For the past few weeks I have been on holidays and I must say I have had a most enjoyable time. I spent a night or two in Athea and a night in Finuge and a night in Knocknaghoshel among other places.
I enjoyed the election and I enjoyed the immense roguery of people who promised votes to all comers. I don’t blame them in the least because you can’t vote for everyone. If promises were first preferences every candidate would head the poll and there would be no drama in electioneering.
But speaking about elections I met Jack Faulkner in an almighty hurry the other evening.
“Don’t be holding me up now like a good man” he said. I was rather surprised at his attitude because I always found him the courtliest and most patient of men. I asked him if there was anything the matter.
“Look” said Jack “I’m going around canvassing for a seat in the Senate and the next time you see me it will be Senator Faulkner and not Jack Wilberforce.”
I asked him if he was elected if he proposed to live in Dublin.
“No” said Jack, “because if I get in I’ll have the Senate shifted to Glin.”
With that he took off but not before he called over his shoulder that he was going on the itinerant panel.
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Another dispatch from Ballagh, home of the batchelors and honest people.
Another Ballagh batchelor has become engaged. I cannot disclose his name but the story is true and there is great rejoicing in Ballagh.
He has ordered an Odearest mattress in Abbeyfeale but no one would give him an animal to go for it as he is a notoriously guide.
A woman who lived in a few doors away from him who had a kind heart gave him a loan of a mare ass despite the fact that the ass was nursing a foal at the time. He hit for the town of Abbeyfeale in great form.
He met his future wife in town where they had a great day.
At about half nine that night he headed for home as drunk as a shift on a clothes line during a gale. He sat down on a chair for a bit of a rest when he got home and fell asleep in no time at all. While he was asleep a neighbour called and untackled the ass.
He brought the mattress into the kitchen and put our man lying on it sound asleep. Then he brought in the ass and the foal, stripped the car and brought in the parts to the kitchen where he assembled it again, tackling the ass onto it and then departing to inform the woman who had loaned the ass that the borrower was back from town. Naturally the good woman went round to see what was keeping the ass.
When she entered the kitchen the ass and foal were watching the Late, Late Show and our man was still sound asleep. She woke him up. When he opened his eyes he showed no surprise but there was a look of pride on his face.
“Who said I couldn’t guide?” he roared. “Do you see that for guiding; right into my own hearth.”
“You’re a right ass,” said the woman in disgust.
“You took the words out of my mouth,” says our man. “I was just on the point of telling him the same thing myself.”
And now for a true story from my friend Tom Shine of Glenquin, Ballagh. It’s not the first true story to come out of Glenquin although certain critical readers are sceptical about the veracity of most of them.
However it is a well-known fact that the truer the story the harder it is to believe it.
When I first heard about Banana the Fifth, Canavan’s remarkable talking dog, I was in receipt of several cynical epistles which made me out to be a liar and Canavan’s dog to be a dummy.
But now almost everyone is convinced that the dog can talk and in fact some of those same cynics are now saying that they always knew that the dog could talk.
I will say no more about these bandwagon merchants but instead return to Thomas Shine’s story.
The other day as Tom was putting down his morning fire smoke.
The smoke would not just go out the chimney. Tom ran out to see what was the matter and was amazed to see two big jackdaws holding a large plastic bag between them.
Thomas ran for his gun and when he returned to the scene there looking down at him was a jackdaw with a fine set of false teeth.
He hadn’t the heart to shoot him. While he was engaged with the first jackdaw the other swooped into the kitchen and stole Thomas’s pipe. He flew off in the direction of Ballingarry with the pipe in its beak.
A correction by Mrs. Queenie Morrow of Elm View, Clarina, Co. Limerick. Some weeks ago I wrote that the late Paddy Drury was the author of the ballad “The Barns by the Gale”.
Mrs. Morrow says he was not the author and as I have since discovered she is quite right.
The Barns by the Gale was, of course, the work of the late Mick Taylor of Athea. Mrs. Morrow suggests if I want to know more I should contact our mutual friend Joe Quaid who will supply all the relevant information.