Wonder at a farmer returned from market who found he was dead and buried. Discover why two lovers leapt to death on the Dargle river; or why a Wicklow man was paid by a Dublin employer to return home without doing a tap of work; You may consider if a cure for baldness really works; or whether it is as wise to leave a sleeping army lie where it is, in Rathdrum until needed.
In Wicklow you may come across a storyteller on a quiet road, at a crossroads, in a library, a storytelling event, or, in many other places, and when you least expect it. Long ago, people did their week’s shopping when they went to church on Sundays, for it was a long journey into town, otherwise. Stories tumbled out of the back of the church while mass proceeded and along village streets, in and out of tiny shops crammed with neighbours’ bodies all buying in for the week ahead and looking for something to reflect on in the quiet countryside of the everyday.
You may not at first recognise a storyteller that you meet, for they will be of any age, gender, or disposition. They will listen to you for a while, with respect for your own told history, before gently launching into a narrative drawn from their own seasoned store of traditional story. Many will lightly tell a tale of a recent happening to someone you may well recognise, though slightly disguised to allow for a little creativity in the telling. Or, they may recall a story that has come through the oral tradition of the county.
The story may have been passed along many times, by many storytellers, at a winter fireside perhaps, with flickering rush light above a floor of clay through the long nights and short days when little work could be done and darkness had to be brightened in some convivial manner, lest demons take away the innocent.
In a story, you will smile at authority bested; sigh at a wrong done to someone else, many centuries past; delight in evil bested, or in the escape of the virtuous. You may wonder if you were to seek for gold in the Goldmines river if you would become rich, or would you find treasure turn to leaves in your hand, once more, once the Good People had played tricks with you?
Tell true, tell well, and enjoy the story.
To book Brendan for storytelling and participation in writing, and literary and arts and story festivals and events see here.
Quickly now, dean deifir, or your dates might be gone.