We have always lived in the castle. Not me personally, mind, but our family has been in the castle as long as there has been one. Before even.
We were on the site when Boyda and his people raised the wooden palisades upon our hill. Those were pleasant times, and we lived in harmony with the newcomers. They treated us with respect, and the Druids brought us little treasures and laid them before our spring.
Then those coarse Latins arrived. They tore down the lovely oak walls and raised ramparts of stone. Some of these foul men disrespected us, and they didn’t think to thank us for the clear water that flowed from our spring. But they learned – oh, how they learned. My great-grandmother was but a girl then, but she remembered her mother making the water sour and many of the legion-men falling ill. The gifts soon returned, I can tell you. But these hard men left and our family lived quietly on our hilltop home among the decaying stone.
New visitors came, they called themselves the Folk, but they were not unlike the Romans or the Celts before them. They rebuilt the walls and dug a well next to our spring. Grandmother was not pleased with that and in her fury again tainted the waters and some of the newcomers fell blind. They left our hill!
The castle builders came when my mother was a girl. They robbed the stone from the hilltop and made new walls with high round towers and a gate with an iron portcullis. They dug another well further down the hill, and used pipes to flow it to the keep. They largely left our family alone, but mother remembers one day when a young man and woman sat looking longingly into each other’s eyes as they sat at the edge of our spring just outside of their walls. Their love filled her with joy and she granted them a long life and happiness together. It is their great-great-great-great-great grandchildren that sold the castle to the wool merchant. I was a girl then, and his family were kind to us. They loved nature and built the parks and gardens below the hill. See how pretty they are. I kind of like the statue they placed next to our spring. It looks much like your grandmother when she was young, though it is silly that they put butterfly wings on the back of a Water-Sprite.
It was just before you were born that the present bunch came here. They turned the castle into a hotel. They built the two bungalows outside the walls and the little path to our spring. Honeymoon cottages they call them. I think it is lovely that the young couples come to enjoy our spring. It is up to you now, my daughter, to protect the waters though. These humans are such unpredictable sorts. It was like when that man with the strange hair wanted to build a golf course here, I had to see him off. You may have to do the same, he doesn’t seem to ever learn his lessons.
I am Padre of Padre’s Ramblings. In my life’s journey I have been a preacher, teacher, and served in the Forces. I am also an ecclesiastical historian, and theologian. I am married to my soulmate and am a father and grandfather. All have given me insights to things spiritual, and of things human. I am a public speaker as well, and have recently taken to writing poetry and short stories.