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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.

King o toole and his goose.

From Celtic fairy tales by joseph Jacobs

Start of Story

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, 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 goose 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 the king. "Oh, no matter; I was given to understand it," says Saint Kavin. 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.


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