Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town



The boy points and runs towards Daisy. He is full of smiles and says something to his Dad. We are between the mesh fence of the hurdy-gurdys and the low stone wall that runs along the grass by the Siamsa Tire building, a space of no more than four or five feet. The two obviously like the look of Daisy and she likes nothing better than a bit of attention.

“Does your dog bite?” I’m asked by the little man, who I see could be no more than five years old.

“No,” I say though I pull back on Daisy’s lead in case the boy is scared of dogs.

The smile on his little face would light up a thousand lives and he captures my heart immediately. The father is a big man, well over six foot and is powerfully built, in the way of someone who happily works hard for a living. His fair hair is combed over to the side and cut short around the ears and neck. The striped, long sleeved shirt is tight around the chest, open at the neck and tucked into a clean pair of chinos. On his feet are a pair of well-polished brown shoes that look like they may be only for Sundays or other days out. The boy is a carbon copy of the Dad; the shirt tucked into his trousers and the shoes scuff free, though not as polished as the older man’s.

“She’s just like the ones we have at home, isn’t she?” the father says.

I think they are chatting to me but I quickly realize the man is talking to the boy only. The boy smiles up at his Dad then turns to me. He who holds up two fingers before saying:

“We have two.”

“Lucky you,” I say.

He keeps smiling. Obviously a very happy young man. His Dad no doubt the same. The boy rubs his arms and points at my bare ones, while also shivering a bit. It is then that I notice the hearing aid in his right ear.

“I know,” I say clearly and loudly, “it is cold and I forgot my jumper.” I rub my arms too and pull at my thin t-shirt to show how little warmth it is giving me.

The boys hugs himself and I guess it is to show he is warm.

“Lucky you,” I say.

He smiles and bends down to rub Daisy. She licks his fingers which makes him laugh even more. The father, who may be a bit shy, just nods at me.

“We must go now Sean,” he says after a few seconds

“You’re a great man,” I say to the son, “and full of muscles too”. I gently squeeze the biceps on his right arms and he falls into even more laughter.

The father looks at me with a beaming smile.

“Thank you,” he says.

“Good luck,” I say and head off for home.

Two hours later and I’m still smiling.


Posted by John Verling

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