Long ago, before society was like it is today
, there was an old woman living by herself in a hut. She often wished she had a son or daughter to take care of, or someone for company. One day, she was buying supplies when she saw an old shovel in the shop. "Perhaps," she said, "I could convince myself that this shovel is my child." As she was getting senile, she figured it would be only a few years before she believed this anyway
. So she came home with the shovel, and placed it in a chair. When it was time to eat, she moved it to the dinner table, and when it was time to sleep, she moved it to the bed.
But the shovel would not eat, and would not sleep. So she asked the local Druid to animate the shovel, to have a companion. The Druid told her, "Give it blood for three years, and it will live as your child.
" The old woman told the Druid's advice, and soon began to feed her blood to the shovel, coating it with the fluids of her body. The shovel began to hop around, and did chores for her
. For a time she was happy, but gradually as she gave blood she began to get weaker. She called the Druid back and asked another favor. "I am getting weak, would you watch over my shovel?" The Druid stayed to take care of her, and gradually as she was losing blood, the shovel began to notice, and hopped toward the garden. The shovel dug holes, and planted crops and herbs for her to eat
, and the Druid helped raise them. Gradually, the woman recovered and awoke from her weakness. When she awoke, the shovel was nowhere to be found. Instead, a young girl was found digging holes and planting herbs in the garden.
The woman, the girl, and the Druid lived together in the house for the rest of their lives.