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King O'toole and His Goose
CH, I thought all the world, far and near, had heerd o' King
O'Toole—well, well, but the darkness of mankind is
untellible! Well, sir, you must know, as you didn't hear it
afore, that there was a king, called King O'Toole, who was a
fine old king in the old ancient times, long ago; and it was
he that owned the churches in the early days. The king, you
see, was the right sort; he was the real boy, and loved
sport as he loved his life, and hunting in particular; and
from the rising o' the sun, up he got, and away he went over
the mountains after the deer; and fine times they were.
Well, it was all mighty good, as long as the king had his
health; but, you see, in course of time the king grew old,
by raison he was stiff in his limbs, and when he got
stricken in years, his heart failed him, and he was lost
entirely for want o' diversion, because he couldn't go
a-hunting no longer; and, by dad, the poor king was obliged
at last to get a goose to divert him. Oh, you may laugh, if
you like, but it's truth I'm telling you; and the way the
 diverted him was this-a-way: You see, the goose used
to swim across the lake, and go diving for trout, and catch
fish on a Friday for the king, and flew every other day
round about the lake, diverting the poor king. All went on
mighty well until, by dad, the goose got stricken in years
like her master, and couldn't divert him no longer, and then
it was that the poor king was lost entirely. The king was
walkin' one mornin' by the edge of the lake, lamentin' his
cruel fate, and thinking of drowning himself, that could get
no diversion in life, when all of a sudden, turning round
the corner, who should he meet but a mighty decent young man
coming up to him.
"God save you," says the king to the young man.
"God save you kindly, King O'Toole," says the young man.
"True for you," says the king. "I am King O'Toole," says he,
"prince and plennypennytinchery of these parts," says he;
"but how came ye to know that?" says he.
 "Oh, never mind," says St. Kavin.
You see it was Saint Kavin, sure enough—the saint himself
in disguise, and nobody else. "Oh, never mind," says he, "I
know more than that. May I make bold to ask how is your
goose, King O'Toole?" says he.
"Blur-an-agers, how came ye to know about my goose?" says
"Oh, no matter; I was given to understand it," says Saint
After some more talk the king says, "What are you?"
"I'm an honest man," says Saint Kavin.
"Well, honest man," says the king, "and how is it you make
your money so aisy?"
"By makin' old things as good as new," says Saint Kavin.
"Is it a tinker you are?" says the king.
"No," says the saint; "I'm no tinker by trade, King O'Toole;
I've a better trade than a tinker," says he—"what would
you say," says he, "if I made your old goose as good as
My dear, at the word of making his goose as good as new,
you'd think the poor old king's eyes were ready to jump out
of his head. With that the king whistled, and down came the
poor goose, just like a hound, waddling up to the poor
cripple, her master, and as like him as two peas. The minute
the saint clapt his eyes on the goose, "I'll do the job for
you," says he, "King O'Toole."
"By Jaminee!" says King O'Toole, "if you do, I'll say
you're the cleverest fellow in the seven parishes."
"Oh, by dad," says St. Kavin, "you must say more nor
that—my horn's not so soft all out," says he, "as to repair
 your old goose for nothing; what'll you gi' me if I do the job
for you?—that's the chat," says St. Kavin.
"I'll give you whatever you ask," says the king; "isn't
"Divil a fairer," says the saint; "that's the way to do
business. Now," says he, "this is the bargain I'll make with
you, King O'Toole: will you gi' me all the ground the goose
flies over, the first offer, after I make her as good as
"I will," says the king.
"You won't go back o' your word?" says St. Kavin.
"Honour bright!" says King O'Toole, holding out his fist.
"Honour bright!" says St. Kavin, back agin, "it's a bargain.
Come here!" says he to the poor old goose—come here,
you unfortunate ould cripple, and it's I that'll make you the
sporting bird." With that, my dear, he took up the goose by
the two wings—"Criss o' my cross an you," says he, markin'
her to grace with the blessed sign at the same minute—and
throwing her up in the air, "whew," says he, jist givin' her
a blast to help her; and with that, my jewel, she took to
her heels, flyin' like one o' the eagles themselves, and
cutting as many capers as a swallow before a shower of rain.
Well, my dear, it was a beautiful sight to see the king
standing with his mouth open, looking at his poor old goose
flying as light as a lark, and better than ever she was: and
when she lit at his feet, patted her on the head, and "Ma
vourneen," says he, "but you are the
darlint o' the world."
"And what do you say to me," says Saint Kavin, "for making
her the like?"
 "By Jabers," says the king, "I say nothing beats the art o'
man, barring the bees."
"And do you say no more nor that?" says Saint Kavin.
"And that I'm beholden to you," says the king.
"But will you gi'e me all the ground the goose flew over?"
says Saint Kavin.
"I will," says King O'Toole, "and you're welcome to it,"
says he, "though it's the last acre I have to give."
"But you'll keep your word true?" says the saint.
"As true as the sun," says the king.
"It's well for you, King O'Toole, that you said that
 word," says he; "for if you didn't say that word,
the devil the bit
o' your goose would ever fly agin."
When the king was as good as his word, Saint Kavin was
pleased with him, and then it was that he made himself known
to the king. "And," says he, "King O'Toole, you're a decent
man, for I only came here to try you. You don't know me,"
says he, "because I'm disguised."
"Musha! then," says the king, "who are you?"
"I'm Saint Kavin," said the saint, blessing himself.
"Oh, queen of heaven!" says the king, making the sign of the
cross between his eyes, and falling down on his knees before
the saint; "is it the great Saint Kavin," says he, "that
I've been discoursing all this time without knowing it,"
says he, "all as one as if he was a lump of a
gossoon?—and so you're a saint?" says the king.
"I am," says Saint Kavin.
"By Jabers, I thought I was only talking to a dacent boy,"
says the king.
"Well, you know the difference now," says the saint. "I'm
Saint Kavin," says he, "the greatest of all the saints."
And so the king had his goose as good as new, to divert him
as long as he lived: and the saint supported him after he
came into his property, as I told you, until the day of his
death—and that was soon after; for the poor goose thought
he was catching a trout one Friday; but, my jewel, it was a
mistake he made—and instead of a trout, it was a thieving
horse-eel; and instead of the goose killing a trout for the
king's supper—by dad, the eel killed the king's
goose—and small blame to him; but he didn't ate her,
because he darn't ate what Saint Kavin had laid his
blessed hands on.