55. Flower Feedin’!




Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

I walked across the grass today,

And there was something in the way!


‘Twas hard to see, ’cause it was small…

Sure ‘n that’s no matter a’tall!

(We Leprechauns are strong and fine!

How tall or small can’t hide our shine!)

“But, oh, what could this be?” says I…

Where is it from and, I ask “Why?”

The answer’s unbeknownst to me.

A flower, there, ‘twould, so nice, be!

That’s what I thought and what I’ve done…

Planted a flow’r under the sun!

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Now, “That’s a grand flower!” says I!

“…looks much better than what it’s by!”

So, though, I don’t know what’s nearby…

My flower’s tall and reaching high!

And, who did come to sit with me,

But my grand, old good Friend, the Bee!


I went to bed feelin’ so good…

Just like a good Leprechaun should!


Next mornin’ when the sun did rise,


I loved seein’ before my eyes,

My flower had so nicely grown

And it was all my very own!


I gave thanks to God…went my way…

And did my work till end of day.

As daylight dimmed, I saw the moon,

And knew it would be bedtime soon.


The night time came… ’twas time for bed…

And I lay down my sleepy head…

Once more, at dawn, I rushed to see

Just how my flower, then, would be!

What I did see, was mighty fine!

My flow’r had grown in the sunshine!

‘Twas just so lovely… so, I thought

To gather stones, as I was taught.

My flower then ‘twould, safer, be,

From any mischief aimed at me!


So, as I slept, that very night,


I’d never guess what ’twas my sight,

When sunrise made the sky so bright,

And I awoke to mornin’s light!

The sight before my very eyes,

Was flowers of a great, grand size!


What is whatever’s on the ground,

On that fine day, that I had found…?


Whatever matter it might be,

It’s giv’n these flowers, as you see,

Some great, fine strength to grow and grow,

But what it is, I do not know.

Just where ’tis from, these brown round things…

I don’t think it’s ’cause a bird sings…

But there is something comes to mind,

Something that is a different kind

Of creature that I see around,

That hops and hops on grassy ground…

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I see this garden creature much…

In bushes, brush, near trees and such.

Maybe this creature left this gift,

That gives to flowers a life lift!

How wonderful that this is so,

I’ll have to let my Family know!

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 Me Mum will be so very proud,

She’ll say, “My Finney!” right out loud!


Me Dad will also cheer for me!

But he’s away right now you see…

He’ll be home soon when work is done.

I know it’s hard and not much fun.

But as an elder, he must lead

Our Clan in ways, for ev’ry need.


Right now ’tis secret work that he

Must do… for my Fam’ly…for me!

But when he’s home, to him, I’ll show,

Just what the Fam’ly will then know!


Me Mum and Me Dad!
Me Mum and Me Dad!

 And then, my buds, I want to tell!

I know they’ll think that I’ve done well!

Daíthí and Pronshi are grand Friends.

We’ll help each other till life ends!


And Uncle Obie, he’ll say “Grand!

The finest flow’rs in all Ireland!”

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Uncle Obie, Brother to Mum…

‘Tis not so far, where he comes from.

Me Mum, to him, is just so dear,

And we all know that he will cheer,

Always for us, and we do, too,

All cheer for him for good he’ll do!

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So then that night we went to sleep.

And no one made the slightest peep.

But who could guess what we saw when

The bright fine mornin’ came again…

THE FLOWERS’ GROWIN’S went so high,

They looked like they did touch the sky!


My goodness, thanks is very due

To God and long eared creature, too,

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For playing such a great big part…

Givin’ these flowers a grand start!

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!


Hello to you, Friend! Nannie here!

 Our little bunny Friend certainly was a big help to Finney in his gardenin’ effort!

Rabbit manure is actually a wonderful fertilizer…according to Chris McLaughlin, a contributor to http://www.vegetablegardener.com, who wrote a very fun article about “rabbit poop!” Amidst much great info, Chris tells us in “Rabbit Manure In the Garden”, about the mondo-benefits of direct application, composting, and, you’ll love this…bunny brew!!! It seems bunny brew is rabbit compost tea.  Maybe you would like to read more about it in Chris’ article!

 Another fun thought I picked up somewhere (?) is that Coney Island in the metropolitan New York area is said to have received that name from the Irish immigrant population there who saw so many rabbits…the Irish word for rabbit is coinín* which probably sounds like Coney to the American ear…hence, Coney Island!

If you go to http://www.pbs.org there is an article “Coney Island Gets Its Name” which tells us there are several different stories of how this little island received its name. There’s no mention of the Irish word coinín, but there is mention of the Dutch word for rabbit, konijn, and the “Bear” tribe, Konah. However, the story that seems to hold the most sway is an Irish story. 🙂

            “According to an article published in the “Sligo Champion,” an Irish captain named Peter O’Connor sailed the schooner Arethusa between New York and Ireland in the late 1700s, and named Coney Island after an island that lay a mere mile from his home in Sligo. This Coney Island was, and is, about one mile long and about half a mile wide — much like the American version.                                                                                                                                       

            Not only is the time right for O’Connor to lay claim to the name, his nationality fits as well. In the early 19th century, Tammany Hall, New York’s corrupt and predominantly Irish political machine, began to send its more ignoble operators out to Coney Island. It is reasonable to imagine these settlers reaching for a familiar name from their homeland for the location.” (www.pbs.org)

*go to talkirish.com and you can listen to the right Irish pronunciation…

God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and me!

54. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (5)



Hello to you, Friend! Nannie here!

Well…if you turn on the news, it’s easy to see that Papa Francesco is where it’s at right now, with his visit to our United States of America as high profile as it gets. I have heard one news report that said security was at an all time high…like never before at any time for anyone…Ray for Papa!


As you can see by Finney’s last story, Finney is very concerned that Papa not get too stressed and have some time for fun…just like Finney does. His St. Patrick’s Godfriends “football” team is surely a true solution…what with finding wonderful fields of green and Los Santos colors for their team’s uniforms!  Go Paddies! Let’s hope Finney has made the San Lorenzo Saints…and Papa…proud!

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Imagine that Pronshi being all full of himself over his “Francis” name! Given that St. Francis of Assisi is the inspiration, that’s pretty good company in my book!

Pronshi (Proinsias)
               Pronshi (Proinsias)

Finney sure thinks Papa Francesco is good company…he trusts that Papa won’t try to steal his gold…and, that Papa might be able to be counted on to let the Paddies win!


So…the usccb (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) website tells us that Papa Francesco is the fourth Pope to visit the USA…Pope Paul VI, being the first, then Pope John Paul II, then Pope Benedict XVI, and then our Pope Francis. To Ireland, however, the best my research shows, is that Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit Ireland, and that was in September, 1979. It seems that “nearly 3,000,000 people turned out to welcome him which is “phenomenal” when you consider that the population of the Republic (of Ireland) was not quite 3,500,000 at that time! (irishcentral.com)

The website http://www.catholicireland.net has some pretty great quotes from Pope John Paul’s words… “From the very beginning of its faith, Ireland has been linked with the Apostolic See of Rome. The early records attest that your first bishop, Palladius, was sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine; and that Patrick, who succeeded Palladius, was “confirmed in the faith” by Pope Leo the Great.”


Now, a fun fact is that Papa Francesco has been to Ireland…just not during his papacy. It seems that, “as a young Argentinean Jesuit, the future pontiff studied English in Ireland in the seventies…Ireland is very close to the Pope’s heart…He has a great love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and he is in tune with that Marian piety of the Irish people.”

This is the altar at the Shrine Of Our Lady of Knock in East Durham, New York. Behind the altar is a depiction of Our Blessed Mother with St. Joseph and St. John at her sides, with the lamb on the altar to her left.
This is the altar at the Shrine Of Our Lady of Knock in East Durham, New York. Behind the altar is a depiction of Our Blessed Mother with St. Joseph and St. John at her sides, with the lamb on the altar to her left.

This information comes from the Irish Independent’s interview of Archbishop Charles John Brown, a New York born diplomat, who is Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Ireland. According to the same source, Archbishop Brown thinks a papal visit to Ireland is indeed possible. What a fun hope that is!


 But…going back to Pope John Paul’s visit, here are a few more great quotes from Catholicireland.net…(during his visit, he spoke in English and in Irish!)

      “Your people have spread this love for the Catholic Church everywhere they went, in every century of your history. Ths has been done by the earliest monks and the missionaries of Europe’s Dark Ages, by the refugees from persecution, by the exiles and by the missionary men and women of the last century and this one.” Pope John Paul referred to Masses celebrated “at Mass rock in the glens and forests by hunted priests…and on top of Croagh Patrick and Lough Derg.” He went on to say “Today I wish to express the gratitude of Jesus Christ and his Church for the devotion Ireland has shown to the Holy Eucharist. As Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, I assure you that the Mass is indeed the source and summit of your own Christian life.” He also said, “…it gives me great happiness to see, that the Irish people maintain this traditional devotion to the Mother of God in their homes, in their parishes, and in a special way at this Shrine at Cnoc Muire (Knock).

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The author of the catholicireland.net article I have quoted from, gave a fun finish to his words…

“Bidding a fond farewell to the Irish people, he commended us to God and Mary, in the language God loves best, as Cardinal O’Fiach once said.

Dia agus Muire libh!  (Finney loves this!)

May God and Mary be with you and with the Families of Ireland, always.

Finney and I second that, and, God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit!





53. Papa!




Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day if fine!

The world’s excitement is on highs!

…Papa, to America, flies!

We, Leprechauns, we’re all on call…

For great big work, though we are small!

Papa Francesco…He’s our Pope!

He fills the world with lots of hope!


I, Finney, and all of my Clan,

Will always try to help this man!

He’s special to all God’s children.

He leads us with the great Amen.

Franciscus, as he signs his name,

(Francesco’s the Italian same)

Is Francis, Pope, chosen to be,

In the Chair of the Holy See!


We know that for us all he cares…

Ev’ry moment of life he shares.

He shares with us and for us all,

He’s tried hard to answer God’s call.


To show him our grand thanks we must

Give to him our love and our trust.

He’s had to go and live in Rome…

He’s had to leave what was his home,

And sure ‘n this was not easy,

But he well knew it had to be.

For God and Church, he gives his days,

Sacrificing in many ways.

Pope Francis prays…he’s just a man…

Tryin’ to do the best he can…

To hear God’s voice and live with love,

He knows God’s grace comes from above.

And special Grace comes just for him,

Because he’s leader…far from whim,

He’s chosen for this special role…

Servant to all…serving each soul.

St. Peter was first…Francis now…

And only God really knows how

They manage to do this hard task

Of doing whate’er God might ask.

He’ll help us to stay in the light…

To want to stay right in God’s sight!


He wants us, with God, to be Friends,

Our message of this, each prayer sends.

Two hundred sixty sixth is he…

Francis, our Pope, is who he “be!”


So, we will help him have some fun!

Each day of work, before it’s done

We’ll help him have some time to play

We’ll help with that in ev’ry way!

We know he likes the game “football”…

Which we can play, though we are small!

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We’ll keep it slow so he hangs in..

But we just hope he lets us win!

And then we thought of one more thing!

A team, its praises, he does sing…

The Saints of San Lorenzo name,

Enjoy great Argentina fame!

He’s loved this team for very long,

We’ll be like them…We can’t go wrong!

Their colors…they are red and blue.

The colors’ story’s old …not new.

‘Twas in the past, these colors were

For Heaven’s Queen, our Lovely “Her!”

Our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen!

Golden Rose of our Isle of green!52-97     1412

So we have used these colors for

Some shirts for playin’…fun galore!

St. Pat’s Godfriends is our “team’s” name!

With Papa, we’ll play “football’s” game!


The nickname “Paddies” we’ll go by…

We’ll play to keep his spirits high!


We’ll find a lovely field of green,

And make it a fun “football” scene!


We’ll run with him, and help him play

To help with stress of any day!

We know he won’t steal any gold,

That we’ve kept safe since days of old.

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No stranger to our Emerald Isle,

One time he came and stayed a while.

He came to study in Dublin,

For English study and speakin’!

‘Twas then we learned he’s a great man,

Who likes to do all that he can

To help, and always of the mind,

To be of service to mankind.

So if we help him have fun, too,

We think that would be good to do…

No need to worry for our gold,

That’s been so safe since days of old.

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Me Mum and Dad, for us, will cheer,

And that will be so fun to hear!


And Uncle Obie wants to play..

Oh, boy…but he will get his way…


‘Cause he loves Papa, and will be,

Just tryin’ to help, as will we!


Of course, we’ll have to hear Pronshi

Go on about the name that he

And Papa have that is the same…

‘Cause Proinsias is the Francis name

In Irish, and how we would say…

Pron-she-iss in the Irish way!

Pronshi (Proinsias)
            Pronshi (Proinsias)

I guess that I have talked today

Enough of Papa and the way

We hope to help him have some fun,

On ev’ry day before it’s done!

And that is why he let us come,

He knows quite well where we come from,

And that we know where fields of green,

Do hide and sometimes can’t be seen.


We are so thankful Papa’s Pope

To bring us all God’s love and hope!


I am so glad we talked today,

God bless you is what I do say!


Note from Nannie: 

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”                                    (Matthew 16:18,19)

 St. Peter was the first pope and Pope Francis is the 266th pope.

“San Lorenzo de Almagro, a top-division soccer club (in Buenos Aires, Argentina*), has holy beginnings.  It was created in 1908 by Lorenzo Massa, a priest. One of the team’s nicknames is Los Santos (the Saints), and the team’s colors, blue and red, are said to correspond to the colors of the Virgin Mary’s robe.  Next to the stadium, the interior of a small chapel – the country’s only stadium with a chapel on its grounds – is adorned in San Lorenzo flags and décor.  So, perhaps it is fitting that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is a San Lorenzo fan.  (www.nytimes.com)

*Argentina is where Pope Francis is from!

Viva il Papa!

God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and Me!

Continue reading

52. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (4)


Hello to you, Friend!  Nannie here!

In our last story-poem, Finney talked to us about the birds he thought of as Friends!

Finney told us the things he saw as he watched the birds, and he told us he wanted to have birds as Friends just like Grampa! (See Post #50)  He told us he hoped they wouldn’t always want to fly away or hide when they saw him.  He told us about big birds, little birds, birds that fly high, and birds that spend time on the ground!  He told us about their eatin’, their hidin’, their swimmin’, their flyin’…whether they seemed to like to be alone or with other birds…There was even a great picture of Lewie on the hand and shoulder of his Friend, Earl!  The Turkey Family and the Duck Family were grand sights, weren’t they?

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We saw a picture of Mr. Cardinal and Mrs. Cardinal…maybe some of you already knew that it is the Mr. who has the bright red color…and the Mrs. is brown with red accents.  Cornell University has an interesting website http://www.allaboutbirds.org which would be a wonderful go-to for any bird lover. We have already referenced http://www.birdwatchireland.ie as a grand depository of information about the birds that are found in Ireland. And, speaking of birds found in Ireland, remember that cardinals (known to be non-migratory North American birds) do not seem to ordinarily be mentioned , but there was a report of ONE sighting…so who knows what the future holds!  Seems, too, like this is a good place to mention that http://www.audubon.org would understandably also be an excellent resource for bird details.

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But let’s talk a bit (we won’t be able to cover “everything!”)*, about the parts birds play when it comes to Irish history and folklore…I will mention http://www.libraryireland.com very much, as it is such a wonderful “armchair” to sit in and have our minds brought to the “old” ways and “thinkin’s and writin’s!” All of us are free to browse in the cyber-bookshelves of this amazin’ assortment of Irish writin’s!  I will mention just a few “bird” references from the sources included in http://www.libraryireland.com

We find in Lady Wilde’s writings from 1888 that “sketches of the Irish past” specifically mention magpies, wrens, ravens, water wagtails, cuckoos, and robin redbreasts.

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A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837, by Samuel Lewis, tells us that “Large flights of wild geese and swans occasionally visit Lough Erne towards the close of the year, the appearance of which is considered to prognosticate a severe winter.”

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The Dublin Penny Journal from April of 1833 tells us that “an extraordinary piece of antiquity… was found in a bog at Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.” The “ancient Irish instrument” that was found, is a mystery as to its use. The “instrument” is “ornamented” with birds in a similar fashion to the “Irish crosiers of the sixth century.”


Dr. Joyce’s A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland (1906), tells us that the pens that the scribes used in the writing of manuscripts “were made from the quills of geese, swans, crows, and other birds: no metallic pens were used.” Also from this “social history”, we learn that “the singing of birds had a special charm for the old Irish people”…and cites the story of Comgan, who expressed that “Sweet was the voice of the wood of blackbirds…”.  This information was followed by the story of the cows who only gave their milk freely when the 3 little birds came and sang in their ears. (See Post #51 – Note from Nannie!)  Still yet another story from Dr. Joyce’s work is that “the croaking of the raven and the chirping of the wren” and the screaming of the eagle, are spoken of in the “old books” as having special significance. (We’ll talk of this another time!) And we won’t talk about the “special laws” regarding bird-catching (also Dr. Joyce!)


Here’s a fun fact for the name lovers among you! In Some Anglicised Surnames in Ireland, written in 1923 by Padraig MacGiolla-Domhnaigh (I don’t know how to say it either!), The names Heaney, Henaghan and Henahan, and McEneany, McEneney and McNeney have been Anglicized to be “Bird!”…”presumably because the word “can” (bird) enters into the construction of the names.” Omigosh, who’d ever a-thunk that? “The Gaelic of the surnames are respectively Oh-Eanaigh, O h-Eanacháin, and Mac An-Eanaigh.”

The last fun fact story…and one that we simply must include, has to do with the good St. Brendan and his mighty travels!


The “Lyfe of Saynt Brandon” in the Golden Legend, published by Wynkyn de Worde, 1483, and Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts, by Patrick Kennedy share a similar story and the essence of it is something like this…

St. Brendan and his companions, on their journey across the Atlantic Ocean came upon an island. “…the trees and shrubs were filled with birds of varied and beautiful plumage, whose voices united in forming music that entranced the souls of the listeners. ” The good saint felt “there was something supernatural about the little creatures…” The story goes on to tell that one of the birds “perched on his arm” and said “It is delightful to us to hear the voice of one of God’s creatures who loves and fears Him as we do ourselves.” Because of God’s mercy to them (the birds), they “have never ceased night and day to sing hymns of joy and gratitude.”

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Six months ago today was when Finney decided to tell the world…  “Hello From Finney!”             This first little story-rhyme was a big step!  After Finney’s first adventure book (Finney Hides the Pot O’ Gold) was published in January of 2014, Finney realized he had a lot more stories he wanted to tell before his next adventure went to the printing press!

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Being a Mom and a Grandmom who is fiercely grateful for the Irish blood within me, I have found that The Adventures of Finney the Leprechaun has been the fruit of an effort to bring to everyone who is interested, some fun, imagination, Irish history and culture and a heaping measure of the Faith that we Irish have in God and His protection and provision for us, His children. I would very much like to help with the realization of just how significantly unique and mystical was and is the part God has allowed Ireland and her people to play in the History of the Family of Man!


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Since that first “Post”, Finney has had visitors from 10 different countries! Most of these visitors have been from the United States and Ireland! After that, in alphabetical order, the other visitors have been from Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, Singapore, and the United Kingdom!

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What fun it has been to watch Finney enter the internet world with all his Leprechaun innocence and fun. Finney always tries to see the best in each of us, and he never tries to hurt anyone! He certainly can make mistakes, but when he knows he has done so, he is very sorry!

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Finney and Nannie are both so delighted that you have stopped by to visit! If you have fun info or a rhyme to or for Finney, please e-mail Nannie at nanniesfinney@gmail.com!

I would especially like to ask you Irish visitors from Ireland for any thoughts you might have as to how Finney can tell his stories better! Any pronunciations you may like to phonetically share with us, too, would be appreciated…like, for instance, in the above mentioned last name of Padraig…”MacGiolla-Domhnaigh!” (???)

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Also, if you are a teacher, and if there are any of Finney’s story-rhymes that you particularly like (mostly for fun, grammar, and diction), if you e-mail me at the e-mail address I just mentioned, I will send you a complimentary Teacher question/work sheet to use with the reading (hopefully out loud!) of the little story!  It would be helpful, too, if you told me the grade-level you are teaching.

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Our dear Uncle Obie!
         Our dear Uncle Obie!


God bless you and thank you for stopping by!

 Finney and Nannie hope you visit often!


*One folktale that we won’t focus on, where birds play a major role, is “The Children of Lir.”  Four swans are central to the story and if you read it for yourself, you might agree it is not the most joyful of stories!



51. Bird Friendin’!




Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

The birds are busy every day!

I love to watch them work and play!

We talked last time of things birds do…

Some different things than me and you!

But birds are birds and that is why

That some fly high up in the sky…


But still that is not true for all,

As some stay low…big birds and small!


And also some birds fly away…

Not be too close, or near, to stay!

Mrs. Cardinal
                           Mrs. Cardinal
Mr. Cardinal
                           Mr. Cardinal


But some are not, as we did say,

Greatly afraid in a big way.

And just like Grampa could be friends,

With certain birds before day ends,


I, too, hope to make some bird Friends,

On any day, before day ends!

I think if I try to be still,

Then maybe certain birds…they will

Not fly and hide when they see me,

But stay around a while…maybe!


The little yellow birds will sit

On the fence made of wood that’s split…


The water birds will swim not far,

Not minding much the folks that are

Near where they swim, and quite close by…

They prob’ly think they just can fly!

So, peacefully, they swim around,

And sometimes one just might be found

preening away…with not a sound!

With not a thought that they are “found!”

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They let me watch them when they eat,

As long as I don’t spoil their treat

Of lovely birdseed left outside,

So they can feed…and I don’t hide!

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I watch them as they peck, peck, peck!

Sometimes, one just might turn its neck

To see around…make sure who’s there…

They keep their eyes on everywhere!

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Sometimes a hidin’ bird I see;

I’ll see bird hidin’ in a tree!


But other times, the bird’s okay

Lookin’ around like any day!


Then there are birds that you’ll just “see,”

Are not worried ’bout where they “be!”

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Sometimes alone, sometimes a crowd,

Sometimes just quiet…sometimes loud!

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Some, with a horse, make a grand friend,

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Some special friendships just don’t end!


This is Lewie!
                   This is Lewie!

Then there are birds who do just know

Where they do want their perch to show!

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I, Finney, love the birds, you see…


And when you see a bird Fam’ly,

You hope that they won’t run away,

But sometimes that just is the way…

My Friends, the Turkey Family,

With whom I play and talk freely,

Did not feel safe the other day,

So, they just ran to hide away!

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But now here is the Duck Fam’ly!

Who swim so proud for all to see!

They’re my Friends, too, and they know me,

And that I’d not hurt their Fam’ly!


There they are swimmin’ in a row….

With little ones keepin’ in tow…

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Isn’t it grand and great to see,

These birds that are such Friends to me!

It’s such a comfort, just to know,

They are around to always show,

The ways that they are not afraid

To be the way that God has made

All birds and creatures of the Earth,

This grand great land of all our birth

I am so glad we talked today,

God bless you is what I do say!


Note from Nannie!

     Dr. Joyce in “A Smaller History of Social Ireland” (1906) reminds us of the intense love of nature and natural beauty that is second nature to the Irish.  He tells us of the charm of the singing of birds.  He shares this story, “It would be hard to find a more striking or a prettier conception of the power of music in the shape of a bird-song, than the account of Blanid’s three cows with their three little birds which used to sing to them during milking.  These cows were always milked into a caldron, but submitted reluctantly and gave little milk till the birds came to their usual perch – on the cows’ ears – and sang for them:  Then they gave their milk freely till the caldron was filled.”

If you go to the footnote link, you will find a question about this story, for younger readers.

God bless you, and thank you for stopping by to see Finney and me!










50. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (3)




Hello to you! Nannie here!  So nice that Finney gives us some time to talk!

In our last story-poem, wasn’t it fun to see some of the birds that Finney likes to watch?  I happen to know there are more birds that he has seen that he wants to show you! He just got tired and hungry…that Finney!

Finney doesn’t know the names of all the birds he sees, but he does know some…robins, crows, seagulls, herons, cranes…one of the birds he showed you, though, must have been visiting Ireland with someone. The reason I say that is that nowhere can I find it said that there are cardinals (the pretty red bird in one of the pictures) in Ireland.


 The information I have read seems to indicate they are common in North America. I did read on http://www.birdforum.net that there were cardinal spottings in the UK and ONE claim from Ireland. It seems that cardinals are non-migratory, so if Ireland is home to any cardinals, they must have been “ship-assisted” or escaped from someone somewhere. Interesting…

http://www.birdwatchireland.ie has some fun general info about birds in Ireland. This website provides a very informative listing of Ireland’s birds.. It seems Ireland has crows and ravens…that’s right, they are not the same thing.


 www.birdnote.org has samples of their different sounds (crow – caw and raven – croak), ravens are bigger, and their tail plumage is different (crow feathers are uniform size and fan out while raven tail feathers are longer in the middle giving the tail a wedge shape). This same website also describes the gathering at dusk of crows who are getting ready for their night roost…like a crow slumber party!

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When Finney was sitting down by the sea, he watched birds that could have been cranes or herons…more likely, it seems, is that they were herons based on the way they flew, but still bearing resemblance to cranes in other ways. An expert, which Finney and Nannie are not, would know the difference. It seems that cranes were once a great part of Ireland.   Information from http://www.goldeneagletrust.com indicates cranes may have been “sacred in pre-literary Ireland.”


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Finney loves watching all this!

Around Christmastime, we’ll talk more of Robins in Ireland!


Last fun fact has to do with St. Ita (died around 570) of Ireland…I have a periodical I read most every day called “Magnificat.” It is a wonderful and inspiring experience each and every day with the Scriptures of the day and assorted prayers and interesting things to learn about our Faith. Anyway, today I read a little peace about St. Ita, who “became known as the foster mother of the Saints of Erin.” She was born Deirdre, of the clan of Dési, in present-day Co. Waterford in Ireland. Her Christian name derived from Íota, indicating her “parching thirst” for God.” St. Brendan was one of her students and Ita told Brendan, “Three things that please God most are true faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a grateful spirit, and generosity inspired by charity. The three things that most displease God are a mouth that hates people, a heart harboring resentments, and confidence in wealth.” (Magnificat, September, 2015) Hmmm…food for thought…

It is my great privilege to close with a work of an anonymous Poet of Ireland, who has become Finney’s Friend…

                             I know a leprechaun named Finney,

                             Whose voice was squeaky and tinney!

                             Finney wanted to sing like a nightingale,

                             But sounded more like an Airedale.

                             Voice lesson, Finney, he took-ed,

                             From a horse, Seamus the crook-ed!

                             Months later, Finney’s voice is still tinney,

                             But he sure now can gallop and whinney!

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I have to say what a grand and fun effort by this Poet of Ireland!

If you have anything to add, to help us all learn, and/or you would like to share a rhyme you might write for or about Finney, please e-mail me at nanniesfinney@gmail.com!

Finney and I would love to hear from you!

As Finney would say…

I am so glad we talked today,

God bless you  is what I do say!


49. Bird Watchin’!




Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

I love to watch the birds each day!

I love to watch in every way!

But sometimes, though, I must hide “more,”

‘Cause they might see me as they soar!

So, if I’m in a flower bed,

Sometimes I need to hide my head!

Look hard and you will see my red-haired head!
Look hard and you will see my red-haired head!

But mostly I can eas’ly see

The birds and they do not see me!

I love to watch them as they fly!

So often they are up so high!

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 They soar right up into the blue,

They get so close to the clouds, too!


Sometimes they’re hidin’ in a tree,

And I get that…that could be me!

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Sometimes, too, they’re close to the ground,

And mostly they just walk around!

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Then there are those that love to swim,

Sometimes a her…sometimes a him!

And what’s most fun is when there “be,”

A whole darn swimmin’ bird Fam’ly!


Sometimes a bird will be alone,


And sometimes a great flock is shown!


I love to see how a bird drinks!

It’s fun to guess what a bird thinks!

Two birds looking for a drink from a time puddle on the rock!
Two birds looking for a drink from a tiny puddle on the rock!

Me watchin’ I don’t think bird likes…

A “look” bird gives, makes me think, “Yikes!”

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But that’s not always the bird’s way;

That doesn’t happen ev’ry day.

They often just don’t seem to mind,

If they are there, and, them, we find!

I love to see how a bird eats…

I wonder at their choice of treats!

A squiggly crab or yucky worm,

That makes me want to shake and squirm!

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‘Tis nice to see a heron fly…

Graceful…not always flying high!

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Sometimes can’t see so very well,

Crane from a heron…hard to tell…

But smooth and long a crane does fly,

Not like the heron’s wings so high.


Some say, not likely a crane, though

Because, in Ireland, long ago,

Was when they lived so easily,

But now, not much…unhappily.

And in the warmer summer days,

When it’s so warm, and there’s a haze,

It just feels good to think how cool

Nice water splashes…bird’s no fool!


The cool stream water’s just the place,

Where any bird can wash its face!

I saw a robin just today,

Just splashing in a great fun way!

With water here and water there,

Of course, there’s water everywhere!

From beak to leg, how nice a treat!

It must feel good on those bird feet!

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I’ll have to tell you more sometime,

But just for now this ends my rhyme!

Mum saved for me some apple bake,

I’ve got to go, for goodness sake!


I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!


Note from Nannie!

I found a website, http://www.irishbirding.com, which seems like a wonderful resource for bird news, photographs, and articles of interest to Irish “birders”.  Perhaps the name of this Finney story-poem should have been “Birdin’!”

If you go to the Footnote link, you will find a question about this story for younger readers!

My Dad (born and raised in Cobh, Co. Cork) loved having the birds close.  They would come right to him and sit in his hand and eat!  I have this picture of him from so long ago…Dad passed on in 1995, God rest him.  I miss him (1904-1995) and me Mum, Annie (1910-1991)! God rest them!


God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and me! 

48. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (2)




          Hello to you!  Nannie here!  I am lovin’ that Finney gives me some space to have a talk with you!  If you remember, last week we spoke of the prayer of Grandmother Tess in the movie, “The Secret of Roan Inish,” and that it was inspired by Peig Sayers who spent most of her life on the Great Blasket Island.  Now…Finney tells us that the prayin’ words, that his Family says, go along these lines…

We eat together and thank God,

For our home on this grand old sod!

We thank Him for our food and drink…

And for each other and we think

Of all that we are grateful for…

And, for our place in Ireland’s lore!

     These words were inspired for me, by a prayer custom my Dad (1904-1995), God rest him, brought to our Family life.  When Dad was growing up in Cobh, in County Cork, in the south of Ireland, he learned prayin’ words that (in Irish, so I am not really sure how to spell what it was I think he taught us all to say — I never saw it in writing!) had four lines.  The first line asked for protection from having a hunger or thirst “on us.”  The next three lines all deal with spiritual protection (according to my limited Irish translational skills!)…from evil, then from the evil within ourselves, and then from the fires of hell.  Interesting it was only the first prayerful line that addressed physical needs.  The other 75% was totally spiritual, and, to me, framed in a deep understanding of the need for and dependence on God for protection from sin…very much including our own sinful natures…no pointing fingers there!

     For our Finney, protecting the gold takes up a lot of his time!  Many people are familiar with the story of the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow.  Once again, using the reference of Bairbre McCarthy’s Irish Leprechaun Stories, she tells us that “the leprechaun is the keeper of the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow.”  So, you can be sure our Finney is pretty hungry and tired when his day’s work is done…as he so often reminds us!


     In regard to the story-poems, “Cookin’!” and “Bakin’!”, we see that seaweed, apples, berries, honey, and fresh water are staples for Leprechaun Families!

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Golden Honey!
Golden Honey!

     I find that http://www.libraryireland.com is a wonderful resource for Irish information of all kinds, especially from the older writings.  At this website, we find A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland, written by Patrick W. Joyce in 1906.  Dr. Joyce tells us, “”The sea-plant called in Irish duilesc, and in English dillesk, dulse, dulsk, or dilse, growing on sea rocks, was formerly much used as an article of food, that is, as an accompaniment…Dillesk is still used; and you may see it in Dublin hawked about in baskets by women: it is dry, and people eat it in small quantities raw, like salad…The apple (ubhall, pronounced ooal) appears to have been as much cultivated and use in old time as at the present.  Apples, when gathered, were hoarded up to preserve them as long as possible:  they were generally uncooked.”


Young girl with basket on her back for gathering seaweed.
Young girl with basket on her back for gathering seaweed.  This is a picture that has been in my Family for many years!

Of course, we always have stories about the monks, and, the “libraryireland” website gives us information from An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack… “The rule of St. Alban says: “When they [the monks] sit down at table, let them be brought [served] beets or roots, washed with water, in clean baskets, also apples, beer, and honey from the hive.”

     This website also tells us from Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger, written in 1847 by A. Nicholson, that “a supper of comfort” had “fresh apples upon the table.”

     At Irishamerica.com, in “Sláinte!  Ireland: It’s the Berries!” by Edythe Preet (Columnist), summer months in Ireland are described as being all about wild strawberry and raspberry patches, blueberries “found growing on heather-covered mountainsides,” with “countless hedgerows along country roads…producing tons of deep purple blackberries!”  Also described is blackberry mousse as “an elegant dessert,” and, blackberry sauce which “can be sweet or savory to complement ice cream and custards, or roast fowl and game.  Combined with apples, blackberries make one of Ireland’s most popular desserts, a rich pastry tart.”  We are also given a hint as to how Finney’s Mum may do her bakin’ and cookin’…”In years past, Irish cooks baked in the all-purpose cast iron black pots that sat atop smoldering turf fires and only diligent watching and turning kept their pies from becoming singed from the fierce heat of the glowing coals.”  And, lastly, choosing only one more culinary thought presented by Edythe, we learn, “At the height of summer when Ireland strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are all in season at once, these brilliantly hued fruits are frequently combined to make Summer Pudding, one of the world’s most strikingly beautiful and delicious desserts.”


     No wonder Finney’s Mum does such great work in her “kitchen!”

     Just a couple more fun facts (hope you don’t say you need a nap, like Finney does!)                There is a place in Co. Cork , not too far from Cobh, where my Dad (me Dad!) was born and raised, and Blarney (only down the road a bit), called Ballyhooly.  It is west of Lismore (yes, the same name as the beautiful Waterford crystal pattern!), and it is on road N72 heading west toward Mallow.  It is located in what is called the valley of the Blackwater, according to Dr. Joyce [as told by Rev. J. F. Lynch (www.corkpastandpresent.ie)], who tells us it was renowned for its apples and cider, and who explains Ballyhooly  as town of the apple-ford, being from Irish Baile atha ubhla, and says that the place is named Atha-ubhla, or ford of the apples, in Book of Lismore [medieval manuscript — one of “The Ancient Books of Ireland – 1480, (Michael Slavin)].

     In Note From Nannie with Finney’s “Bakin’!” story, it was mentioned that “Apples have been grown in Ireland for at least 3,000 years…and that…St. Patrick is said to have planted a number of apple trees in Ireland, including one…close to where Armagh is now situated.  Early monastic records tell us that the monks were given apples with their meals, specially at festival time.” (Georgina Campbell’s Ireland – http://www.ireland-guide.com)  As to why Armagh might be significant, we learn at http://www.discoverireland.com, that “In 445, Patrick established the Seat of Armagh as the centre of Christian learning in Ireland.  A monastery church and an archbishop’s house were built here.  This was probably another challenging gesture to the druidic order at Navan Fort.  The ancient Ulster capital, this had been the royal seat of the Kings of Ulster.  By building his most important church close to the symbol of pagan royalty, Armagh became the most important town in Ireland.  The only clergy entitled to spread the Christian faith were taught in the abbey in Armagh.”

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The places we have mentioned are marked on this map of Ireland.
The places we have mentioned are marked on this map of Ireland.


     Well, phew…as Finney would say…all that yakkin’ has made me so tired and hungry!

I am so happy you stopped by to visit Finney and me!  Thank you!

As Finney would say…

I, Finney, think it’s time for bed!

I’m going to lay down my head,

And hope to have sweet dreams tonight,

And sleep peacefully in Grace-light.

I hope the same for you this night…

And safely wake in morning light!

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!


47. Bakin’!




Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

We last talked of me Mum as cook,

And dryin’ seaweed on a hook…


‘Tis now we’ll talk of her sweet treats;

We’ll talk about her bakin’ feats!

A grand something Mum loves to make

Is her amazin’ apple bake!

She’ll ask me to go out to see

If our fine and grand apple tree

Has dropped some apples we can use…

Some apples, “Tree”, won’t mind to lose!


Sometimes it’s fun to shake them free.

This, sometimes, is okay with Tree.


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Sometimes I have help from Pronshi;


And sometimes Pronshi and Dáithí!


And when Mum makes this dee-lish dish…

Could tempt someone to a fourth wish!*

And in the air must be sweet smell,

‘Cause though no one did, to him, tell,

Dear Uncle Obie finds his way

To visit our home on this day,

When Mum does make her apple bake,

He is ready, for some, to take!

Our dear Uncle Obie!
         Our dear Uncle Obie!

But he helps, too, to do the work,

In order that he’ll have the perk

Of eating well from Mum’s fine bake…

She’ll surely give him some to take!

I’ll gather, then, the apples that

Will easily fit inside my hat!

But, wait! That’s just when they’re still green…

When apples are smaller, I mean!

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But they will grow…get big and red!

Just like the hair I’ve on my head!

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And if, too big, the apples are,

I’ll pile them somewhere near, not far,

And then I’ll bring them, one by one,

For Mum…for bakin’…till she’s done!

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Mum’s always glad to see I’ve some,

To give to her, when home I come!

And then, the apples she will take

To make that fine, grand apple bake!


She’ll lightly pour some honey…sweet…

Right on the apples for this treat!

‘Tis rich and mellow…tasty-fine…

It’s like the sun with golden shine!

Golden Honey!
                  Golden Honey!

And then she’ll sprinkle mystery flakes…

Of course, on top, these flakes she shakes!

By now, you’ve  guessed Mum shakes the flakes

That are from seaweed plants she breaks,

So she can make them into flakes

That, on some food, she always shakes!

But not for everything she makes…

Sometimes the seaweed flakes, she takes!


By now, we all must have the aches,

From speakin’ of those shakin’ flakes…:)

Now, back to that sweet apple dish,

That Mum will bake that’s so dee-lish!

A nice fine helping goes down well,

And we don’t mind, of it, to tell!

We also love Mum’s yummy tarts…

To bake them Mum will use her smarts!

Some different berries Mum will use,

The best she finds is what she’ll choose!


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Some red…some blue…Me Mum will mix….

She’s really got some bakin’ tricks!

She’ll put some honey in the pot…

She’ll put enough….just not a lot!

Some nice brook water, then she’ll add…

When Mum makes this, we’re all so glad!

She’ll mix the berries, tart and sweet…

Warmed by the fire, for this treat.


Warm and melty…this berry bake…

Sweet and tasty, I sure will take

What Mum does give me, maybe more…

You know I am so thankful for!

Me Mum and Dad…they always try

To do good things as days  go by!


I am a happy Leprechaun!

And, in a flash, I will be gone,

But not until I’ve had my treat…

Mum’s apple dish or berries —  sweet!

I’m happy you stopped by today!

To read together, in this way!

We’ve  spent some time in quiet fun…

To think about when day is done!

So long for now, but wait and see,

You never know where I might be!

I’m sort of close and sort of far,

In some ways like an evening star…

Sometimes you see it bright and clear,

But other times it seems not near!


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But one thing you can know will be,

I may be near…You just don’t see!

I will watch out for you in ways,

That help keep you safe, for all days!

I hope that we are always Friends…

Enjoying blessings that God sends.

To laugh and play when work is done…

That’s my idea of grand great fun!

I hope your day is peaceful-fine,

With air that’s soft with Heaven’s shine…

And gives to you at least one breeze,

To come your way, your cares, to ease…


I Finney, Leprechaun, do say.

God bless you each and every day!


Note From Nannie!

“Apples have been grown in Ireland for at least 3,000 years.  Indeed, St. Patrick is said to have planted a number of apple trees in Ireland, including one…close to where Armagh is now situated.  Early monastic records tell us that the monks were given apples with their meals, specially at festival time.” (Georgina Campbell’s Ireland – http://www.ireland-guide.com)

*A fun story associated with Leprechauns is the granting of three wishes, with the hope of tricking a person into making a fourth wish which would cause the forfeit of the three legitimate wishes!  The movie, Darby O’Gill and the Little People has a very funny account of just such a situation…King Brian of the Leprechauns felt he was very clever in this regard!  🙂

If you go to the footnote link, you will find a question about this story for younger readers!

God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and me!