When the morning mist
still floated low over hill and moorland, a woman
dimensions came striding down to the river. Her legs, great columns of flesh, straddled the stream
, and her feet rested on the stepping-stones of the ford
as she bent to do her washing.
The clothes she scrubbed were not her own. In her hams of hands they seemed as tiny as the swaddlings of a [doll or infant, yet they were the garments of full-grown soldiers bound for battle. And she, suffice to say, was no ordinary peasant laundress, but the goddess Badb, an aspect of the Morrigan.
warriors on the march dreaded meeting Badb when they crossed a stream. For if they saw her wringing out clothes they recognised as their own, and the water ran red with blood, they knew they would not survive the clash to come.