5 Minute Irish Stories  Set 2 : 32-64 
Set 1 :1-30 Set 2 :32-64 Set 3:65-94 Set 4:95-121 Set 5:123-156 Set 6:157-192
32. The Ived Tree-Top 

My little hut in Tuaim Inbhir, a mansion would not be more delightful, with its stars as ordained, with its sun, with its moon. 

It was Gob/an that made it (that its tale may be told you) my darling, God of Heaven, was the thacher who has thatched it. 

A house in which rain does not fall, a place in which spears are not feared, as open as if in a garden without a fence around it. 
-Irish 9th century 

33. The Druid’s Candle 

Saint Patrick came one night to a farmer’s house, and there was a great candle shining in some place near, and three or four of the farmer’s sons had got their death through it for every one that would see it would get his death.  It was some evil thing that put it there, witchcraft that the Druids used to be doing at that time the way the Freemasons do it in England to this day.  They do that, and they have a way of knowing each other if they would meet in a crowd.  But Saint Patrick went to where the candle was, and it did him no harm and he put it out, and it was never lighted again in Ireland. 

34. Cromwell’s Bible 

One time Cromwell was planning to put a wall or a paling all a round the coast of England.  He thought that was the only way to keep an enemy out.  He had a huge, black Bible--it would take a horse to draw it!--and he had a servant always with him to take  care of the Bible.  One day, himself and the servant set out and they never stopped until they reached the coast.  It w as a very warm day, and Cromwell was exhausted when he reached the sea.  Drowsiness and sleep were coming over him, and he lay down on the strand to close his eyes.  “Now,”  said he to the servant,  “I’ll  stretch myself for a while, and  you’re to take care of the Bible until I awake.   And as if your life depended on it, you’re not to open it.  If you do, it will be the worse for you!”  He lay down and it wasn’t long till he was snoring for himself.  When the servant saw  that he was asleep,  “By heavens, it won’t be   long now till I find out what power is in this Bible!”  He opened it and, if he did, it wasn’t long  until a small, stout man jumped out on the strand before his eyes, and then another and another until the strand was covered with them.  None of them was the size of your thumb, and they all were running around and shouting: “Give me work! Give me work! Give me work!”  The poor servant was terrified,  I’d say, when he saw the huge crowd all over the strand, and his heart was full of fear that they  would rouse Cromwell. “May the Devil take the pack of  ye!” he shouted. “Where would I get work for ye? Why don’t ye start making ropes out of the sand?” They started making ropes out of the sand, but, of course, if they were at it since, they couldn’t  make any ropes of it.  They had to give up in the end, and told the servant that it was beyond their powers. “If that’s the way with ye,” said the servant, “I can’t help ye.  Off  ye go in the name of the Devil to wherever ye came from, and don’t be annoying me, yourselves and your work!”  In they went, every single madman of  them 
into the Bible, and when the servant was rid of the last one of them, I promise you that it didn’t take him long to close the Bible on them.  Nor did he open  it again.  When Cromwell had slept through, he s at up, took hold of the  Bible  and opened it, but, if he was opening it since, no help would come out of the Bible to him.  “I’m afraid that you opened this Bible, fellow, while I was asleep”, said he to the servant. “And if you did, that leaves England without a paling!” 

35. Goban, The Builder 

The Goban was the master of sixteen trades.  There was no beating him ; he had got the gift.  He went one time to Quyin Abbey when it was building, looking for a job, and the men were going to their dinner, and he had poor clothes, and they began to jibe at him and the foreman said, “Make now a cat-and-nine-tails while we are at our dinner,  if you are any good.” And he took the chisel  and cut in the rough in the stone, a cat with nine tails coming from it, and there it was complete when they came out  from their dinner.  There was no beating him. He learned no trade, but he was master of sixteen.   That is the way, a man that has the gift will get more out of his own brain than another will get through learning.  There   is many   a man without learning will get the better of a college-bred man, and will have better words too.  Those that make inventions in these days have the gift, such a man now as Edison, with all he has got out of electricity. 

36 .The Swine of the Gods 

A few years ago a friend of mine told me of something that happened to him when he was a young man and out drilling with some Connacht Fenians.  The were  but a car-full, and drove along a hillside until they came to a quiet place. The left the car and went further up the hill with their rifles, and drilled for a while.  As they were coming down again they saw a very thin, long legged pig of the old Irish sort, and the pig began to follow them.  One of them cried out as a joke that it was a fairy pig, and they all began to run to keep up the joke.  The pig ran too, and presently, how nobody knew, this mock terror became real terror, and they ran as for their lives.  When they got   to the car they made the horse gallop as fast as possible, but the pig still followed.  Then one of them put up his rifle to fire, but when he looked along the barrel he could see nothing.  Presently they turned a corner and came to a village.  The told the people of the village what had happened, and the people of the village took pitchforks and spades and the like, and went along the road with them to drive the pig away.  When they turned the corner they could  not find anything. 

37. The Stuarts 

As to the Stuarts, there are no songs about them and no praises in the West, whatever there may be in the South.   Why would there, and they running away and leaving the country the way they did? And what good did they ever do it?  James the Second was a coward.  Why didn’t he go into the thick of the battle like the Prince of Orange? He stopped on a hill three miles away, and rode off  to Dublin, bringing the best of his troops with him.  There was a lady walking in the street at Dublin when he got there, and he told her the battle was lost, and she said, “faith you made good haste; you made no delay on the road.” So he said no more after that.  The people liked James well enough before he ran; they didn’t like him after that.. 

38. One Queer Experience 

A good many believe that the fairies will spirit away children. They will carry off  a healthy child and leave instead a weazened little dwarf.  One day they played that trick on a tailor, and he kept the dwarf several years and it didn’t grow any, and was just the same shriveled little thing it was in the beginning.  Finally, the tailor made up his mid what the matter was.  So he heated his goose red hot and held it over the dwarf, and said, “Now, get out of here-- I know you!”   But the dwarf never let on it noticed him; and the tailor lowered the goose little by little till it almost touched the dwarf’s face.  The n the dwarf spoke and said,  “Well I’ll leave, but first you go to the door and look round the corner.”  The man knew if he did that the dwarf would get the best of him and he said he would not.  Then the dwarf saw ‘twas  no use, and it sprang out of the cradle and went roaring and cackling up the chimney, and a good child lay there in its place.  I  had one queer experience myself.  It was the time of the Fenian troubles.  I was sitting up late--I suppose it must have been after midnight --but I hadn’t taken anything, and was as sober as I am this minute.  Well, it got to be very late, as I said, and by and by, I heard strange noises, hundreds of them, and they were  dragging dead bodies and all that.  I could hear their breathing, and I could hear their clothing rub along against the wall. Then the ceiling and the sides of the room I was in began to wave.  I took a candle and went out in the hall, and there was nothing there, doors all fastened, everything all right. Now, what do you make out of that? I never have been able to account for it  myself. 

39.Shortening the Road 

Himself and his son were walking the road together one day, and the Goban said to the son, “Shorten the road for me.” So the son began to walk fast, thinking that would do it, but the Goban sent him back home when he didn’t understand what to do.  The next day they were walking, and the Goban said again to shorten the road for him, and this time he began to run, and the Goban sent him home again.  When he went in and told the wife he was sent home the second time, she began to think, and she said, “When he bids you shorten the road, it is that he wants you to be telling him  stories.” For that is what the Goban meant, but it took the daughter-in-law to understand it.  And it is what I was saying to the other woman, that if one of ourselves w as making a journey, if we had another along with us, it would not seem to be one half as long as if we wouldn’t be alone.  And if this is so with us, it is much more with a stranger, and so I went up the hill with you to shorten the road, telling you that story. 

40. The Heather Beer 

People say that the Danes were able to make the sweetest of beer from the tops of the heather.  But the Irish people could not get the secret of it from them, although they tried their best. 

When they were routing the Danes out of Ireland, they killed most of them until there were only two left alive, a father and son.  The Irish made up their minds to try to get the secret of the beer from these two , or it would be lost for ever.   So they said to the pair that were left that whoever of them would give up the secret would be let go free. 
Then the father spoke, and he said, 
“If that’s the way things are and if only one of us will be let go alive, let ye kill the boy, and I will tell you how my people make the beer from the heather.” 
The son was put to death, and then the father was asked to tell the secret. 
“Well,” said he, “ I asked ye to kill the boy first, because I was afraid that ye would get the secret out of him, if I died before him.  Since he’s dead now, I want to tell ye  that ye won’t get from me the secret ye at trying so hard to get.   Ye’ll never get it from me.  Do what ye wish with me.” 
The father was put to death, and the secret was never found since.--OS 46 

41. Another Story 

Seumas Salach, Dirty James, it is he brought all down.  At the time of the battle there was one of his men said,” I have my eye cocked, and all the nations will be done away with,” and he pointing his cannon. “Oh!” said James, “Don’t make a widow of my daughter.” If he didn’t say that, the English would have been beat.  It was a very poor thing for him to do.  I used to hear them singing “The White Cockade” through the country--”King James was beaten and all his well-wishers; my grief, my boy, that went with them!” But I don’t think their people had ever much opinion of the Stuarts; but in those days they were all prone to versify.  But the Famine did away with all that.  Sure King James ran all the way from Boyne to Dublin after the battle.  There was a verse made about him.  “It was the coming of King James that struck down Ireland, With his one shoe Irish and his one shoe English, He that wouldn’t strike a blow and that wouldn’t make a peace, he has left trouble for ever on the Gael.” 

42. The Baptism of  Conor MacNessa 
Jong Ago people were few, and the priests used to travel about saying Mass and spending a night her and there.   Some of them arrived at a house and they asked the boy to go out and cut some rushes with a sickle to make a bed.  The boy went out to a clump of rushes, and a voice spoke to him from out the clump: 
“Don’t put me out of my  dwelling.” 
The boy went away from the clump and told the priests in the house what had happened.  “Didn’t you bring the rushes?”they asked. “No Father,” and he to one of them. “If I told you what I have heard, you wouldn’t go there  either.” “Come along and show me where this was said.”  They went out to the clump.  The priest put on his stole and read something,  and a voice spoke  from the clump.  “Who are you?” asked the priest. “I am Conor of Ulster,” said the voice.  “How long have you been here?” “Since the Savior w as crucified,” said the voice. “And what put you here?” asked the priest. “It happened this way.  I was in a battle, and a piece of something entered my skull    When I heard later on that the savior was crucified, frenzy came of my skull, and I died.  The Savior then put my soul into my skull until the Day of Judgment.” “I’ll baptize you now, and you will go to Heaven,” said the priest. “Must I die a second time?” asked the voice.  “You must.” “Oh, Father, I’d rather stay in my skull until the Day of Judgment,” said the voice   When the priest heard these words, tears fell from his eyes down on the clump, and Conor of Ulster immediately rose up from it like an angel. “I’m on my way  to Heaven now, Father!” said he. “Your tears have baptized me!”.---- 
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43. The Battle of Clontarf 

Clontarf was on the head of a game of chess. The generals of the Danes were beaten at it, and they were vexed; and Cennedigh was killed on a hill near Fermoy.  He put the Holy Gospels in his breast as a protection, but he was struck through them with a reeking dagger.  It was Brodar, that he Brodericks are descended from, that put a dagger through Brian’s heart, and he attending to his prayers.  What the Danes left in Ireland were hens and weasels.  And when the crock crows in the morning the country people will always say “It is for Denmark they are crowing. Crowing they are to be back in Denmark.” 

44. A Pig on the Road from Gort 

There was a man coming along the road from Gort to Garryland one night, and he had a drop taken ,and before him on the road he saw a pig walking.  And having a drop in, he gave a shout and made a kick at it and bid it get out of that.  And from the time he got home, his arm had swelled from the shoulder to be as big as a bag, and he couldn’t use his hand with the pain in it.   And  his wife  brought him after a few days to a woman that used to do cures at Rahasane.  And on the road all she could do would hardly keep him from lying down to sleep on the grass.  And when they got to the woman, she knew all that happened, and says she:”It’s well for you that your wife didn’t let you  fall asleep on the grass, for if you had done that but for an instant, you’d be a gone man.” 

45. The Queen of Breffny 

Devorgilla was a red-haired woman, and it was she put the great curse on Ireland, bringing in the English through MacMurrough, that she went from O’Rourke.  It was to Henry the Second MacMurrough went, and he sent Strongbow, and they stopped in Ireland ever since.  But who knows but another race might be worse, such as the Spaniards that were scattered along the whole coast of Connacht at the time of the Armada.  And the  laws are good enough.  I heard it said the  English will be dug out of their graves one 
day for the sake of their law.  As to Devorgilla,she was not brought away by force, she went to MacMurrough herself.  For there are men  in the world that have a coaxing way, and sometimes women are weak. 

46. Patrick Sarsfiled 

Sarsfield was a great general the time he turned the shoes on his horse.  The English it was were pursuing him, and he got off and  changed the shoes the way when they saw the tracks they  would think he went another road.   That was a great plan.  He got to Limerick then, and he killed thousands of the English.  He was a great general. 

47. In Defense of Women 

Woe to him who speaks ill of women! It is not right to abuse them. They have not deserved, that I know, all the blame they have always had. 

Sweet are their words, exquisite their voice, that sex for which my love is great; woe to him who does not scruple to revile them, woe to him who speaks ill of women! 

They do no murder nor treachery, nor any grim or hateful deed, they do no sacrilege to church nor bell; woe to him who speaks ill of women! 

Certain it is, there has never been born bishop nor king nor great prophet without fault, but from a woman; woe to him who speaks ill of women! 

They are thrall to their own hearts, they love a man slender and sound-it would be long before they would dislike him. Woe to him who speaks ill of women! 

An old fat greybeard, they do not desire a tryst with him-- dearer to them is a young lad, though poor.  Woe to him who speaks ill of women! 
--Irish, Earl Gerald Fitzgerald, 14th Century, J 

48. King Henry VIII 

Henry the Eighth was crying and roaring and leaping out of the bed for three days and nights before his death.  And he died cursing his children, and he that had eight millions when he came to the Throne, coining leather money at the end. 

49. Sarsfield Surrenders and Rory takes to the Hills 

My uncle Donal used to tell me how his grandfather often told him that when Limerick at last surrendered to William of Orange and there looked nothing more to fight for, and that the French flag was set on one hill and William’s flag on another for choice of the Irish fighters as they marched out; and when these thronged solid to the French, with brave Patrick Sarsfield at their head, one rough fellow, Rory, who in the fighting had drawn everyone’s admiration, so reckless he was,--this Rory struck away on his own.  A 
captain of Sarsfield’s headed for King Louis’s flag, seeing Rory strike off by himself, called, “Rory, aren’t you coming with us to France?” “No!” Rory answered , shortly “You’re surely not going to William?” “No,no!” said Rory.  “In the Lord’s name, are you making no choice?” “I’m choosing Ireland.” “You’re mad.  Ireland’s lost, and there isn’t a solitary soul left to fight for her.” “You’re standing on Ireland,” Rory said, like that. “And I’m to fight for her.”  “But  you haven’t even a handful behind you, and England has a hundred thousand.” “I ‘ll have be hind me an army more plentiful,” said Rory, “than the hairs on your head.”  “What do you mean?”  “Every angel God can spare He will strap a sword on and send to my helping--and England’s hundred thousand will melt like the mists before us.”  “When? “ asked the captain with a chuckle. “In God’s own good time.  Maybe in a year, maybe five hundred years; but, be it soon or be it long. Rory wins.” And his gun on his shoulder, Rory turned away and headed to the hills. 

50. Magical Theft 

Well, these women were just ordinary country women like you still see around except that they were able to work this magic, whatever way they did it.  If you had cows, they could take the “profit” of them from you.   The milk you got from the cows would be useless, insipid and lifeless, and they would have the butter for themselves.  There was a man living near here one time and he had eight cows.  Day in day out, he used to see this hare running about, in and out among the cows in his fields.  He didn’t know what the hare was doing there, but he did notice that he was making nothing from the milk his cows were giving-- it was just like water.  He had a dog, a pure black hound, and they say that a hound without a speck of white in  it that has a rod of the rowan tree tied around its neck is the only animal that can catch a hare like that.  So one day when he saw the hare among the cows, he loosed the hound after her.  Hound and hare coursed the fields back and forward and finally the hare made a jump over a high stone wall and the hound caught her by the leg and broke it.  The  man knew that the hound had caught the hare, and when he came up to where they were what did he find there only an old hag who lived in the locality sitting by the wall with the blood pouring out of her.  The hag was brought home and some time after that she died and the man went to the wake.  The were going round with the whiskey at the hag’s wake and he was offered a glass too.  “Here, drink a glass for the old woman.” they said.  Indeed, I won’t” said he  “for I got my fill of her”.  May morning was a terrible time for working charms of all kinds but especially for stealing the “profit” of your milk.  One May morning this man was coming up through Altnapaste and he saw this hag, back and forward through a field, pulling an iron chain  after her and this is what she was saying: “Come all to me, come all to me.” The man was riding on horseback on the road and watching all this and he shouts: “The half of it for  me.” That was all there was to that but when he got home he noticed that his cows had an awful lot of milk.  All the vessels he had about the house were filled to overflowing with milk.  He told the priest about it and eventually things were  put right again. He had got half of what the old hag had been asking for herself. 

51. A worse than Cromwell 

Cromwell was very bad but the drink is worse.  For a good many that Cromwell killed should go to heaven, but those that are drunk never see heaven.  And as to drink, a man that takes the first glass is as quiet and as merry as a pet lamb; and after the second glass he is as knacky as a monkey; and after the third glass he is as ready for battle as a lion; and after the fourth glass he is like as swine  as he is. “I am thirsty” Tha Tort Orm,” that was one of our Lord’s seven words on the Cross, where he was dry.  And a man far off would have  given him drink; but there was a drunkard at the foot of the Cross, and he prevented him. 

52. Willie Brennan 

Brennan was born in Kilmurry, near Kilworth.  He listed in the army and then he deserted out of it.  They were hunting him around the country day and night.  One day outside at Leary’s Bridge, Brennan met the Pedlar Bawn.  I  never heard him called by another name.  The Pedlar was traveling for a firm in Cork, going about the country selling different kinds of things.  Brennan put the blunderbuss up to him and made him hand out what he had watch and chain and all.  Then the Pedlar asked him to give hi m some token to show to the people of the firm in Cork that he had met him.  “Tell them that you met Brennan the Highwayman.” “Give me some token that you met me, or I’ll be put to jail,” said the Pedlar.  “What have I to do for you?” asked Brennan. “Fire a shot through this side of my old coat,” said the Pedlar.  He did.  “Fire another through this side now,” said the Pedlar.  So he did.  “Here! Said the Pedlar. “Fire another through my old hat.” Brennan did.  “Come!” said the Pedlar. “Fire another through my old cravat.” 
“I have no more ammunition,” said Brenna. The Pedlar then drew a pistol, whenever he had it  hid. “Come! Said he. “Deliver!” Brennan had to deliver, quick and lively too!  “You’re a smarter man than me,” said he. “All I ever went through, I robbed army, men and lords, and you beat me.  Will you make a comrade for me?”  The Pedlar only flung his pack over the ditch.  “I will,” said he.  “I’ll stand a loyal comrade until my dying day.” And so he was, a loyal comrade. 
“We’ll go along to County Tipperary, “ said Brennan.  “Tis a wealthy county.  There’s agents and landlords and there going around the country gathering the rent in the houses, and we’ll whip them going back in the evening.”  So the two of them went along to the County Tipperary.  Brennan went in to a widow there one morning.  The poor woman was crying and lamenting.  He asked her what was the matter with her.  “What good is it for me to tell you, my good man? Said she.  She didn’t know  but he was a tramp. “How do you know? “ Said he.  “The agent is coming here by and by, and I haven’t a halfpenny to give him for the rent, “said she. “Well, what would you say to the man who’d give it to you?” s aid Brennan.  He asked her how much it was, and she told him --five or six pounds, I suppose.  He counted it out to her. “Tell me now,” said he, “the road he goes home in the evening.” She told him the road he’d take after giving the day gathering around.  He made her go down on her knew then and swear to God and to him that she would never tell anyone that she saw him, or mention that anyone gave her the money. Himself and the Pedlar met the agent going home with the money and whipped the whole lot that he had gathered that day .  Brennan is buried over in Kilcrumper near the old church wall. 
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53 . A son of the Dean 

There was a son of Dean Swift was a great rider, and the Dean made him a bet of two hundred pounds that he would not leap over the drop at the edge of the cliffs of Moher, where there is a wall close to the brink.  But the son made a leap  sideways over the wall, that was standing sideways the same as that press, and so he was over the drop in the leap,  but he landed again on the ground.  He won the two hundred pounds doing that.  There was another son of the Dean that was called Fireball, and that used to put his own son standing out in the front of the house and an egg on his head, and he would fire his gun and put the two halves of the egg to different sides.  Hadn’t the son a great nerve to stand and let him do that?  But fireball said he would shoot him if he did not. 

54. Saint Kevin 

One day in spring before the blossoms were on the trees, a young man grievously afflicted with the falling sickness fancied that an apple would cure him, and the dickens an apple tree at all was about the place.  But what mattered that to the Saint! He ordered a score of fine yellow pippins to grow upon a willow, and  the boy gathered and ate and was cured. 

The Saint was one day going up Derrybawn,  and he meets a woman that carried five loaves in her apron. 
“What have ye there, good woman?” says the Saint.   “I have five stones” says she “If they are stones,” says he, “I pray that they may be bread. And if they are bread,” says he, “I pray that they may be stones.” So, with that, the woman lets them fall, and sure enough, stones they were, and are to this day. 

The Saint managed to get from King O’ Toole a grant of the land upon which he built his churches.  The king was old and weak in himself, and took a mighty liking to a goose, a live goose,. And in course of time the goose was  like the master , old and weak.  So O’Toole sent for his Holiness. And his Holiness went to see what would the pagan--for King O’Toole was a heathen--want with him.  “God save ye,” says the Saint.  “God save ye kindly,” says the king. “A better answer than I expected,” says the Saint.  “Will ye make my goose young?” says the king. “What’ll ye give me? Says the Saint. “What’ll ye ask? Says the king.  “All I’ll ask will be as much of the valley as he’ll fly over.” Says the Saint. “Done,” says the king. 
So with that Saint Kevin stoops down, takes up the goose, and flings him up, and away he goes over the lake and  all round the Glen, which in course was the Saint’s hereditary property  from that day  out. 

55 . The Man Who Lost his Shadow 

A man named Brasil bought an island from a Danish chieftain, but the chieftain had to go back to Lochlainn before the bargain was completed.  Brasil had to travel to Lochlainn after him to get the papers from him.  He spent a long time looking for him here and there, until at last he was directed to the chieftain’s castle.  Brasil went in and found the chieftain sitting at a table which was covered with all kinds of documents.  The chieftain welcomed him and gave him food and drink.  Brasil then told him that he had come from Ireland to get the papers dealing with the agreement. “ I have them here,” said the chieftain.  “But maybe you would like to stay here in this place with us.  I promise that you will be well off--better off than you would be at home.” 
“Oh, I wouldn’t stay at any price, “ said Brasil. “Give me the papers and let me be off.” 
“Very well,” said the chieftain.  “But seeing that you won’t   stay with us, I’ll have to keep your shadow instead of yourself”. 
“But I can’t leave that behind,” said poor Brasil.  “I couldn’t live without it.” 
The Dane gave him the papers.  Brasil snatched them from him and rushed out the door like a shot.  But when he was passing the window, the sun cast his shadow in through the window.  The Dane put a big book on top of the shadow and held it there. 
It is said that nobody named Brasil has had a shadow ever since.- 

56 . Saint Finbar 

Long long ago, before Saint Finbar came to Gougane, the little lake was between the mountains, and on a calm day you would like to be looking at it, the water was so still.  At that time there was a small house there and a widow and her son lived in it.  They had one cow, and every day the son would mind the cow while his mother was busy around the house. 
One day when he went down to the lake, what did he see, instead of the water, but an ugly serpent that was almost as big as one of the hills around.  The boy was terrified and he ran home.  They didn’t know from him where the serpent had come or why she came, so there was great excitement around the place.  The serpent remained there and came out every day and  swept off anything she met.  At last the people of the district were ruined, and were afraid to go outside their does. 
Saint Finbar came to the district and the people  begged him to do something for them.  They had no great faith in the saint for the parish priest had spent his time trying to banish the serpent.  That was good and it wasn’t bad. 
One night when the great world was asleep, and the serpent along with them, Saint Finbar went out with tow of his friars.  He never  halted until he reached the lake.  He walked around it three times , praying.  When he reached the mouth of the lake the third time, he stopped, took out a small bottle of  holy water that he had, and sprinkled it three times on the serpent.  The serpent shook herself and let out a roar that shook the hills round about.  Then she moved from where she was and tore and devoured the land until she came to where Lough Loo is today.  She made a bed there for herself.  Next morning she moved on again and never stopped till she reached Cork Harbor.  There she entered the sea. 
Water has filled the track she left behind her , and that’s the River Lee today.  The people of the place were so grateful to Saint Finbar that they drew stones and earth and made a small island in the middle of the lake.  There he built a monastery. 

57. Emmet’s Dress 

It was a pity to hang so fine a man.  I was looking at his picture a while ago, and his dress, very nice, knee breeches and a collar turned over, they dressed very nice in those days.  But now you’ll see a man having a thing stiff the same as a washboard in front of him ,and one button in it, and you wouldn’t know has he a soutane under it or anything at all.  It is likely the linen Emmet was wearing was made at home, for I remember the days when every house had flax sowed in the garden.  There was a man going to be hanged in Galway one time and his wife went to see him the night before, and all s he said was. “Where will I sow the flax this year?”  He was vexed at that and he  said, “Is that all you are come to say to  me?” “Is it that you are in a sulk because you are going to be hanged in the morning?” says the wife.  That was all she said. 

58. Happy for You, Blind Man! 

Happy for you, blind man, who see nothing of women! 
Ah, if you saw what I see you would be sick even as I am . 

Would God I had been blind before I saw her curling hair, her white flanked splendid snowy body; ah, my life is distressful to me. 

I pitied blind men until my peril grew beyond all sorrow, I have changed my pity, though pitiful, to envy; I am ensnared by the maid of the curling locks. 

Alas for him who has seen her, and alas for him who does not see her every day; alas for those trapped in her love, and alas for those who are set free! 

Alas for him who goes to meet her, and alas for him who does not meet her always, alas for him who was with her, and alas for him who is not with her! 
-Irish, Uilliam Ruadh; 16th Century 

59.The Binding 

O’Connell was a great man, wide big arms he had.  It was he left us the cheap tea; to cheapen it he did, that was at  that time a shilling for one bare ounce. His heart is in Rome and his body in Glasnevin.  A lovely man, he would put you on your guard; he was for the country, he was for all Ireland. 

60. The Best Road to Heaven 

There was a woman I knew was very charitable to the poor; and she’d give them the full of her apron of bread, or of potatoes or anything she had.  And she was only lately married.  And one day, a poor woman came to the door with her children and she brought them to the fire, and warned them and gave them a drink of milk; and she sent out to the barn for a bag of potatoes for them.  And the husband came in, and he said:”Kitty, if you go on this way, you won’t leave much for ourselves.” And she said: “He that gave us what we have, can give us more.“   And the next day when they went out to the barn, it was full of potatoes--more than were ever in it before.  And when she was dying, and her children about her, the priest  said to her:”Mrs. Gallagher, it’s in Heaven you’ll be at twelve o’clock tomorrow. 

61.The Black Art 

A man and his wife were living in Malinmore long ago, and they had an only daughter, a young girl.  As with every couple of that kind, the daughter was the apple of their eye. 
One day the father was cutting turf at Rossmore.  When dinnertime came, the mother  sent the girl with food, consisting of some broth in a wooden dish, to her father.  There were only wooden vessels at that time.  The father sat down at the edge of the bog to take his meal.  It was a fine day, and the two of them were  looking out over the s ea.  It wasn’t long until a large sailing ship came into view, making for the mouth of the river. 
“Isn’t that a fine large ship?” said the little girl to her father.  “It is, indeed! “ said he. “I wonder--where is she going to?” said the girl.  “I’d say she was making for Killybegs.” “Well, if I wished so now, she would never reach there, big and all as she is,” said the girl.  “Shut up, you little fool!” said the father.  “What could you do to a ship that’s out on the sea? Have 50.sense in what you say.” The girl made no reply and waited until her father had finished his meal.  Then she took the dish to wash it        in the pool of water in the bog.  When she had done that, she started to play tricks with he dish in the water.  The father was lighting his pipe and took no notice of what she was doing;  he thought  she was only washing the vessel.  Soon she spoke to him.  “Look now, father, and see what I can do with that ship,” said she.  The father looked out to sea and saw that ship, which should have been making for the river mouth, was coming straight for the cliffs below them.    “Who taught  you how to do that?”  he asked.  “My mother,” said she 
“And what are you going to do to the ship when you get her near the shore?” he asked. 
“As  soon as I get her near enough to the rocks, I can turn this dish upside down and the same will happen to the ship on the sea,” said she.  “I see,” said the father. “And you tell me that it was your mother who taught you this?”  “She did, indeed,” said the girl. 
At any rate, the  girl let the ship go free, and it floated out to the open sea again.  The little girl took the dish home, and her father passed no remark on whether what she had learned from her mother as good or bad.  That night, when he returned from the bog, he cleaned and washed himself well and put on his best  suit of clothes.  He left the house that night, and wherever he went, his wife and daughter never saw him again for the rest of their lives.  He was angry to learn that he had married a woman who practiced the black art.  Had she not taught some of it to her daughter, he  would never have found out.  But the girl had let the cat out of the bag, and that left  her without seeing her father any more.  Wasn’t it strange, whatever place he went to, that he was never seen again? 

62.The Terry Alts 

The Terry Alts were a bad class; everything you had they’d  take from you.  It was against herding they began to get the land, the same as at the present time.  And women they would take; a man  maybe that hadn’t a perch of land would go to a rich farmer’s house  and bring away his daughter.  And  I, supposing, to have some spite against you, I’d gather a mob and do every bad thing to destroy you.  That is the way they were, a bad class and doing bad deeds.  One of hem went to confession to the priest, that asked him how many crimes did he do, and he said, “I was at thirteen killings between Clare and Connacht.” He met with a dreadful death.  His tongue came four inches out, that neither priest nor doctor could put it in. 
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63.Finn’s Generosity 

If the brown leaves were gold that the wood lets fall, if the white wave were silver, Finn would have given it all away. 
-Irish 12th Century 

64. Parnell 

Parnell was a very good man, and a just man, and if he had lived to now, Ireland would be different to what it is.  The only thing ever could be said against him was the influence he had with that woman.  And how do we know but that was a thing appointed for him by God?  Parnell had a back to him, but O’Connell stood alone.  He fought a  good war in the House of Commons.  Parnell did a great deal, getting the land.  He wouldn’t like at all that you’d wrong the poor.  I often heard he didn’t die at all--it was very quick for him to go.  I often wondered there were no people smart enough to dig up the coffin and to see what is in it, at night they  could do that.  No one knows in what soil Robert Emmet was buried, but he was made an end of sure enough. Parnell went through Gort one day, and he called it the fag-end of Ireland, just as Lady Morgan called the North the Athens of Ireland. 

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