Whistlin’ In The Barn

Peader was reflecting on days and people, and a way of life that were gone.  He spoke of a travelling woman of these parts who stayed in his parent’s place one time, and who took over the settlebed and made the people ‘wait hand and foot’ on her for a week.
She was nothing to the old Travelling Woman who was snow-bound in his grandfather’s on the Dromintee Old Road.  She had her own flour with her, which she had begged.  When given permission to make her own griddle of bread she told the grandfather at the fireside to ‘quit yer smokin’ and spittin” while she was around the hearth.  She backed this up with the remark that she had ‘once owned three cows in the County of Monaghan’.  War ensued in which even the cat – and the traditional South Armagh hospitality – fled.  Out she had to go into the snow-drifts. 
The grandmother couldn’t have this and pleaded for a compromise that allowed the travelling woman a temporary banishment only to the barn.  She began loudly to play a tin whistle out there so that the neighbours might learn of her banishment.  He saw the gathering throng of spectators on the ten-foot drifts on the road overlooking the wall and the fear of local ridicule caused him to relent.  She was brought back to the house.

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