The Man Who Had No Story

The Man Who Had No Story

16 June 2015,   By ,   0 Comments

a tale from Ireland

Once there was a man who lived in Barr an Ghaoith long ago, his name was Brian Ó Braonachain. He would cut rods, make them into baskets, and sell them. One day there wasn’t a rod he hadn’t already cut, made into a basket, and sold; Brian didn’t know what to do. There was a little glen outside of Barr an Ghaoith people called Alt an Torr, with the finest rods growing there, but nobody cut them because they thought it was a fairy glen.

Brian decided to go cut a few rods there, so he told his wife and she made him some lunch. So he went to the glen, and it wasn’t long until he had a good amount of rods. The man started to tie the rods together so he could carry them back home, when a terrible fog settled in. The man decided to sit down and eat his lunch, hoping the fog will be gone the time he was done, but once he finished lunch it got really dark. Brian got up, he was really scared now, he looked around and saw a light and started to go to it thinking that where light is there must be people.

The man followed the light through the dark, and tripped and fell the whole time. Soon enough the man came upon a house. The house was owned by a man and a woman who welcomed Brian into their home and invited him to sit by the fire. The three of them talked for a while, it was not long until the man asked Brian to tell a story. “Well that is something I have never done before.” said Brian, “Well then at least get a bucket of water from the well to do something for your keep.”  Said the woman.“ Anything except tell a story,” said Brian.

He got the bucket and went down to the well and filled it with water. Suddenly a big blast of wind came out of nowhere and blew him up into the sky. Once he fell to the ground everything around him was unfamiliar, he was no longer at the man and woman’s house. He saw a light and figured that where there is light there must be people, so he followed it. It was so dark that he tripped and fell the whole time.

He came upon a very large house, much larger than the first. The house was a wake-up house with many men and a curly black-haired girl in a chair, who asked him to sit in the chair beside her. He had not been sitting long when one of the men said “It is a lonely wake we are having tonight, someone must get a fiddler so we can dance.”

The girl said “Oh, there is no need for that, the best fiddler in Ireland is among us tonight; Brian Ó Braonachain of Barr an Ghaoith.”

“Oh,” said Brian “that is something I’ve never done in my life.”

“Oh,” the girl said “don’t make me a liar; you are the very man who can fiddle.”

Brian knew he had the fiddle in his hand, so he played away and they danced away, everybody listening said that nobody could fiddle like Brian. A big man said that they must stop dancing, “We must get the priest so we can say Mass, this corpse must get out of here before daybreak.”

“Oh,” said the girl “there is no need to get the priest, we already have the best priest in Ireland right here; Brian Ó Braonachain.”

“Oh,” said Brian “that is something I have never done before.”

“Don’t worry,” said the girl “you will do it as good as you did the rest.”

Before Brian knew it he was standing before the altar, so he started to say Mass and gave out prayers. Everyone listening said that no other priest in Ireland could preach as well as Brian. They then put the corpse into a coffin; four men put the coffin on their shoulders and walked off west until they came upon the graveyard. The graveyard had a large wall that was very high, everybody had to climb up the wall one by one and drop down on the other side. The last person to climb the wall was Brian, once he got to the top of the wall and was ready to drop down to the other side, a huge blast of wind came and flung Brian into the sky.

When Brian landed, he was beside the well where he was before, and the bucket of water was still there. Brian took the bucket and went into the man and woman’s house and when the man asked him to tell a story again, Brian told them what happened with the curly black-haired girl and the corpse and what happened after.

“Well, Brian” said the man “from now on if anyone asks you to tell a story, tell them that story and you’ll be the man with a story to tell.” The woman then made Brian a good supper and let him sleep at their house, it didn’t take Brian long until he fell asleep, with all that’s happened to him that night.

When Brian woke up he was in Alt an Torr with his two bundles of rods next to him. Brian got up and went home and never cut a rod again.


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