There once was a boy named Daire MacDhá²mhnaill.* Daire lived with his Ma and Da and his brother Andrew and his sister Moira in a nice house in Sligo. Ma worked in a bakery and Da ran his own garage where he fixed Vespas and even a Triumph every now and then.
Andrew liked to tease Daire and Moira, but would fight any boy in Coola Post Primary School even though it says there’s no bullying, between you and me there was an’ probably still is.
Everybody in Coola wore the same thing; a Navy Sweater and a nice shirt and nice pants. But everybody also wore what they liked when they were home. Andrew liked to wear shorts and his favorite jersey for the Sligo Rovers F.C. (Football club for you Yanks).
Moira liked to wear sweat pants and pullovers with those bras that girls wear when they run track or practice football (soccer to you Yanks).
But Daire was the odd one. He would go into the attic and try on his Ma’s wedding dress when no one was home. When they were, he’d wear his sister’s panties under his own clothes. You see, Daire an’ Moira were twins (they still are, come to think of it!). And every night after everyone would go to bed, Daire would go down stairs an’ sit in front of the hearth and pray to Jesus and Mary and Meadhbh (that's Meav for you Yanks), Queen of the Faeries. (Fairies …you get the idea).
One day in school, Padraic McPherson an’ his partner in crime, as my sainted Ma would say, Dennis Gilhooey, were busy teasin’ the twins. They teased Daire for bein’ queer, and Moira for bein’ butch. Moira wasn’t butch at all (You can ask Fiona Flynn if you like) an’ Daire was never queer at all, even if he was different, aye?
One never knows how prayers are heard, and we often don’t know how they’re answered, but they usually are. So Meadhbh and Jesus and Mary sent an angel. Padraic was just about to swat Daire over the head with his rolled up English workbook when Miss ni Dubhshlá¡ine,** the school counsillor, stepped into the hallway and grabbed the workbook from the lad and smacked him in the back of the head. Padraic and Dennis went to say something but walked into Mr. og Dobhilein,*** the head, and were escorted to his office by their ears.
“Come in, child. I’ve somethin’ to show you.” Miss ni Dubhshlá¡ine said, ushering Daire into her office. An’ that’s when the magic happened. Meav had seen fit to bless the woman with a talent for a special kind of enchantment. She opened up her desk and it’s what she didn’t pull out that was the real magic, since things don’t always work the way we expect, especially when it comes to faeries, aye.
She didn’t have a wand or an amulet or even a charm. She gave the child just what she needed, though. A brochure. It was GIDI….no, she wasn’t giddy; the brochure was from the Gender Identity Disorder Ireland, which helped Daire understand just why he wanted to be a girl like his twin sister. Yes, I know he’s not really a he. That’s actually one of the things Daire learned.
“Take this home an’ show yer Ma and Da, child, aye?” Mrs. ni Dubhshlá¡ine said with a smile. If they have any questions, you can have them call me here or Miss ni Cleirigh****, the school nurse. So Daire took the magic brochure home and gave it to Ma and Da. And did they live happily ever after? Well.
Andrew went to work alongside his mother at the bakery in town along with Moira. And Da still worked at his garage and fixed Vespas and the occasional Kawasaki and even an odd BMW or two and he even got a couple of Yamahas to ride around Sligo with the baby of the family and his best mechanic. Daire Eibhleann MacDhá²mhnaill*****.
An’ if you’re ever wanderin’ the halls of Coola Post Primary School be sure to look up those precious faeries…Ashleigh ni Cleirigh and Zoe ni Dubhshlá¡ine, aye?
fer Kristina and the rest of you kind folk, aye?
***** Daire Eileen MacDonald
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