Two Charming Stories from Ireland, by Rev. Desmond Porter
Tales of Horses - or Tail of a Horse
My Dad had upwards of 30 Clydesdale horses, used for pulling his coal carts.
In size they were absolutely giganticus! Extremely strong, yet by nature, very gentle and docile creatures. However; I was ever so slightly afraid of them. I hasten to say, this was not their fault. It was just that I was young, and smallicus!
Every summer, around the 1st of May, some 15 of these wonderful beasts would set off, for their summer holidays!
With heads held high, clip-clop, clop-clip, in single file, they would set off from the coal quay to walk almost 30 miles. Accompanied by the carters, they were journeying to a farm where they would spend their time eating and doing nothing, in the lush green fields!
The 1st of July comes. The remaining batch of 15 horses made the clip-clop to the farm. The holiday makers would return. Once September arrived they were all back together to begin the busy winter season again.
It was one of my childhood memories. The sight, the sound of these lovely animals, as I watched them going by. In strict single file. Nose to tail. Well tucked into the side of the road. Along with their minders. Plod, plodding, rapidly, to and fro, their well earned summer holidays. In the country!
The Wrong End of the Stick !
Let me tell you something about a late dear friend. An exceptionally happy and most kind colleague Minister of mine in Ireland. He was born in Saskatatchewan in the very northern part of that cold Province of Canada.
He became a skilled lumberjack in the vast Churchill River area. Felling, sawing, the tall trees. Leaping from one to another, guiding them thru the ferocious river waters to the saw mills. In the early thirties, he, with his wife and family, emigrated. To (you'll not believe this !) Ireland! From whence his forbears came.
The following years saw him become, an extremely wealthy man. Owner of two supermarkets, plus a couple of post-offices. He set all this aside. Leaving his family, he studied at the Unitarian College Manchester for the Church, and was Ordained at the age of 66.
He was as happy as the day was long, and was a much beloved Minister; for 12 years. After which he bought a farm.
One day, driving over his land, he spotted a mischievous tree branch. Fetching a saw, next thin he was up on the branch, zzzzz cutting away. Suddenly! Too late! He realised, he was on, TH WRONG END!
He fell several feet into long grass, then rolled down. Plop, into the shallow waters of a strean All without any hurt, hindrance, or harm. Except! From that day, right up until his late ninetie he ever sparkled and laughed at the lumberjack, who FORGOT, to be a lumberjack.