This is the first published of the recently submitted short stories. We do not intend to print these in any particular order, though we will signify the prize-winners! We are most grateful for each and every story submitted! Martin Payne gained second prize with another tale we will print shortly. This is more an amusing little anecdote!
The place was Fountain Street in Bessbrook, the date was sometime in the nineteen thirties.
Two youths were leaning against a wall in the village; the boys were poor and were out of work at that particular time. The two young men slouched with both hands thrust deep down inside their trouser pockets.
Walking towards the two boys on the same side of the street was a lady; she carried in her hand one of those wicker-shopping baskets, fashionable at the time. Across the street and just coming up almost level with the two youths was the local Parish Priest. The Priest was out enjoying his usual morning walk.
At this point the lady seeing the Priest on the other side of the street raised her hand in a respectful gesture and called out, ‘Good morning Father’.
The wicker basket slipped out of the lady’s other hand and bounced across the pavement towards the two grinning youths. The basket came to a stop in an upright position just in front of one of the boys.
The youth stretched out his foot and neatly hooking up the basket with it, keeping his leg straight, he lifted the wicker basket up and presented it to the lady, at the same time saying cheekily,
‘Here you are Mrs! One basket returned to you’.
The Priest was incensed. Such a display of laziness and bad manners he had never encountered before. Quickly the Priest crossed the street with the intention of rebuking the two boys for their bad behaviour.
‘That was the laziest action I have ever witnessed in my whole life!’ he scolded.
The lady tried to defuse the situation by saying,
‘It’s all right Father, the boy was only trying to help.’.
‘No! No!’ said the Priest,
‘Bad behaviour and laziness on that scale should not be tolerated’.
Turning to the youth the Priest said,
‘Young man! This is outrageous! In fact, if you could show me another action that is lazier than the one you have just preformed, then I shall give you two shillings’.
‘Hmm!? Two bob, you say?’ said the youth.
‘Yes! Two shillings!’ replied the old Priest.
Rotating the side of his body towards the Priest, and still keeping his hands deep within his trouser pockets, the youth bent his wrist forward so as to expose the opening of the pocket to the Priest, and with a sly grin on his face, he muttered,
‘Well! Just drop it in there, Fadher!’
… train to the Point …