The Black Bitch and other Tales – He Who Laughs Last and Technique, Kerry Style by Geoff Cronin

He Who Laughs Last

A farmer and a shopkeeper in a small town were at loggerheads over a piece of land. Solicitors’ letters had been exchanged and a court case was imminent when the farmer called on his solicitor to find out how things stood.

“Well,” said the learned lawyer, “I’ve had counsel’s opinion, which you can read for yourself, and you’ll see he says that you haven’t a hope of winning the case.”

The farmer scratched his head and said, “surely there’s something we can do?”
But the solicitor shook his head and pointed to the counsel’s opinion.

At that point the farmer brightened up and smiling said, “how would it be if I sent a turkey to the judge?”

The solicitor was horrified at the suggestion of even the thought of such a move.

“If you did that,” he said, “you’d almost certainly land in jail for perverting justice and perhaps contempt of court as well.”

“Well anyway,” said the farmer, “let the case go to court, I’m not going to give in to a bloody shopkeeper.”

It was well known at that time that farmers thought that a shopkeeper had a soft job, with nothing to do but take money over the counter and put it in the till and he was in out of the weather too. At the same time, the shopkeeper felt that the farmers only came into town to run up bills, the payment of which always depended on the harvest, the price of cattle of some other damn thing and could be strung out from one harvest to another.

To sum up, the farmers and shopkeepers were, at best, uneasy bedfellows and this farmer was not about to ‘bend the knee’.

In the event, the case went to court and contrary to all expectations the judge found in the favour of the farmer. The solicitor was surprised, counsel was amazed but the farmer was not.

“How the hell did that happen?” The solicitor asked the barrister.

“I think I know,” said the farmer. “It was probably because I sent a turkey to the judge.”

“You did WHAT?” said the barrister.

“Don’t worry,” said the farmer. “I put the shopkeeper’s name on the gift tag!”

There are more ways to etc… etc.

* * *

Technique – Kerry Style

The motorist and his wife were touring around County Kerry and having spent a comfortable night in a Bed & Breakfast establishment they now partook of the ‘Full Irish’ and were planning their itinerary for the day ahead. A local map indicated a ‘Lake Drive’ within easy reach and it was decided to take that route.

The sun was shining as they set off and the winding road was easy driving and when they turned a bend the scene confronting them was really a picture begging to be taken.

On a hillock stood a single donkey held by a lad of about twelve and seated on the donkey’s back was a black and white collie dog. In the background and slightly to the right was a small lake shimmering in the sunlight.

The motorist grabbed his camera, checked the setting and took two shots of the scene delighted to have come upon such an opportunity. He was heading back to the car when the boy approached falling into step with the man and saying:

“Did you get a nice picture of us sir? I trained that dog meself and I only have to say “get up Rex and do your work” and he jumps up and sits on the donkey and do ye know sir, I’m training another dog too and next year please God, I’ll have the two of them on the donkey and wouldn’t that make a great picture?”

“Well,” said the man, “do you come here every day?”

“Seven days a week sir,” came the reply.

Now they were at the car and the man’s wife had the window open, listening to the soft Kerry voice.

“And,” continued the man, “do many tourists stop to take your photograph?”

“Well some of them do and some of them don’t,” said the boy, now standing close to the open car window and smiling shyly at ‘the wife’.

“So, do they pay you for your trouble?” said the man, walking straight into the trap.

“Ah God sir,” said the lad, “I wouldn’t ask anyone for money, but at the same time sir, you’d count a person very mean if they didn’t give you something!”

Half a crown changed hands, the boy doffed his cap and smiled broadly as he said “thank you sir, thank you ma’am.”

©Geoff Cronin 2008

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:


26 thoughts on “The Black Bitch and other Tales – He Who Laughs Last and Technique, Kerry Style by Geoff Cronin

  1. Pingback: The Black Bitch and other Tales – He Who Laughs Last and Technique, Kerry Style by Geoff Cronin | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Opera, Film, Books, Humour and Authors who rock. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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