The Lobster Pot by Geoff Cronin
One evening in late summer, two guys from the Skerries (Co Dublin) area decided to go over to the Island to shoot rabbits. So they put their rifle into the punt followed by a case of beer – in case they became overcome by thirst – and in due course they arrived on the island and spent the next few hours shooting rabbits and drinking cans of beer.
When the beer was all gone they went back to where the punt was moored, loaded their bag of rabbits and as dark was descending they set off in the best of form for the mainland.
They proceeded at a leisurely pace, and after a while the pangs of hunger, helped by cans of beer began to appear and they fell to talking about what they might have for supper.
“A nice bit of fried rabbit would be just the thing,” remarked one.
“Or maybe a couple of those small ones with a few onions,” said his companion.
A short silence ensued while these propositions were contemplated.
“D’ye know, said the first man, what would go down a treat with the rabbit?”
“No, what?” said his mate.
“A lobster,” exclaimed the first.
“Not a bad idea,” said the other, “but where d’ye think we’re goin’ to get a lobster?”
“Pull over to that float with the black flag on it,” replied his pal, “that marks a lobster pot.”
So they pulled up to the float, grabbed the rope underneath and pulled up the pot which contained a fair size lobster.
They extracted the lobster and put him in the bottom of the boat, laughing and smiling hugely at each other. They were about to put the pot back in the water when they paused and one of them said.
“All the same, it’s a bit mean to take a man’s lobster and give him nothing for it.”
“I agree,” said the other one, “but we have nothing we could give him.”
At this point a certain type of semi-drunk logic took over and the first man ventured.
“Why don’t we give him a rabbit?”
The clarity of the solution was of course, self-evident and they smiled as they put a large rabbit into the pot and dropped it into the sea. They felt much better now that they had solved the great dilemma and they happily rowed ashore and disembarked carrying the gun, the rabbits and the lobster.
The next morning a certain fisherman rowed out to the little black flag which marked his lobster pot and when he pulled in the pot – lo and behold there was a rabbit in it.
He rowed frantically ashore, went straight into the local pub and ordered a large brandy, telling his story to the landlord, saying that it was the work of the Devil. He smiled indulgently and said.
“Sit down, calm yourself old man, you’ll be alright in a while.”
The truth of the matter emerged eventually, but not before vague rumours about rabbits trying to get to the mainland by burrowing under the sea was well aired in the village.
* * *
Ask a Silly Question
A builder’s labourer, carrying a hod full of bricks, was seen hopping across a nine inch plank which spanned a forty-foot drop between two sections of the building being worked.
The foreman, having a near heart attack, blew his whistle and called the man down and asked him why he was hopping in such a dangerous situation.
The guy said, “well, I was afraid the plank wouldn’t take my full weight!”
About Geoff Cronin – 1923 – 2017
There were few jobs that Geoff could not turn his hands to, and over the years he mastered an impressive number of professional undertakings. Master baker and confectioner, mobile cinema operator, salesman, band leader, senior executive and master wood turner, storyteller and writer.
Geoff Cronin published his first book in 2005 at age 82. The Colour of Life is a collection of stories of life in Waterford during his childhood and early adulthood in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. This was followed by two further books that related tales of further adventures in Waterford and Dublin.
Thank you for dropping in today and you can read The Colour of Life and the previous chapters of The Black Bitch in this directory: