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Brigit and the Goddess

    by Paula Willowmoon

    Once upon a time there was a girl named Brigit who lived with her family on a small farm. They kept chickens who laid eggs for them, grew crispy vegetables in their garden, and had a sweet old cow who gave them warm fresh milk each day. Brigit loved to play on her farm. She loved playing with all the cats and kittens, climbing up into the loft of the barn to hide from everyone in the hay, and swinging in the large swing on her great front porch while she sipped fresh lemonade that her Mama made for her.

    But what she loved to do most of all was go into the forest and visit her friend, Nana. Nana was a very old woman who lived in a beautiful, ivy covered cottage deep in the cool woods. In Nana's cottage, there were so many wonderful things to see, taste, and smell. There were candles in all the colors of the rainbow, jars full of musty smelling spices, herbs drying in the rafters, and delicious honey-sweetened teas at Nana's house. There was even an old drum that Brigit was allowed to play. When she played the drum, Nana would smile and nod her head to the beat. Nana was very old and wrinkled and gray, with gnarled fingers and a hunched back. Nana looked a bit scary to Brigit, but she knew that Nana loved her as if she were her own grandaughter and would never hurt her.

    Today was a special day. It was Nana's birthday. Brigit wanted to bring something to give to Nana, for she loved her so. But Brigit had no money to buy a fancy present. They just didn't have any extra money, having only such a small farm. Brigit decided to go find something special to bring to Nana.

    She set out walking along the old dry gray gravel and dust road that led to Nana's house in the forest. She had walked down the road to Nana's house so many times that she knew the bumps and puddles and even the spot where the baby bunnies scampered back into the brush. She loved it when she reached the forest. It was so cool and moist. The forest smelled fresh and earthy and the forest birds whistled beautiful songs.

    Brigit came to the fork in the road. She knew to take the right turn to Nana's house. The left turn would lead back out of the forest and into town. But today, there was something very strange. An old stone well was in in the woods between the fork in the road, and Brigit had never seen it there before! Brigit walked slowly and cautiously up to the well. It was made of large grey stones and had an old bucket hanging from the middle. Brigit felt the hard, cold, rough stone side of the well.

    As she placed her hand on the stone well, there was a flash of lightning and a loud crack. There, before her, made all of flames, was the most beautiful woman Brigit had ever seen. Brigit thought she should be scared, but strangely, she was completely unafraid.

    "I am the Goddess for whom you are named!" said the woman. "I shall grant you a wish, my child. What is it that you truly desire?"

    Immediately, Brigit said, "I want to be rich!"

    The beautiful woman of flames raised her arms and chanted. There before them appeared a cauldron full of gold coins. Brigit ran over to the cauldron, thanking the Goddess over and over again. She ran her fingers through the coins. They were indeed real. But then Brigit realized there was no way for her to carry the iron cauldron full of the heavy gold. So she put several of the coins in her pocket. They jingled back down onto the ground, for Brigit was wearing her play clothes, and the pockets had holes from many hours of play.

    Then Brigit remembered that she was supposed to be looking for a gift for Nana. Brigit looked down at her feet, for she knew that she really didn't want to be rich. What could she do with all this gold? The Goddess looked at her and said, "Ahhh...that was not your true desire, was it, Little One."

    Just then, a beautiful hawk flew just above them. Brigit thought of how the bird could fly. She cried out to the Goddess, "I wish I could fly."

    The Goddess again raised her arms and said a chant. And there on the ground before them was a broom. The Goddess said to Brigit, "Pick it up, and ride it, my dear."

    Brigit did as she was told. She climbed onto the broom. The broom took Brigit up into the air, between the branches of the trees and out into the bright sunshine high above the forest. Up, up Brigit went. She felt the wind blowing her, so she held on tight to the broom. Brigit flew so high into the sky that she could see her own farm house, and it looked quite small from way up there. Brigit began to get cold, and a bit dizzy from being up so high. She wasn't sure how long she was going to be able to hold onto the flying broom. She called out, "I don't want to fly anymore, Beautiful Goddess!"

    Slowly, slowly, the broom carried Brigit towards a large field below. Just as Brigit was flying low over the field, the broom disappeared from under her. Brigit tumbled from the sky and landed softly in a field of shamrocks. When she sat up, the beautiful Goddess was looking down at her. The Goddess asked again, "What is it that you truly desire?"

    Brigit now knew what she wanted most of all. She told the Goddess, "I wish I had a beautiful pink ribbon so I could bring a bouquet of these shamrocks to Nana for her birthday."

    The Goddess leaned down to the girl, kissed her forehead, and pulled from the air a long pink ribbon. The Goddess then disappeared as quickly as she had appeared. Brigit picked the prettiest shamrocks she could find, tied them with a bow, and headed back down the road to Nana's house. The End

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