Chappaqua Public Library. "Maybe the sea is behind you and there's green hills all around."

Then she lilted into "The Woman of the Sea," about a summer night when a group of seals took human form to dance on the rocky coastline. A smitten farmer captures one who pleads for her freedom with a voice "like the waves whispering in a shell." But he is unmoved, hides her sealskin and says, "Come home with me now and it's my wife you shall be." McShane's expressive face captures the battle between the pleasures of domesticity and the call of the wild. The union lasts 14 years but the lure of the ocean is inexorable, the sealskin is found and one day her three children see her slip back into the sea "and dive down to the bottom," never to return. Some of the younger children were crestfallen at the less-than-happy ending and McShane said, "Maybe that was too sad. But it's like the Irish tunes, you know, there's a sweet sadness to them."                                             
(to continue reading)


     ALES FOR, AND SOMETIMES ABOUT, WEE  FOLK

By Jim Fitzgerald, AP Writer
Chappaqua, NY (AP)

You can put a green carnation in your lapel and march in a big parade. You can watch the Irish Tenors on television and shed a tear for "The Rose of Tralee." Or, if you're small enough, you can celebrate St. Patrick's Day by sitting on a rug at the library, closing your eyes and letting Marianne McShane transport you to a land of tin whistles, sea fairies and a donkey named Mrs. Murphy.

"You have to imagine you're in Ireland," McShane told about 65 children and parents crammed into the storytelling room at the