Saturday, 18 October 2008

Tommy McKaig's Country Yarns

The Dervock Donkey

R.J. McIlmoyle, the famed Dervock preacher, sheep breeder and storyteller, was once faced with a rather unusual query: "What will we do with the donkey?" 

A group of travelling people had departed from their roadside camp on the edge of Dervock, leaving behind the remains of a dead donkey. It was said to be traditional for them to move to new quarters on the death of a traveller or one of their animals. Following the request from the local people R.J. said that he would ring the Ballymoney Rural District Council to see what they could do. 

"What's your problem?" said the council officer. R.J. described the situation and said that his neighbours wanted the dead animal "taken away out of this". "Isn't it one of your jobs to see about burying the dead, Mr McIlmoyle?" "You'd be quite right thinking that", said R.J., " but it's also another of my duties to inform the next of kin!"