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Tipperary – The Place – The Time – Thurles

“Historians have failed miserably to record notable facts, particularly regarding significant happenings in American history”, said Ethan Fernandez a Spanish American tourist who was visiting Thurles last week.  Mr Fernandez was having lunch in the Arch Bar, in Liberty Square, and was querying what holiday makers actually got up to in rural Co. Tipperary.

Regular customer and local historian, Mikey Ryan just happened to be in for his normal liquid lunch, when he heard the verbal query, aimed at no customer in particular, issue from the lips of Mr Fernandez.  “Begod”, said Mickey, “It’s not widely known, particularly in America, but the British Royal Family actually originally came from this neck of the woods.”

And so the conversation began; “You here in Ireland will not be aware that Geronimo, the once prominent leader and medicine man of the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, in his teenage years, having proven his bravery, was ordered to choose a wife”, began Mr Fernandez.

“He searched carefully through his village, eventually choosing the most beautiful of squaws (Squaw meaning ‘woman’) by the name of Chee-hash-kish and a couple of days prior to his wedding day, he rode his pony from ‘Turkey Creek’ to the ‘Indian Rock’ trading post, informing the proprietor that; “I am marrying the most beautiful squaw in my tribe and I wish to purchase a very special wedding gift for her.”

Mr Fernandez continued; “The trading post proprietor thought carefully, before suggesting a large soft buffalo hide, Now price agreed and purchase made, Geronimo following his wedding, rolled up in his buffalo hide each night with his new squaw.”

“Soon Geronimo, because of his continued bravery, was allowed by his tribe’s elders to take a second wife. Once again he searched carefully through his village, eventually choosing the most beautiful of squaws available; her name Heavier-than-air.”

“Once again, some days prior to his wedding, Geronimo galloped his pony to the ‘Indian Rock’ trading post, informing the proprietor that; “I am marrying the most beautiful squaw in my tribe and I wish to purchase a very special wedding gift to present to her.”

In an atmosphere in the Arch Bar, where you could hear a pin drop Mr Fernandez continued; “Aware of the gift to his first wife, the trading post owner suggested a beautiful bear hide, which Geronimo eagerly accepted”.

“As every historian is aware Geronimo went on to become the Chief of his Indian nation, thus earning himself the right to select a third wife; her name Zi-yeh. Jumping on his pony, some few days prior to his wedding, he again galloped to ‘Indian Rock’ trading post, informing the proprietor;  “Last month I became big Chief of my Indian nation, I soon will marry the most beautiful squaw in my tribe and I wish to purchase a very special wedding gift to give her.”

“The proprietor offered him a rare tanned hippopotamus hide, the only known article of its type in America, with the promise that it would never wear out. Pleased with his gift he returned to his village to marry his third wife”.

“Some weeks later Geronimo decided to finally settle down, but not before making the conscious decision to start a family. And true to his promise some weeks later all three squaws announced that they were pregnant.  When they gave birth some nine months later, the squaw on the buffalo hide had given birth to a baby girl, while the squaw on the bear hide had given birth to a baby boy. The squaw however on the hippopotamus hide had given birth to twins; a baby boy and a baby girl.”

“Now this Mr Ryan is what mathematical students will not be aware of today, solely due to the dismal failure of historians”, said Mr Fernandez, cutting the air with his index finger, “this important occurrence further confirms the earlier geometrical theory, by the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who first proved that the Squaw on the Hippopotamus is Equal to the Sum of the Squaws on the other two Hides.”

“Sure, mine is a pint of Guinness”, said Mickey, “that’s if you’re buying.”

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