CHAPTER FIVE: MY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY INSIDE A DONKEY AND TWO FAMILY ANIMALS LOST IN THE ONE GO (PART TWO)

An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan

An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock, surreal autobiography by a fictional Irish literary figurehead, champion bodhrán player and broadcaster.


AN EARLY CHILDHOOD
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
The first part of Chapter 5 is here.



CHAPTER FIVE: MY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY INSIDE A DONKEY AND TWO FAMILY ANIMALS LOST IN THE ONE GO (PART TWO)


                And wasn’t the whole parish only deserted save for the tumbleweed rolling across the dirt when I got back. And me all red and withered and I collapsed in Mister Deakey’s coal scuttle and I dozed for nigh on twenty minutes, marking off each minute with the piece of chalk as I’d learned to do in the olden days inside the consciously-challenged Massal Donkey.
                So, I thought, sure maybe I’m nonplussed and I miscalculated, maybe it’s Sunday and me thinking it was No-Fish day, which would’ve been Thursday, when people got their bit of meat into them before Friday, and perhaps everyone’s in the church attending Mass as I remembered vaguely that people used to do before I began my excursion.
                Anyway, in all reality, Father Rorty was standing at his pulpit, in the church, addressing the largest congregation that there ever was gathered in that church or ever has been since, the tears rolling down one cheek and the mirror image of those tears rolling down the other cheek, except it wasn’t the mirror image, I was only saying that by way of being poetic. And Father Rorty stifles a sob, as he insists to the whole parish that:
                “We offer this Mass for a great young lad, Paddy Flanagan, the finest, most intelligent and stimulating fellow this parish has ever borne witness to.”
                In front of the whole parish he says this, and next thing a barrel of vinegar comes rolling down the centre aisle and to a halt at the foot of the altar. And who should roll out of the barrel all clean and shiny thanks to the vinegar bath only me, Paddy Flanagan, at me own feckin’ funeral service! Well, the whispers were flying at this stage, and finally Father Rorty looks down at me, lets a cry of shock out of him, and he says, he says:
                “Flanagan, where on God’s good Earth have you been for the last five months?”
                And that’s when I used my dry, nonchalant, rhetorical style, and I pointed at the barrel, soaked as I was in the vinegar, and I says:
                “Sure, I got into a bit of a pickle!” and I turned towards the congregation, extending my arms, and I roared with a big burst out of me: “I’ve only been inside a donkey for four months!”
                And the choir erupted with mellifluous laughter, and the congregation wept for joy, particularly Mother, and didn’t Judge Rarely-Smyled beam at me and claim that one day I would replace Mayor Tully and become mayor of the whole diocese?
                And we returned home, all the brothers and sisters and me walking down the street and Mother in tow with a bell and a crozier that the good bishop had given her, and with a parade of delighted folks behind me, and my dog-bitch curly-haired white poodle with the brown hind legs, Ponsettia, oh she with the heavy burthen of a hundred-and-eight dog autumns on her shoulders, she teethered out of the house and onto the walkway half-blind and half-crippled dividing the lawn in two and when she looked up and saw me alive and well – and got a good shniff of me to make sure I was alive and well and that it was me – more importantly, and not some pickled stunt double – didn’t she only keel over onto her back, legs akimbo in the position she used to go when looking for a fondle and didn’t she die there and then, her animal spirit egressing her body and into the egg of a hatchling in Main Park which was just about to hatch. God love her.

Chapter 6 begins here.