Mikey Ryan-A Serious Case Of Divided Chestnuts.

“How is she cuttin Mary” says I.
“Not bad at all, tell me now, you that’s well educated, where would I get a few chestnuts. The young lad needs them for the upcoming Conker Championships”, said Mary.
“Try St. Mary’s graveyard” said I “If you search around, the wind last week should have shifted a few unto the ground”.

Of course I did not convey the story that Mikey Ryan had related to me last evening up in the Arch Bar in Liberty Square, and as true as God, this incident happened this very Autumn.

You see, on the outskirts of Thurles town, there is a big, tall, Chestnut tree, growing just inside the graveyard wall. One day, unknown to Mikey Ryan, two young lads climbed over the wall at dusk and successfully filled up a bucketful of Chestnuts. Then they sat down behind a headstone, out of sight, before beginning to divide up the nuts into two plastic shopping bags.
“One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me,” said the ringleader as he set about sharing. During this transaction several of the nuts dropped and rolled down toward the narrow back iron gateway.

Then who but Mikey Ryan should come riding along Ikerrin road, on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the graveyard. He slowed down and went back to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, “One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me”.

Alarmed, he was convinced he knew what these voices were. He jumped back on his bike and rode on. Just around the bend on Kickham Street, he met ‘Monopod Ted’; sure you know the fellow with the wooden leg, who just happened to be hobbling along; supported by his underarm crutch. [Actually, I must confess, I stole his wooden leg once in Thurles swimming pool. He was hopping mad!]

Anyway, Mikey braked, bringing his bike to a sudden halt.
“Come here quick,” Mikey called in a low voice, “you won’t believe what I heard. It looks like Satan and God are over in the graveyard dividing, up souls!”

A not very impressed and grumpy ‘Monopod Ted’ suggested that Mikey should “Beat it”, (or words to that effect), adding “you idiot, can’t you see it’s very hard for me to walk”. But when Mikey insisted, “Monopod Ted’ hobbled slowly over the short distance, to nearby St. Mary’s graveyard gate.

Standing by the back gate they heard the voice, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me”.

‘Monopod Ted’ was now fully convinced and whispered, “Mikey, looks like you’ve been tellin’ me the truth boy. Let’s see if we can see the Lord!”
Now both, each shaking with fear; peered through the bars of the gate, but failed to see anything. ‘Monopod Ted‘ and Mikey gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter, as they attempted, on tippytoes, to get a glimpse of Our Lord.

At last, they heard, “One for you, one for me. That’s all. Now let’s go get those nuts by the gate and we’ll be finished”.

Mikey swore that ‘Monopod Ted’ took the lead for a good half-mile, down the Mill Road, before Mikey himself managed to eventually pass him on his bike.


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