Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Sheltered Island

Being Irish is sort of like being Jewish, I think. You feel a strong affinity to the homeland, even if you’ve never been there. It’s like you can feel it in your blood. I’ve been watching a terrific show called, “Who Do You Think You Are?” which traces people’s ancestry. What I find very intriguing is that every person so far says that they always felt drawn to a certain place that turns out to be the country of their forefathers. It makes you wonder…

St. Patrick did a lot for the Irish in the 400s. He brought the country out of the mode of warring pagan tribes and into civilization. He established the first schools and even universities. Considering what a roudy bunch the Irish still are, I can only imagine what St. Patrick had to deal with…wouldn’t surprise me a bit if blarney was invented by St. Pat himself.

“Poreg, you can’t marry a sheep and that’s that!”

“But Father Patrick, Daisy’s good to me, and far more faithful than any woman has ever been! Why can’t I marry her? She loves me, and she’s four years old, that puts her well above the age of consent for sheep.”

“It’s not about age of consent or love—well it is—but not when it comes to sheep. You can keep her as a friend, a pet, like a cat.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Father, a man can’t have a loving relationship with a cat. Now, a sheep…”

“STOP! Poreg, people marry people and that’s the end of it.”

“Don’t make me choose between church and sheep, Father.”

“Poreg, if you choose the Church, we will have Whiskey, invented by Irish Monks, in the 11th century.”

“And how far away is this 11th century now, Father?”

“Well, we’re in the 5th century now…. sure, the eleventh century will be here in just a few years. Just think of it, in a short time you’ll be drinking whiskey—the water of life—and isn’t that worth the havin?”

“You make a good argument, Father. Truth is, I was getting tired of Daisy anyway. She can’t cook and has terrible gas from eating all that grass, y’know.”

“There’s a good man, Poreg.  Now, about the human sacrifices…”

“Hold on, Father, I’m ahead of you there.  You’ve gotten nearly all the tribes to stop it, and my tribe will be stopping it too.”

“I am relieved to hear it!”

“Just as soon as we get rid of Boobaa. He’s an idiot. We were going to trade him to another tribe, you know how we hate to sacrifice our own, we usually swap sacrificial victims, but we can’t find anyone to trade with no more because of you, so we’re toasting him at the next full moon. After that, we’re open for the new faith.”

“What if I take Boobaa off your hands, then you don’t have to sacrifice him.”

“That’s very nice of you, Father, I think the tribe would appreciate that. He’s such a moron. He’s the laughing stock of the tribe since he married Lola.”

“What’s wrong with Lola? She’s not a sheep too, is she?”

“Yes, but Father, she’s the ugly one.”

The Shelter Island Historical Society is celebrating,St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 17 with  a program called “Irish Voices In Song, Poetry, and Prose” from 5 -6:30 p.m. in The Barn at the Historical Society (16 South Ferry Road). Written and directed by Carol Galligan. Come one, come all, there’ll be a hoolie at The Barn for sure!
Shelter Island Historical Society 
631-749-0025

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