"The Trout" (2 pages, 1928) and "Sinners" (8 pages, 1938) both by Seam O'Faolain
Wild Irish Lads
Sean O'Faolain (1900 to 1991-Cork City, Ireland) was the son of a policeman. He fought in the Irish War for Independence, 1919 to 1921. He received M.A. degrees from the National University of Ireland and Harvard. From 1940 to 1900 he was the director of a very prestigious Irish literary journal, The Bell. His daughter Julia O'Faolain is a Booker Prize nominated author.
O"Faolain was a very productive writer. He published 13 books and over 90 short stories. When collected, his short stories were over 1300 pages.
"The Trout" was the only one of his stories I found online. It is a beautifully written story about family on holiday at an inn in the country. The children, normally city kids, are thrilled to be able to explore nature. There is an older girl, maybe ten, and her six year old brother. One day they discover a trout stuck in a pool of water no bigger than a bucket. They are very confused how he could have gotten there. Their mother tells him maybe a bird dropped a fish egg. The children develop a fascination with the trout and his fate of being trapped. I will leave the rest of this very short tale for you to discover. I found in my post reread research that this seems a much assigned in school story as there are lots of web pages where for a modest fee you can buy a term paper explaining the many hidden meanings of the story. I prefer just to enjoy a wonderful tale about childhood and family relations.
"Sinners" seems a very anti-clerical story. A young girl, maybe late teens, unmarried is at confession. When she has only the most minor of sins to confess to the priest begins to bully and browbeat her, insisting she must have some sins. He begins a long possible sins and quizzes her intensely. As he ask near explicit questions about her possible (but in fact nonexistent) sex life he seems to pass over into a real abuse of his position for his own gratification.
I would like to read a few more of his stories online before buying his collected stories. If I like them as much as the two works I posted on here, I probably will make the purchase.
"Carmilla, is it true that the last Priest who heard your
confession had to be taken away in an ambulance after the first