11 October 2007

A True Story

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who lived in the village with his mother and father and six of his nine brothers and sisters. He was a happy boy who loved to help. Whenever his mother went to town to sell the vegetables that they grew in the garden, he would always go to help her. He would walk through town and up around the houses on the hill selling cive and thyme, door to door, returning with the money he had made when he had sold everything. Despite being helpful and brave enough to go and sell, even though he was only six years old, the little boy had a problem. He had such a bad stammer that he could hardly speak. In those days, when an adult called you , you immediately had to answer, 'yes,' followed by the name of the person that called. Not to do so meant blows. The boy was unable to do this without first stamping and stamping his foot, until, eventually, he would fall down and only then would the words fall from his mouth. Consequently, his legs were covered in scars and bruises from when he'd fallen down. He was embarrassed by his lack of speech and if anyone should laugh at him, his temper was short and he would give them one cuff without hesitation. One day, in the market , a little old lady, from St. David's, came to speak with him. The boy knew her well as she also sold her garden produce in town . She gave him a special shell and told him that he was to drink from that shell , and only that shell , for six months and his stammer would be gone. The boy went home and his parents agreed to try the cure and everyday for six months, whenever he had a drink, the boy drank from the shell. Sure enough, after some time his speech improved, until, in the end, except for when he was very nervous, excited or in too much of a hurry, the stammer disappeared.

The shell and the story lay forgotten in the yard, for years and years and years, until one day when the boy, now a man, was weeding the dasheen and found the shell that gave him his voice, to tell this story.


  1. That is a beautiful story. I hope that everyone finds their shell someday.

  2. Great story!
    I was disappointed to be a Chardonnay, too. I thought I'd be a nice Claret...

  3. Wow, beautiful story! Gave me cold chills for some reason. Thanks for posting.

  4. Minerva, it is an especially nice shell,

    Sontin, what a lovely response, thank you.... so do I,

    Cream, thankyou, (I thought you'd be a nice claret too,)

    Ldahl, thanks, I got the 'tingle' factor' when the story was first told to me, thank you for reading.


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