Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
In the center of a very dark pinewood lives the two old Philosophers and their wives, the Grey Woman of Dun Gortin and the Thin Woman of Inis Magrath. One couple has a little boy named Seumas, the other a little girl named Brigid. Both are born on the same day. When the children are ten years old, one of the old Philosophers decides that he learned all that he was capable of learning. This conclusion depresses him so much that he decides to die. It is unfortunate, as he points out, that at the time he is in the best of health; however, if the time comes for him to die, then die he must. He takes off his shoes and spins around in the center of the room for fifteen minutes until he falls over dead. So grieved is the Grey Woman that she, too, kills herself, but since she is much tougher than her husband, she spins for forty-five minutes before she dies. The Thin Woman calmly buries the two bodies under the hearthstone.
The people who live on the edge of the pinewood often come to see the Thin Woman’s husband when they need advice. One day, Meehawl MacMurrachu comes to the Philosopher to learn who stole his wife’s scrubbing board. The Philosopher, after much questioning, finally decides that the fairies took it. He advises Meehawl to go to a certain spot and steal the Crock of Gold that the Leprechauns of Gort na Gloca Mora buried there. For years, the Leprechauns were filling their Crock of Gold by clipping the edges of gold coins that they found in...
(The entire section is 1020 words.)
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