The Goban Saor: 'The Silent Valley'
Once, when the Goban was young, he
was training to be a druid.
One day, his teacher took the Goban and a group of pupils to the Silent Valley, up in the mountains.
They had just come over the pass and halted, gazing in silence across the valley.
After some time, the pupil nearest the Goban whispered:
"..Why is it called the 'Silent Valley'?"
"Why ?" whispered the Goban back" ..You see those standing stones below?"
Two or three others were now listening in and they all nodded, gazing steadily at the hundreds of tall standing stones - like giant, regularly-shaped stalagmites - which covered the valley floor and some way up the sides.
"..Well, some of them", said the Goban in a loud whisper"..have been standing there for over three thousand years .."
"..So?" they whispered back.
"..Under every stone" whispered the Goban"..some sage, or seer, or druid, or wise man is buried ..."
"..Yes, so ?" they whispered.
"..Have you noticed" said the Goban in an even louder whisper, because more of them were listening now "..that none of them have very much to say for themselves now ..."
They stared back at him until one of them, thinking that he knew what the Goban meant, started to chuckle. Soon the whole Silent Valley resounded with irreverent laughter.
The druid who was their teacher kept frowning at the Goban the whole way back down the mountain.
Perhaps this is why the Goban never became a druid.