Why Willows Weep

Far, far across the deep, wide sea, stretching, straining back into the mists of time; when all shapes and sizes of Sidhe leapt joyfully from Danu's loins and magic had not fled from man to the other plane, but ruled this land, there was an island within an island. On the first day of the fifth month, at dawn on one of those rarest days with the fading full moon sharing the sky, side by side, with the brightly burning sun, there was an auspicious birth. Without a single pang, in a bursting and a whoosh of waters Danu produced a blue-skinned daughter with slitted, watery blue eyes, sea foam green hair, and hands and feet that were webbed. Then, with just one earthly grunt, Danu brought forth a brown gnarled-skinned son with piercing black hole eyes, dark green hair, long twisted fingers with great green nails and even longer convoluted toes.

She named her daughter Mór and her son Saílle. The children grew happy and strong, romping through the orchards and splashing in the River Avon, ducking and dunking each other in the lake where Avalon dwelt. Never, ever out of sight of the other, their bond grew and grew until it was unbreakable, their love unshakable.

Now the Sidhe, the Tuatha De Danaan, the children of Danu were pure of heart. Playful, daring, moody at times, they could not do a great evil or an immense injustice. Mór and Saílle, ever growing closer, let the years slide by, for time was not reckoned then as it is now. Their simple sibling love slowly changed into a passion, a devotion, an eternal adult love.

In time, as was common among the children of Danu, they came before her and asked if they might marry. To their shock and dismay, she glared at them and shouted, "NO!" They were hurt and confused; other brothers and sisters had married. Harshly Danu pointed out that faerie married faerie and leprechaun married leprechaun, but Mór was a water sprite and Saílle a dryad. Not only that, but it was time to take on their adult duties. Mór must merge with and become guardian of a body of water, and Saílle was to forever dwell within a tree.

Mór, broken-hearted, ran and plunged into the River Avon. Immediately her spirit and energy dispersed throughout the flowing current. Sobbing, Saílle tried to follow her, but was frozen in tree-form on her bank. His toes sank deeply, seeking Mór's watery nourishment and his hanging head bet towards her gentle waves. His long arms and fingers brushed her shining ripples. Saílle became the only Weeping Willow on the Isle of Apples and each spring Mór overflows her banks to totally embrace her beloved Saílle.

Author's Note: This is not an ancient Celtic legend, but an original story to be enjoyed alone or read aloud to children.

Author Information

Pamela Crisovan

Articles by Pamela Crisovan

2017 Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc.

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