I'm happy with the response to my other stories, yet it must be said that it hasn't been all bad with me, some encounters have just been, well, miraculous. But before I go on, I'd like to thank all those who have left me comments. I will get back to you all shortly, probably through the site or via e mail. I do promise to respond though, just been busy.
This story I'm about to write is about how the irish language saved my life when I was 15. And I've never forgotten the kind words that saved me. You all know them to. But I'll tell the story first.
My friend paul and I had just finished a great game of football in the phoenix park, and now we were sitting down on his front lawn drinking gallons of water (it was a hot August) and resting our soon to be aching bones. I stretched myself out, flat on my back and looked towards the reddening sky. Or heavens now as I call it instead of sky. I held a smoke between my lips and took a very long pull on it. Without removing the cigarette from my lips, I blew the smoke out and watched it dance towards the heavens. Then I heard the oddest thing, Irish. Not the word, the language (You should know before I continue on that only one percent of Irish speak their own language on a regular basis)
Gabh mo leithscéal (GOVV muh LAH-shkayl), An bhfuil Gaelige agat? (on will Gwhale-ga agg-ut?) Excuse me, do you speak Irish?
Sea (Shah) Yes, I responded as I propped myself up on my elbows and looked down the length of my body towards an eldery man standing at the garden gate. Who the hell are you talking to? I'd forgotten Paul was even beside me. Normally I wouldn't have responded to a ghost so quickly without first looking about, to see who was around me. Yet on this occasion I had. It made sense later.
I turned to Paul and promised to explain it to him, later on, then turned back to my visitor and asked, Conas atá tú? (CONN-us a-TAW too?) How are you?
Táim go maith, go raibh maith agat. (TAW'm guh MOH, GUH REV MOH agg-UT) I'm fine, thank you.
Paul sat looking at me as if I had twenty heads, but I continued talking to this gent, not knowing why it was so improtant that I did so, just feeling that it was.
He took a step in towards me and said Cén t-ám é? (Cane Tahm a?) Le do thoil. (Leh duh Hull) What's the time please? I looked at my watch and was just about to give it to him when he was right in front of me and shouted Bí curamach! (BEE KOOR-muk!) Look out! Paused, then said Dia is Muire Duit (DEE-a iSS MIRR-a Gwit) May God and Mary be with you. This took me by surprise. Not the fact that he was screaming at me, but, his last sentence. This is actually a greeting. It's how you say hello to someone in Irish who has already said hello to you. It was also said with a slight warning tone. Then, as usual, he was gone. I sat there a while longer looking in the direction the old man had appeared. Then I just got up, went into Paul's house and ate my dinner. The visitor had left me slightly shaken, and also warm hearted. He was a pleasant if somewhat strange visitor. I did explain to Paul my gift, who shrugged it off with disinterest, but he believes me now, as a mate would, without conviction. Its easier for some people to continue believing the world is flat.
I left his house close to ten o clock that evening, and started my long journey home. His house was located on blackhorse avenue, some 40 minutes from my home in Cabra. As I was walking (I decided to go through the park and up onto my road through Dunnard estate) I heard something moving beside me. The park is full of foxes, deer, rabbits and badgers, so I thought nothing of it. Until I heard a clicking noise/sound coming from my left. I stopped in my tracks and turned to face this obtuse sound. It certainly did not belong with the other sounds of the park. What I saw I will take to the grave. It stood 4 feet tall, sloped over, so I would guess it would be taller, and had its arms dragging on the ground. It was just an outline of course, but so very real. I took a step back and heard a small, growl I guess, that's the only way to explain it, so I stopped again. I'm done for is all I thought. This thing wasn't letting me get anywhere without it's permission. And it didn't seem like it was going to give it.
When I looked back on it later on, there wasn't any other sounds around the two of us. Everything was silent. That's when I heard the words again, Dia is Muire Duit! I remembered the old man and his warning. But didn't know what he had meant. "Oh God help me" I spoke. The thing stepped back slightly. My mind was racing now. Don't think that I have ever been as clear headed in my whole life as I was in these few moments, but I started saying the Hail mary. It wasn't working. The creature started towards me. Moving over leaves and fallen branches. Its image becoming clearer (I would describe it but I'll leave you with this instead, Remember your worst nightmare and multiply it by 50, that's what this thing was starting to look like) I was panicking now. Every part of me wanted to run away, but I was held fast.
Then I closed my eyes (I was actually waiting for the worst to happen) and said the Ár nAthair (are en-ah-her) the Our Father, in Irish. When I opened my eyes, everything had changed. I was, alone. The space in front of me empty. Nothing around me. I started to think I'd imagined it until I heard Go H-anamhaith ar fad! (Guh hawn a whah aer fawd) Well done. It was the old mans voice. I couldn't see him, but the warmth was there. I went home and slept well. I've never forgotten that experience the same way I've never forgotten any of them, but that's a nice one with some heritage. I'm happy to know my own language and I thank God every time I visit his home for my savior ghost.