AN IRISH TALE 
          by John T. Baker
When Paddy moved to County Cork, 
The lad knew not one soul, 
But straightaway he found the pub, 
The local "Glory Hole." 

"I'll have three beers," he promptly told 
The old bartender, who 
First raised his eyebrows, then complied, 
And Paddy downed his brew. 

"I'll have three more now, if you please!" 
Once more he drank them down; 
Next day the same thing happened 
and The news ran round the town. 

The folks were whispering about 
"The Man Who Has Three Beers;" 
It caused the most excitement that 
The town had known for years. 

The same routine went on each day; 
The old bartender, Dan, 
At last decided to find out 
About this drinking man. 

"I do not mean to pry, me lad," 
Said Dan, "but don't you see, 
The whole town's wondering just why 
You always order three." 

"Tis odd," said Paddy, "that I know, 
Uncommon I'll allow, 
But I've two brothers overseas 
With whom I've made a vow. 

"Before they left, we promised that 
Whenever we would drink, 
We'd always have an extra two 
And of the others think." 

Well, this went on for quite a while 
Until it was one day 
That Paddy came into the pub 
And Dan then heard him say: 

"I'll have two beers today, not three; 
Two beers, that's all," he said; 
Dan knew at once the news was sad, 
One brother must be dead. 

The word flew fast throughout the town 
And many a prayer was said 
To ease the pain and save the soul 
Of that poor brother dead. 

Next day when Paddy in the pub 
Called, "Just two beers today," 
Dan poured them out and wiped a tear 
And turned to him to say: 

"Condolences . . . here, Paddy, lad, Drink up, 
I'll stand the cost. 
The town joins me in grieving for 
The brother you have lost." 

"That's good of you," said Paddy then, 
Still drinking all the while, 
"And if you're buying, bring two more," 
He thanked him with a smile. 

"My brothers are alive and well, 
There's nothing to lament; 
Tis I, meself, that's giving up 
The drinking now for Lent."


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