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McCallion
 
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THE GHILLIE
by
Hugh McCallion

An English lawyer took a break, his doctor said was due,
And headed for the Emerald Isle to fish and taste the "brew".
He found himself a ghillie, a licence and a boat,
And off they went, with good intent, to spend some time afloat.

The little ghillie, Pat Muldoon, by any kind of test,
Was reckoned by the locals to be the very best.
Day after day they slogged away; the fish were there for sure,
For weren't they leppin' round the boat but spurning every lure.

Said Pat: "We're not the only ones whose lines have not been taut,
For up and down the river, Sir, there's nuthin' bein' caught."
He also did his level best, the tourist to enthuse,
By plying him with fishy tales and Pat Maloney's booze.

"Fresh water is the thing we need," said ghillie Pat Muldoon,
"Them clouds is congregatin' now, it could be here right soon."
And sure enough, that very night, down came the welcome rain,
And danced an Irish jig upon Maloney's window pane.

The ghillie had the Englishman away before the lark,
Heading for the Turning Pool to get him off the mark.
Muldoon observed the water then gave a knowing nod,
Towards the London lawyer assembling his rod.

"We'll have 'er in the bag today, before the stroke of noon,
I can feel it in me water - here, try this copper spoon."
The lawyer took the trebled bait, "No sooner said than done,"
And halfway through the first retrieve the battle had begun.

And up and down the Turning Pool that lively salmon sped.
Said Pat: "She is a fighter, Sir, just let 'er have 'er head."
The lawyer knew just what to do, "I'll bring her in," said he,
Then inches from the waiting net she splashed and wriggled free.

"Well damn and blast," the tourist said, "I rushed her I suspect."
"Well damn and blast," Muldoon replied - or words to that effect!
The English angler shook his head, said he: "What rotten luck,
My plane departs at 3 o'clock, I'll never break my duck."

The little ghillie slammed his cap down by the lawyer's feet.
"Before the stroke of noon, I said, "you can't admit defeat."
The English angler tried again, with grim determination,
But when eleven bells had chimed there still was no elation.

The little ghillie pointed to where he had seen a break.
"That's just the kind of fish," said he, "that might be on the take."
The lawyer cast the copper spoon, still down upon his luck,
Then as he felt a weighted line, instinctively he struck.

Then up and down the Turning Pool the struggle raged again,
The seven feet of fibre glass bent beneath the strain.
The English lawyer did his stuff, said he: "You've won your bet,"
As Pat scooped up the tired fish into the waiting net.

"Shure 'tis a lovely fish," said Pat, and rowed towards the shore,
"'Tis bigger than the one you lost, ten pounds or maybe more."
The lawyer said: "I do agree but, silly as it sounds,
That single fish has set me back at least five hundred pounds."

"Well glory be to God," said Pat, "Shure that I never knew,
Now Sir, weren't you the lucky man you didn't catch the two!"
 
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