The Goban Saor: 'What Donkeys Do'

Once the Goban was in the Tabhairne (tavern)drinking mead as usual. At the next table a rowdy group - led by Cairbre O Loingsigh, the sea-captain's son - was loudly recapitulating the Goban's various adventures and misadventures.

The stories invariably ended in roars of laughter. The whole idea was to show what a foolish and ridiculous character the Goban was.

They kept glancing gleefully and maliciously in the Goban's direction, but he paid no attention whatsoever. In fact, he seemed completely unconcerned and even gave the impression that the thoughts running through his head were of a pleasant nature.

Gradually - since they were getting no response - the rowdy group's joviality seemed to run down and they became quieter and quieter . Some continued to glance maliciously over at the Goban, but now frustration clouded some faces , others seemed puzzled or annoyed.

At last , Conaill Mac Carthaigh , the tavern-owner - his curiosity aroused - wandered over to the Goban and said :

"Goban : did you not hear what those layabouts were saying about you ? Aren't you going to do something about it ?"

Suddenly the whole tavern went quiet, waiting for the Goban's response:

Blinking, as if coming out of a dream, the Goban said:

"..Well, now, tavern-keeper, if I'm walking along the road of an evening, minding my own business, and an 'oul donkey leans over a gate and brays at me, I'm not going to get upset, am I? Because that's what donkeys do ..!"