Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Auxiris The Man Who Knew no Stories (18) The Man Who Knew no Stories 17 Dec 01


THE MANWHO KNEW NO STORIES

Once upon a time, there was a man called Brian. His occupation was cutting reeds and weaving baskets them into baskets. There came a year—a very bad year—when the reeds became scarce in the region. That year, the only reeds that could be found were those that grew in a certain valley where dangerous creatures were said to lurk.

Brian decided to go there anyway, so he asked his wife to prepare him some provisions and left to go to the valley so as to cut the reeds he needed. Upon his arrival there, he found plenty of reeds to cut and, in no time at all, had cut a large bundle of them. He had begun to tie them together when the fog began to close in, so he decided to stop and eat some of the feed he'd brought with him. It had gotten so dark around him that he couldn't even see his hand in front of his face.

Fearful now, he got up and looked toward the east, then toward the west and he saw a light. Stumbling and tripping, he walked toward the light. He saw a great long house. Through the open door and the windows came a soft, golden light.

Poking his head in through the door, Brian saw an old man and an old woman sitting by the fire. They greeted him politely and invited him to sit by the fire beside them, so Brian sat down between them and they talked for a while. Then the old man said, "Tell us a story."
"Sure, I cannot," said Brian, "For if there is one thing I have never done in my life, it's to tell a story"
"You don't know any stories?"
"None at all."
The old man and old woman exchanged a quick glance and the old woman said to Brian, "Go get us a bucket of water from the well, then. Do something to make yourself useful."
"I'll do anything at all," replied Brian, "If I don't have to tell a story."
He took the bucket and went to the well to fill it, then left it on the edge for a moment to let the drips run off. All of a sudden, there came a great gust of wind that lifted Brian up into the air. He was carried off toward the east, then toward the west and, when he fell on the ground again, he could see neither the well nor the bucket.

He saw a light. Stumbling and tripping, he walked toward the light. He saw a great long house, much bigger than the first one, with two lights inside and a light in front of the door.

Brian poked his head in the door and saw a large room where there was a wake: a row of men against the far wall and another row of men along the opposite wall. In front of the fire sat a girl with long, curly black hair. She greeted Brian by his name and invited him to sit down next to her. Timidly, he sat down close by her. However, an instant later, a tall man who was part of the group stood up and said, "'Tis is a sad sort of wake, this evening! We should go get a fiddler to play for the dancing."

"Ah!" said the girl with long, curly black hair, "You needn't go to look for a fiddler, since we already have the finest fiddler in all of Ireland with us this night. 'Tis Brian himself!"
"I cannot!" cried Brian, "For if there is one thing I have never done in my life, it's to play a tune on a fiddle!" "You don't know how to play the fiddle?"
"Not the fiddle, nor any other instrument. I know nothing of music, not even to sing."
She insisted:
"Come now, don't be making a liar of me. I know that you're the fiddler we have need of."
Suddenly, Brian had a fiddle and a bow in his hands and he was playing! He played so well that all the people got up and danced in the large room, saying that they had never danced to such fine music before.

The tall man suddenly stopped the dance and said, "Now we must go for the priest to celebrate the mass, for the corpse must be buried before dawn."

"Ah!" said the girl with long, curly black hair, "You needn't go to look for the priest, since we already have the best priest in all of Ireland with us this night. 'Tis Brian himself!"
"I've nothing to do with a priest!" cried Brian, "And I know nothing of their work or how to celebrate the mass!"
"Come now, I'm sure you'll celebrate the mass every bit as well as you played the fiddle."
Suddenly, Brian found himself before an altar, with two acolytes next to him in priestly garments. He celebrated the mass and even recited the prayers exactly as a priest would have done. All the people said they'd never attended so fine a mass in Ireland before.

They then placed the corpse in a coffin and four men took up the coffin on their shoulders. Three of them were short, but the fourth one was tall and so the coffin swayed back and forth. "We absolutely must," said the man who was giving orders, "Go look for a doctor who can cut off part of that man's legs. That way, he'll be the same height as the others."

"Ah!" said the girl with long, curly black hair, "You needn't go to look for a doctor, since we already have the very best doctor in all of Ireland with us this night. 'Tis Brian himself!"
"I cannot!" cried Brian, "For if there is one thing I have never done in my life, it's to practice medecine! Sure, I've never even been to school!"
"Come now, I'm sure you'll do that as well as the rest."
Suddenly, Brian had a saw and scalpels in his hands and he cut off part of the man's legs below the knees, sewed his feet back on and the four men were now the same height and could carry the coffin without swaying about. They marched on carefully toward the west until they reached the cemetary that had no entrance. They had to climb up over the wall and down the other side. The last one over the wall was Brian.

Then came a huge gust of wind that blew Brian up into the air. He was carried off toward the west and when he landed on the ground again, he could no longer see neither the coffin nor the mourners. He'd fallen next to the well. He saw the bucket and the drops of water on the edge of the well that hadn't yet dried.

He took the bucket and went back into the house. The old man and the old woman were still sitting in the same place, where they were when he'd left them. He set down the bucket and went to sit between them again.

"So, then," said the old woman, "Are


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.