“If you go down to the shore of the sound
A wish may be granted if the right stone is found
A sea smoothed pebble, dark like the night
With an unbroken band of shimmering white.
Trace the line with your finger, and close your eyes tight
Whisper your wish then throw with all your might
The Stone into the sea, back into the Sound
Where your wish maybe granted, if the right stone was found.”
Once upon a time and long ago, before the Old Magic had faded and whilst the Ancient knowledge was still alive, we were all linked to the Sound. It was where we played, where we worked, where we lived and where we ate. Fishing was the biggest part of everyone’s life – it was our livelihood, our jobs and our food. We depended on the sea. But as the magic was fading and less people believed in the old ways, we started to separate ourselves and move further inland. It was harder and harder to get enough fish to eat and sell and trade, and the fishing boats had to travel further and further away to try and find enough to catch.
One year, when the fishing boats had been away for a very long time, the son of a Fisherman was playing with his friends on the shore of the Sound. They were all very hungry and sad because they’d not seen their fisherman fathers, or uncles, or brothers for a long time. Whilst his friends were playing in the rock pools and splashing in the waves, the Fisherman’s little boy wandered along the beach picking up stones and throwing them carelessly into the waves. When suddenly, something caught his eye, and he remembered an old song that his Granma used to sing.
Gently, he picked up the beautiful smooth pebble, about the size of his palm, and turning it round in his hands he could see a perfect line of white all around it. Unbroken and unwavering, the white was a perfect ring around the dark grey stone. Remembering his Granma’s song, he traced his finger around the line of white, and with his eyes tight shut he whispered his wish to the stone. Then, pulling back his arm, he threw the stone as far as he could back into the Sound, and with it flew the little boy’s wish. He went to bed that night and dreamt of his wish, swimming through the waters of the Sound with the fish and the crabs, dipping through the tides like the seals and the gulls, and dancing off the waves like the sunshine and mixing with the magic of the ocean.
The next day, when he woke up, the fishing boats came home with the biggest harvest they had ever had! The boats were full to the brim with herring and cod and mackerel. All the boats and all the crew had returned safely, and the little boy ran into his father’s arms for the biggest hug he could remember. They celebrated with a huge fish supper that night, and went to bed with their tummies, their purses and their hearts full to bursting.
So, what did the boy wish for? Did he wish to see his father again? Did he wish for the safe return of all the fishing boats? Or did he wish for the boats to catch more fish than ever before? We don’t know, because like all wishes, the little boy kept it a secret. But whatever he wished for, he and his family and friends were all happy and fed and together again. And whenever he was down by the water, he always looked for a stone with an unbroken white band in case he ever found a wishing stone again. And when he was an old man, he used to sing his Granma’s song to his own grandchildren, incase one day maybe they could make a wish too.
So, if you are ever by the Sound, keep a look out – maybe, just maybe, you can make a wish of your very own.
“If you go down to the shore of the sound A wish may be granted if the right stone is found A sea smoothed pebble, dark like the night With an unbroken band of shimmering white.”
– Julie Walsh