The Leapling and the Horseshoe Nail
Flora O’Leary does not want to be married. What she does want is for everyone to stop asking her about it and to save enough money to buy a little cow. After she meets a fairy woman on the way to the market, she hatches a plan.
‘I am a spinster of this parish,’ said Flora, ‘and by the tradition of the leap day I ask you to marry me.’
‘What?’ Paddy Brown’s handsome face went red and he burst into a laugh. ‘You must be joking, woman!’
‘Indeed I am not,’ said Flora. ‘I take it you refuse me then?’
‘You can take it any way you please,’ said Paddy. ‘I’m not the marrying kind and even if I was I wouldn’t marry a giraffe of an old maid.’
‘Then, by the tradition of the leap day you must give me a gift instead,’ said Flora.
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