An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan
AN EARLY CHILDHOOD
Please check out the first part of the first chapter here.
The first part of Chapter 2 is here.
The second part of Chapter 2 is here.
The first part of Chapter 4 is here.The second part is here.
The third part of Chapter 4 is here.
CHAPTER FIVE: MY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY INSIDE A DONKEY AND TWO FAMILY ANIMALS LOST IN THE ONE GO (PART ONE)
After my recovery, Mother thought it would be a good thing if I got out to see the countryside a bit, and take in the fresh country air, reeking of manure. But Mother’s smell wasn’t the important thing: Twas her insistence that I go to recuperate.
So she set a task for me, and it was an errand whereby I had to go two hundred miles inland to Aunt Molly’s farmhouse and drink two kegs of stout before returning home to build up the shtrengt. So I climbed up onto the donkey, Massal Byug Dove is what we called him, because he cooed like a pigeon, to begin my travels. And didn’t the donkey only stay where he was and he refused to budge, refusing to move a muscle out of him ar chor ar bith, until I had the brilliant idea whereby I dangled a half-eaten cabbage on a piece of fishing string affixed to a fishing rod before his very eyes, and he took off after that cabbage, me running ahead of him scared to the life of me that I be thrampled underfoot, all him interested in being the cabbage.
That beast of burden had ambitions above his station about eating that vegetable, and he effectively wanted it beyond all comprehension, on pain of death indeed, be that my death or his own. So we were halfway through the mountains and didn’t it only begin to snow three weeks into the journey, and me in me stocking feet and the donkey unhoofered with a lack of shoes and the frostbite wreaking into our bodies, causing haemorrhaging in me feet and my ankles and mar shin we had to keep going, trodging on through the bitter winter cold with nothing but a rod and a cabbage for company.
So then, two days into the fierce weatherstorm, doesn’t the donkey only keel over and expire? So I tore a hole in his underbelly with my Shurnuff Barlow knife and crawled into his stomach. And I moved in there for four months, while the Polar Eye Scaps stared down at me from on high like the frigid demon that he was. Using the donkey’s duodenum as a tap for running water and the sewerage going out through his epididemus.
And the weather-god gave up trying to put me out of my icy misery, finally, on April twenty-fourth, when the snow began to melt in great sheets of mist, and I knew the date from the chalk marks I’d made on the beast’s rib cage, as if I was in a prison cell, and not the dead donkey.
And the sheep that survived that winter in Ireland were forever more known as lucky sheep, in that they were more strivulent than the dead sheep that didn’t survive. That type of sheep, the dead kind, were known forever more as the sheep that ended up stuck and eventually buried under twelve to fifteen feet of snow. And them dead now.
And I’d survived that winter, against all the odds. And not only that, but I gained an understanding as to what it must be like to be a pre-natal assfoal. So I counted myself as being pretty inordinate in the strivulence stakes, rather like the lucky sheep.
So I clambered back out of the beast, trudging back towards my home parish, having given up all hope of reaching Aunty Molly’s. I was of course without the animal, which would have made a fine stew, but sure, I was caked in dried, coagulated blood and exhausterasperated with my experience. A little deflathered and miserable, because sure I didn’t even see one liquid quarter ounce of that stout. But I saw two barrels of dry wine on my way home, outside the vinegar factory, and I knocked back one of them in one go and began rolling the other one down the mountain. Absolutely twisted drunk I was, as I stumbled towards my parish, the vinegar manager chasing after me, unable to catch be being bogged down with too much age and a dicky lung and the bog.
Me slaggin’ him, taunting out of me to him:
“Run, run, as fast as you can, but I can outrun the vinegar man!”
So I eventually returned to the parish, with a bit of adventure in evading the vinegar man by manoeuvring over that bog that he sank into and drownded in were it not for the fishing line I threw to him, and him so murderous grateful that he let me away with it, barrel and all.
To Be Continued in Part 2 here.