Day 94: Lawn Faun

Ballyvaughan is a picturesque fishing and farming village in County Clare on the south shore of Galway Bay. It isn’t far from Burren National Park, so Laetitia went to the park with her group again. Indeed, there is enough in the park to fill many days’ worth of excursions.

Later, at a local pub, Laetitia sat at the bar next to a grey-haired man who said he was a retired professor from the local art college. He was a widower, and told her he found life a bit dull, except on moonlit nights. Laetitia waited for him to say, “Then I change into a werewolf” or something similar, but instead he told a story. “One night, right after I had gone to bed, I heard what I thought were pan pipes—something like Papageno plays in Mozart’s Magic Flute. I looked through the expanse of lawn behind my house. The moon was full, and the lawn was bathed in moonlight. In the shadows, I thought I could just make out a male human-like creature with furry legs and horns. Then whatever it was moved, and I could see the panpipes.

“Then I saw a young woman in a diaphanous gown dancing to the music played on the panpipes, and the male creature with furry legs and horns moved out into the moonlight and I could see him clearly. They set up a canvas on an easel. She seemed to be painting him, and then she would pose and he would paint her. After this went on for a while, she suddenly ran off into the shadows, shedding her gown on the way, and he grabbed up the canvas and easel and followed. I don’t know what I saw, but it livened up an otherwise dull evening. When I tell friends this story, most of them think I dreamed it. One friend suggested that they were art students collaborating on some sort of neoclassical piece, and that the faun outfit and panpipes probably came from some theater’s costume and prop shop.”

It didn’t matter to Laetitia whether he had dreamed it or not. She had her limerick for the day.

A young lass in the town Ballyvaughan
Did, ‘twas rumored, cavort with a faun
While dressed in her nightie
Just like Aphrodite,
On a moonlit expanse of the lawn.