By Margaret Twibill
Eibhlín gazed around the nursery room in wonderment. She had never seen such a spacious place. The rooms in their cottage were very small compared to this big place. Her eyes filled with tears as she recalled all that had happened since they arrived at Ballinrobe Workhouse, tired, cold and hungry. She was terrified when Nurse Myler said she must go with her to the wash-room.
Clutching her doll close to her chest she started to imagine: stroking her baby sister’s face, building little houses with the sticks her brother had gathered for the fire at home and her sister Máirín curling her hair around her fingers and telling her how lucky she was to have curly hair. She imagined her Daddy’s voice, telling her stories. Most of all she imagined her Mammy humming softly as she did the jobs around the house: washing, sewing, darning, patching clothes, making butter, baking bread, cooking the dinner and sitting by the fire doing her knitting. Eibhlín was going to be ‘as good as gold’ and soon she would meet her family again and they could all go home to their own house together.