A long time ago, there lived a woman in a tidy little cottage tucked away between two hills. She was well known in those parts for being skilled in the art of midwifery, having helped in the delivery of just about every child within a day’s walk of her little cottage.
One night she was just getting ready to go to bed when she heard a knock on the door. She opened the door but saw nothing but the faint glimmer of a lantern on the roadway, perhaps a late night traveller making for the warmth and comfort of the village inn. She was about to close the door when the person with the lantern called out, imploring her to throw on her coat and follow him, for his wife was in labour and needed assistance.
She hesitated at this request, for it was dark and cold outside, but she shouted at him to wait and went to fetch her coat and bag. She followed him down the road and past the annagh, or cut-away bog, and down into the wood. The man kept up a blistering pace, close enough for her to walk by the light of the lantern but too far away to get a proper view of him.