Talaith and the Evil Witch
No one in all of Tir ná Lia knew how to help Talaith remove the evil spell cast upon her brother. Overwhelming despair clouded her judgment and she went to see an old witch. She forgot the Sages' warning that the old woman's heart was black as pitch and foul as carrion crawling with maggots.
The old witch lived in a cage in the wastes surrounded by poisonous vapors and venomous vipers and toads. Talaith went there, even though her pure heart cried out for her to turn back. As she approached the cave, she smelled an odor so terrible she almost fainted. She had no idea what it was - for she had never been near a human before. She overcame her disgust, thinking all the while about her brave brother, and asked the witch for help.
"And what would you give me in return, my dear elf?" screeched the witch.
"Anything you ask."
"Give me your voice, my dear elf, and I'll lift Leod's curse."
Talaith thought about how she used to sing lullabies to her little brother and began to cry, but she gave the witch her beautiful voice all the same. The old woman grabbed it in her crooked talons like a small silver fish and tossed it to her cat.
"Now give me your hair, my dear elf! Only then will I lift your brother's curse."
Talaith sobbed, but agreed, and the witch wove a thick net from her hair and hung it from the trees in order to catch birds.
"Now give me your eyes, my dear elf, or I'll never lift Leod's curse."
Talaith loved her brother very much and so gave the witch her green eyes, and the witch sewed them onto her dirty dress like precious stones for ornament. And she started to laugh. Only then did Talaith understand that the witch would never lift Leod's curse and all her sacrifices had been for nothing. But she could no longer cry. Oh, how she regretted not having listened to the Sages, who tell so many tales of human treachery!
Talaith was petrified with regret, but her pure heart continued beating. When the old woman bent over her books and spells, Talaith's green eyes read along with her and in this way Talaith learned it was the witch who had put the curse on her brother Leod. She read along with the witch further until she learned how to lift curse. And so she caught fat robins with the net the witch had woven from her hair and fed them to the witch's cat. Purring with delight, the cat agreed to follow her back to Tir ná Lia. There it told the Sages the whole story about Talaith's stolen voice, and they recognized that it was true.
The evil spells cast on Leod and Talaith were reversed, and the evil witch was drawn and quartered.