King O'Toole and His Goose
Och, 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,
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
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
particular; and from the rising o' the sun, up he got,
and away he
went over the mountains after the deer; and fine times
Well, it was all mighty good, as long as the king had
but, you see, in course of time the king grew old, by raison
stiff in his limbs, and when he got stricken in years,
failed him, and he was lost entirely for want o' diversion,
he couldn't go a-hunting no longer; and, by dad, the poor
obliged at last to get a goose to divert him. Oh, you may
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
the lake, and go diving for trout, and catch fish on a
the king, and flew every other day round about the lake,
the poor king. All went on mighty well until, by dad, the
stricken in years like her master, and couldn't divert
longer, and then it was that the poor king was lost entirely.
king was walkin' one mornin' by the edge of the lake, lamentin'
cruel fate, and thinking of drowning himself, that could
diversion in life, when all of a sudden, turning round
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
You see it was Saint Kavin, sure enough--the saint himself
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
"Blur-an-agers, how came ye to know about my goose?" says
"Oh, no matter; I was given to understand it," says
After some more talk the king
says, "What are you?"
"I'm an honest man," says
"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
"Is it a tinker you are?" says
"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 new?"
My dear, at the word of making his goose as good as new,
the poor old king's eyes were ready to jump out of his
that the king whistled, and down came the poor goose, just
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
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
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
first offer, after I make her as good as new?"
"I will," says the
"You won't go back o' your word?" says
"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,
ould cripple, and it's I that'll make you the sporting
that, my dear, he took up the goose by the two wings--"Criss
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
jist givin' her a blast to help her; and with that, my
took to her heels, flyin' like one o' the eagles themselves,
cutting as many capers as a swallow before a shower of
Well, my dear, it was a beautiful sight to see the king
with his mouth open, looking at his poor old goose flying
as a lark, and better than ever she was: and when she lit
feet, patted her on the head, and "_Ma vourneen_," says
"but you are the _darlint_ o' the world."
"And what do you say to me," says 'Saint Kavin, "for
making her the
"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
"And that I'm beholden to you," says
"But will you gi'e me all the ground the goose flew
"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
"As true as the sun," says
"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
him, and then it was that he made himself known to the
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
"Musha! then," says the king, "who
"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
"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
"I am," says Saint
"By Jabers, I thought I was only talking to a dacent
boy," says the
"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
property, as I told you, until the day of his death--and
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
trout, it was a thieving horse-eel; and instead of the
a trout for the king's supper--by dad, the eel killed the
goose--and small blame to him; but he didn't ate her, because
darn't ate what Saint Kavin had laid his blessed hands