do you think?” said Granny

“A good idea and she can pick her own comfrey leaves to make the green dye” replied Grandpa.

Ollie in the meanwhile had gone with Ciaran and Goban along the river bank to the place of the Talking Stones. Once there the two brothers departed leaving Ollie on his own to listen and attune himself to the rhythm of the river.
At first he lay down for awhile, then sat up at to look at the flowing water, noticing the varying shapes it made on the surface as it passed over the stones.
Soon even the air above the water seemed to be flickering as if he was looking into a different world, somehow separate from the one he was in.
From out of the shimmering air a faint female figure appeared, vanished momentarily,to appear again in a stronger form.
She reached out with both hands, her palm upwards and in his mind he heard her say

“Come I want to show you my world.”
“Are you the Goddess Sive ?” asked Ollie.
“Yes, I am she who people call Sive.
Come Ollie, as you are sitting next to the river that is where we shall start.” said the goddess.

In a flash, Ollie was walking with Sive on the bottom of the river. She pointed out to him an overhang in the bank where the trout rested, another place where the perch lived and a deep pool in which, Sive explained, was where the Salmon laid its eggs to grow into a parr.

Next Sive and Ollie were flying at treetop height, where she showed him the nests of each bird then higher up still, on the top of a fir tree, Ollie saw the nest of a Heron.

Drifting down to a woodland floor he spied badgers’ sets, foxes lairs, the burrows of rabbits, the store where the red squirrels kept their winter nuts, the nests of field mice, mole holes and the homes of all manner of small creature and insects.
They then visited the sun-lit grass glades where the deer lived and their watering places along the river bank.

Sive explained that all of life is neatly balanced and so it is very important to keep that balance.

Finally Ollie returned to the sounds of the river gurgling over the stones. He was alone for Sive had gone. The Filli in training lay down on the river bank and began to compose his poem in a notebook he took from his pocket.

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