Hello, my Friend! Hello today!
I hope you are in a fine way!
No matter rain, no matter shine,
I always hope your day is fine!
I, Finney, have a tale for you
That you will love and laugh with, too!
Of Missie Mickdermot I will tell,
So ravishing — a donkey-belle!
A donkey beauty of reknown
Who tavelled Ireland up and down,
With Kevin O’, the donkeyman…
Irish blood…and American!
Pretty girleen with dark brown eyes,
She looked smart and was small in size.
Black-crossed back and brown coat with shine,
This donkey-mare…Missie…so fine!
With “Fleetwood” cart to join the two,
The “loving couple” 😉 travelled new.
They went all ’round the Irish coast.
It took them a good year — almost!
‘Twas Grannie Kelly prayed and prayed,
While Kevin led and Missie brayed!
Kilroosky was their place of start.
No day, from then, were they apart!
The happy pair travelled so far
Beneath Sun’s rays and Night-time’s star.
Start from Roscommon toward Galway…
That was the way on that first day!
On to Clare and County Kerry,
Hope their spirits were still merry!
Then on to Cork, and Waterford,
And then Kilkenny and Wexford,
Then Wicklow, Dublin headin’ ’round
Louth, Meath, Armagh, and County Down!
To Antrim, Derry, Donegal…
So many places…That’s not all!
The Giant’s Causeway and North Coast,
By then sure gave them cause to boast!
Then Leitrim and County Sligo,
Almost done in County Mayo!
So many folks were kind in ways
That helped them thru so many days.
Their stories are just great to tell,
Of course, Kev tells them very well…
Of Robert Shannon’s fine “thin place”…*
And Grannie Kelly’s prayerful space,
Brother Malachy’s straight questions,
Conor Pass and its congestions…
So many mem’ries, much to tell…
Birthday at Knock, St. Brigid’s well…
Micho Russell, tin whistle champ…
Diff’rent setups for night-time’s camp…
The hedges for hangers were grand,
Such lovely places in Ireland!
Grannie’s mints, Donal Honan’s cheers…
Rattigan’s Pub, black Guinness beers….
Cella’s dee-lish currant cake snack…
“Tub pneumonia” and Jimmy Mac…
First April’s days of the old cow…
A pied wagtail on a tree’s bough…
Is sixty seven pounds enough?
With just that much things might get tough!
Three b’s reward’s enough, ’tis said,
Three b’s that are bath, beer, and bed!
Boiled oak bark and mushroom paste…
No need to hurry…nor to haste!
Field for Missie…Kevin’s soft hay…
Not much quiet with Missie’s bray!
Hazel sticks and some Irish rain…
Wasp’s dying sting causes some pain!
Mikey Joe’s and Rosary sayin’…
Glad for that! Much need for prayin’!
Glenisheen gold makes collar shine,
Near 3,000 years and still fine!
Parade for Peace — ready for death,
But ’twas no threat to Kev’s life’s breadth!
So, even though we know it’s great,
To have bath, beer and bed as fate,
Great blessings our Kev did receive,
Which all did help him to believe
How God takes care of each of us,
No matter what our muss or fuss!
When Kev met Brother Malachy,
There was no if or but or why…
But just a clear and certain “how”
Has our grand God worked for you now…
And when Kev gave this question thought,
Something to do…he really ought…
He realized different helps had come,
Not really knowing just where from….
A simple bird…a song would sing,
The fine Angelus bells would ring…
Prayer would burst forth…a true wellspring…
God’s Presence is in everything!
There’s so much more that could be told…
Of course, some tales of pots o’ gold…
But mostly of fine folks who care,
Help Kev and Missie everywhere!
From place to place, on they did trod,
All over land on the old Sod.
At Sacred Heart Church…nearly done,
Soon home again, with everyone!
We Leprechauns were glad for this…
That they were home, Kev and his Miss!
We helped to keep them safe from harm…
With our good looks and wit and charm…
Well…really was the Grace of God,
That kept them safe on this old Sod!
We played our part when giv’n the chance,
And then we would play, laugh, and dance!
Kev may have seen us…caught a glance…
Most likely when we danced our dance!
But glad to help, if truth be told,
We knew with Kev…safe was our gold!
For Kev and Missie, that’s the tale,
They took the dare and did not fail!
Seventeen hundred twenty miles…
Kev and Missie…lots of grand smiles…
They sure did cover lots of ground!
Kev said she never let him down!
So happy to be “nosing home,”
From all those days that they did roam!
Near journey’s end, though, it was so,
She had special place to go…
Our Missie found her way to be,
In a Christmas Nativity!
Fitting for her to be in sight,
In this Scene of that Holy Night!
Though Bethlehem was far away,
In space and time on that fine day,
Dear Missie did her forebears proud,
By Baby Jesus…’twas allowed,
That she should stand so nice and fine,
Right in the glow of Christmas shine!
Of Missie, there is just no way
That would make it easy to say,
How wonderful and fine is she,
Who walked with him on this journey.
She’s, Kev said, of his fine, grand steed…
A credit to her noble breed!
When times were hard and things got tough
She stayed by Kev…even when rough…
Kev told her she wore her cross well,
Though hard times for her, he could tell.
I, Finney, know all this is true,
For me, this story is not new.
Me Nannie told me it was so.
If she said this, then she does know…
That Missie Long Ears, Kevin’s steed,
Is mighty, fine, and grand, indeed!
And Kevin’s blessed, by God’s grand Grace,
To share with her, a holy place,
In minds and hearts, forevermore,
Like Leprecauns in Irish lore!
But now it feels like time to sleep!
This story, in my mind, I’ll keep.
So, I can tell it many times…
But always I would tell in rhymes!
I am so glad we talked today!
God bless you is what I do say!
Note from Nannie…
Kevin O’Hara tells his story of the trip he and his donkey, Missie, took around the perimeter of Ireland in his book, The Last of the Donkey Pilgrims. Kevin has said that one of the things God put him on the earth to do is to tell this story of their great adventure! Missie was such a loyal and devoted companion that she has been described as “a living token of God’s favor and Grace.” Kev and Missie took “one step out of the ordinary, trusting to grace and goodwill, and everything followed from that simple sacrament of spontaneity, so Irish at its heart.” His feeling at the end of their journey was “a prayer of thanksgiving.” Any moment you may give to reading Kevin and Missie’s story will find its place not only in your mind, but in your heart!