Congratulations to Carol Bibb, who won the Claddagh pendant.
Thank you to all of the talented commenters. Please read on for the complete story which I finished with a happily ever after, of course.
The Widow’s Eagle
An eagle was flying high in the blue sky over Galway when he saw something shiny in the window of the jewelry store. He swooped down and snatched it. While soaring once again over the province of Connaught, he saw a widow so beautiful it made his beak fall open and he dropped the ring. The widow was knocked unconscious when the gold hit her in the head.
As she awakened rubbing the lump on her head, she realized that she was being watched. Standing only a few feet from her was the eagle with a shiny gold ring in his beak! He started flapping his wings as if to beckon her to follow him. Warily she got to her feet and began to follow the eagle as he walked through the forest.
She followed him to a ledge where the nest was built. Inside, were the missing family heirlooms from the castle. It seemed the eagle was fond of old and new jewels alike. It almost seemed to trust and wanted her to have them. When she reached for the infamous Irish emerald, the eagle had other plans. The Dragoneye was just as magical as she imagined.
The thoughts of the eagle seemed to be invading the mind of the maiden. She was slowly becoming transported into another realm. Voices seemed somehow familiar, yet strange, and the picturesque settings beckoned her come.
The widow gasped as in her mind the eagle transformed into a man with the broad shoulders and muscled build. Usually mere brawn turned her off, but the man’s intense gold eyes radiated warmth and concern.
“Do not be afraid,” he said.
His deep voice shot through her like whiskey drunk neat.
The maiden blinked hard to clear her vision. The man before her was the love she mourned–the husband she’d buried years before.
He extended his hand to her, it held the Dragoneye Emerald. “This will give you the power to transform. We can soar the skies together, mates for this life and the next.”
The wind lifted the pair high above the trees. The return to Galway was but a moment as they restored the Claddagh to its creator and the people of Ireland who needed a symbol of love, friendship, and loyalty to last through the ages.