I wrote this short story around 2001 when I was living in Pictou, Nova Scotia. It was my first attempt at writing dialect, though this time it wasn’t Scots-English but Irish-English. I heard this dialect a lot as a youngster since my step-father, Bill Moorhead, was from Larne in Northern Ireland.
When picturing “Mary’s Mountain” I had Ben Guillion in mind, the mountain that I climbed many times just outside my hometown of Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyllshire, Scotland. On a clear day we could see the coast of Northern Ireland from Campbeltown.
I added the leprachaun character because I like the idea of leprachauns – even have a small one pinned up in my den and wear it in my pocket whenever I attend a St. Patrick’s Day party.
We Scots and the Irish are brother Celts and I like to try to dispel the false impression that we are enemies. I have no problem with the Irish – after all, the Scottish people originally came from Ireland (and St. Patrick was born a Scot). In fact, my great-grandfather Edward Morrens, son of Irish parents, Thomas Morrins and Rose Robertson, was born and died in Campbeltown (1832-1906), so I surmise his parents moved to Scotland sometime before his birth. As far as I can tell this was the beginning of the Morrans family in Scotland, at least my branch of it. You’ll note the variation in spelling of our family name. I can only conclude that the record keepers were careless spellers or some of my ancestors were illiterate.
In 2006, when my wife Gayle and I were living in Chapala, Mexico and attending the Lake Chapala Writer’s Group, I submitted this story to the local English-language magazine, El Ojo del Lago, where it was published. Here I’m including the story in its entirety for your enjoyment.
I like to think of “The Moonlit Meeting” as a fable and hope you can identify the moral lesson.
To read the story, click here: Moonlit Meeting – for Website