From the pen of Turlough Ó Maoláin ...

The Chronicles of Bulgaria

Poking James MacGuigan’s Pig

17/01/2022

On a farm up the mountain they had a barn

With an old tin roof and built of stone

Where something evil lurked inside

That chilled young children to the bone

 

What do you think's behind yon door?

The wee boy Brendan asked with dread

Our stomachs churned as we described

Terrific beasts inside our heads

 

No words of warning written there

But in our minds so deadly clear

The gruesome movements from within

Spelt out F E A R (that’s fear)

 

No one could tell just what it was

That rattled and roared inside the shed

If he got out he’d bite us all

Break every bone and make us dead

 

Long feared by folk in Cushendun

Was the Bodach, Pooka and Banshee

But would they choose to torment us

With their faerie friends from mythology?

 

I hope it’s not yer man Godzilla

Or Frankenstein or a zombie guy

Margaret’s shaky voice remarked

Or my Auntie Nessa from Athenry

 

The way it grunts and bangs around

It sounds angry, mad, disturbed and crazy

Bernie shook as she exclaimed

I suspect it’s the Reverend Ian Paisley

 

On a ship my Uncle Dan sailed twice round the world

He’d met Greeks, Japanese and Armenians

And one evening in Duffy’s Lounge Bar there in Larne

He drank stout and poitín with Presbyterians

 

Once a dog in Portrush was born with two heads

Four noses and sharp teeth where its eyes should be

But it couldn’t have come on the bus to Glendun

As how could it travel if it couldn’t see?

 

All night he’d tell tales of the queerest of things

To his incredible yarns there was no limit

So with a bit of a notion of how our monster looked

He could tell what it was and then kill it

 

He’d seen whales and great sharks and porpoises too

Giraffes, giant snakes and wild sheep

With a need to describe to him the fiend at the door

One of us had to go and take a quick peep

 

To proceed with the plan a volunteer was picked

Someone big and quite bold and not sickly

Liam’s daddy had bought a new Ford motor car

So he could get Liam to the hospital quickly

 

We sent fearless young Liam to go up rather close

To peer into the abyss through a crack

I’ve a terrible feeling I’ve just wet my pants

He cried out very loud running back

 

He'd seen a fearsome creature ugly and fat

A face filthy, coarse, rough and hairy

And from the gut-churning stink you'd just about think

It was the teacher from school, Master Clary

 

We wanted to show it who was the boss

That huge awful thing needed poking

We'd get a long stick and prod it real hard

I thought the girl who said that was joking

 

For a few anxious minutes we searched all around

Then Caitlín found a long length of wood

She chose the right hole and carefully took aim

We stood there, bodies trembling, fearing blood

 

She pushed the sharp pole right into the dark

Then came a loud crash, howl and roar

Followed by banging, some grunts and some groans

The brute trying to smash down the door

 

I've wet my pants once again, and also my socks

Sobbed Liam in a voice damp, wretched and flat

Soon our mood changed from fear to utter distress

Spotting a man watching us with a gun and big hat

 

He shouted words we’d never heard

We sensed he meant tremendous harm

He said he’d go tell Sergeant Brennan

If we didn’t eff off from his effing farm

 

He said he’d kick us up the arse

Tell our mammies and the priest

We’d no business nosing round his barn

We should leave his poor old sow in peace

 

We ran faster than Liam’s daddy’s car

At least faster than the man could run

The man was farmer James MacGuigan

Out shooting rabbits just for fun

 

But at last we knew, the word was out

It was nothing like what we had guessed

Neither devil nor demon, just a pig

We’d survived and accomplished our wee quest

 

If ever a mystery you want to solve  

Even if you’re brave and big

Don’t ever try to see or poke

James MacGuigan or his pig

 

My friends and I whilst only weans

Learned to leave alone and not explore

To stay away from things that growl

And scare you stiff from behind a door

 

Except for the bits that I’ve made up

Every single word of this is true

And to keep James MacGuigan from my door

I’ve changed some names and forgotten a few

 

James MacGuigan’s Pig

 

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