This is a little something that grew out of a story I told my son late one evening after he’d had a bad dream. When I first began talking to him about Brighid’s toys I told him it was a secret story only for children and that if he was lucky maybe he would see the toys in his dreams. If he even luckier maybe they might just come out of his dream and play with his toys and for a while his toys might come to life too…
As many of you will know Brighid has a younger brother whom she loves dearly. He is loving and mischievous and the light of hope shines from his ever young eyes.
Once long ago Brighid decided she would make a gift for her dear brother. She thought long and hard about what she could make and then she knew. She shut herself into her smithy and over the next three days gathered her supplies together and prepared herself for her task. Her brother, being a nosy soul as younger brothers the world over are, kept popping his head round the door to try and find out what was going on. In the end she shouted at him to leave her alone, for she didn’t want him to know she was making something for him.
After her three days of preparations Brighid barred the smithy doors and began to work. Long hours she laboured, heating metal, working it with delicate tools, quenching each piece in water drawn from her own sacred well. She worked, ate and slept in the smithy never leaving while she crafted her gift for her brother.
Outside her brother couldn’t wait to find out what she was doing. He asked everyone he could think of if they knew what she was making but no-one knew. He tried peering through holes in the smithy roof designed to let in the light but he still couldn’t work out what Brighid was making. He decided that he would wait outside and watch for when she left. Then he would discover her secret!
After six days Brighid was at last satisfied with her work. She had finished on the night of the full moon, just as she had planned, and as the moon rose high in the sky she gathered her creations into a beautiful wooden box and opened the smithy doors. Her dear brother was fast asleep where he had been waiting and watching in a tent under a tree. Brighid chuckled quietly to herself and walked past with her precious burden and headed off in the moonlight to her sacred well.
At the well Brighid carefully arranged her creations on the flat stones around the water’s edge and as the light of the moon shone down from overhead she began to sing. Sweet and powerful was her song. She sang of dreams, of childhood adventures, of love and laughter and as she sang the little figures on the stones began to glow. On she sang as the moon passed overhead and dipped down to the horizon. On she sang as the sky lightened and colour returned to the world and as the sun’s first rays crept over the land her song ended and the toys began to move.
Brighid and her toys stretched in the early morning light. She chuckled and called out to her brother to let him know he could come closer. He was surprised that she had known he was there but he swiftly came out from his hiding place for a closer look at his sister’s creations. “How did you know I was there?” he asked and she told him that she heard him wake and begin to follow her and she had felt his presence close by as she began to sing. “Do you like them?” Brighid asked her beloved brother. “Oh yes! They are wonderful”. He replied. “Good because they are yours now” she said smiling. “Use them wisely to bring joy to the dreams of children”.
And so it began.
2 thoughts on “Brighid’s Toys”
This is beautiful Potia! It is so heart-warming to know that there is someone else on the other side of the world inspired by the presence of children in their lives to bring these things to life in story for little ones. I find the same things happening in my story-telling to my boys where the boys will become convinced that a certain natural phenomena is the gods doing this or that and then I am urged to tell them the story of it. I wonder sometimes what will happen to these evolving tales in the hands of my children, if they'll become our own family mythos. Thank you for sharing this.
I'm glad you like it Alice 🙂
When you tell it to a child you can go into more detail about the toys and tailor it to their interests. For my son the toys include warriors, dragons and horses for the warriors to ride.