Thursday, July 18, 2013

In Which I Become Queen of Donegal

If I were to be tellin' you, now, that yesterday morning in Ireland I won a golf tournament while wearing shorts in the blazing summer sun, ye'd be after sayin' I'd kissed the Malarkey Stone.  If I were to add that I'd spent yesterday afternoon rescuing an actual Irish horse trapped in an actual Irish bog, ye'd be excused for thinking' I'd had a nip too much of the whiskey.

But no, I'm tellin' ye,  tis God's honest truth.  So 'tis.  Now the golf tournament may have only been a skins contest among me family on a 12-hole pitch and putt (12 was all they could fit between the driving range and the cows), and I may have been given a stroke per hole, on account of my traditional golfing ineptitude, and my subsequent triumph may have caused certain among me family members to mutter, "sandbagged," and swear never to be givin' me strokes again, but there you have it, a win is a win is what I say.

As for the horse-me not-so-wee daughter and I, along with a mum and two lasses from Belfast, were takin' a trek up the mountain behind Dunfaghy, when of a sudden our guide's horse went hock-deep in an unexpected hole in the bog.  We thought we were on a famine track, see, and yet here was this patch of quicksand.  The mare staggered and fell to her knees, thrashed in deep, went down on her side, and lay still.  And the poor guide, a University student named Katherine, looked at me with the big eyes and said, "what do I do?"  She bein' laid out in the bog herself, like, but fortunately unhurt.  And me daughter with her cool head (unexpected, that), says, "Mum.  Get OFF."  So I dismount my horse, name of Charlie, and give the reins over to my daughter, and stagger through the muck.  And right away I see as how the poor wee mare has her head tied down with the running martingale and all, so I takes that off, and pulls on the reins, and talks to her, encouragin' like, and she thrashes for a bit and then gets to her feet.  And then all that's left is to lead the other horses around the bog-hole, the worst of it, that is, so that my paddock boots will never be the same, may the good Lord have mercy.  And then to comfort the wee ones from Belfast, who were skairt.

But that was my day, and a good day it was, especially after the shower, and the revivin' glass in the hotel bar.  I figure I was Queen of Donegal, at least for the one day.

And if this doesn't convince you why I never write in dialect, then, by Saint Patrick and the angels, nothing will.