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Extract from under the Hawthorn Tree

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Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
under the hawthorn tree by marita conlan mckenna. her cottage was surrounded by a thick hedge in order to provide a bit of privacy for those who needed to visit her. the old lady was sitting on a stool outside in the sunshine. well, if it isn't the two best little girls in the world joked, mary kate. what can i do for you? pets, mother needs some goose grease for the baby. pleaded ellie. the poor poor child murmured, mary kate. what a time to come into the world. she got up from her stool and beckoned to the girls to follow her peggy lagged behind, clutching at ellie's dress. she had heard stories about the old lady and was a bit afraid of her. the cottage was dark and smelly. mary kate hobbled over to the old wooden dresser. it was filled with jars and bottles. she mumbled to herself as she lifted down different jars and opened the lids to peep at the contents finally sniffing what she wanted. she handed it down to ellie. mind you tell your mother, i want my jar back when she's finished. will it make bridget batter? ellie was amazed at the bravery of little seven year old peggy's question. mary kate frowned. i don't know. pet, there's so much sickness at the moment. strange sickness. i do my best with that. mary kate began to head back out towards the sunlight just outside the door. she put her hand into the pocket of her apron and produced an apple, a dirty old apple, she gave it a polish. the girls tried not to look but with a flourish, she handed it to peggy. peggy's eyes were round and wide. ellie blinked many thanks. we couldn't take it from you. thank you. but it wouldn't be fair. ellie began as green and hard as the hubs of hell laughed. mary kate throwing her head back to display her toothless gums. sure, i can't eat it. the girl smiled and peggy carried the apple like a precious jewel safely home to be shared by all.