Lady of the Fountain

Aeons ago Mother Nature, goddess of all that is good on this Earth, sent forth her offspring to care for and protect all her wondrous works. The Lady of the Fountain, a water nymph, came here to care for the Kinny, the canal.

The Veleno Sisters, one tall and slender, the other smaller and of a more rotund stature, would promenade through the streets in their fine crin-olines. Devout church-goers, they held an opinion about everything and everyone. No one was immune from their virulent tongues,
“Have you seen Martha?”
“And her husband three months at sea!”
“Sarah Jones”
“Harlot!”
They spread their poison with innuendo and bigotry. The Lady tried her best to keep the Kinny clear and fresh, occasionally taking some discarded waste from the water. For the most, it was a pleasant place for a creature of nature to live.

Although the Sisters continued to spread their venom amongst their neighbours, the poison in their throats was building up, needing to be expelled. They came here to vomit their foul bile into the canal. One fateful night as the Sisters retched and heaved their vile molasses, the bank gave way and both siblings fell headlong into the quagmire, fouling it once and for all. The Lady herself unable to stay in the waters took to walking the banks, fishing out putrid debris. Without her life giving waters, she was dying, becoming wretched.

The Sisters left a legacy of fear and suspicion. Great delight was taken in taunting one particular old hag. She walked the canal banks in despair. As a family taunted the old hag, their small son grabbed a stone and hurled it at the crone who stumbled, falling into the poisonous soup, swallowing great mouthfuls. The family stood, transfixed, mortified. The old hag plunged into the canal, bobbing to the surface clutching the child to her chest, her thin wasted limbs seemed incapable of lifting the boy but lift him she did, into the eager waiting arms of his family. Dragging him to safety, gasping for breath, wiping the filth from his face. When they thought to lend a hand to the old woman, she had disappeared.

News of the dramatic rescue spread throughout the town. The great and the good deciding the old lady should at least be afforded a decent burial. To that end the Kinny was drained, dredged of all the accumulated waste, her body never found. Pumped full of clean water, fish and wildlife returned in abundance. Trees and wildflowers now adorn its banks and if you don’t abuse it, if you care for this splendid place, you may, may, just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the water nymph.

The old hag rejuvenated to her former glory. The Lady of the Fountain.