Little Big PupOnce upon a time there was a very small Cardigan puppy who had no name. Fie had no name because he had been bred by a nasty man who did not think about puppies' brains and hearts but only about the $50.00 they might each sell for. (This, gentle reader, is most unusual. Cardigan breeders are almost always thoroughly nice people. And that's the truth.)
So Nameless Pup was piled into a station wagon, along with other nameless pups, in an old orange crate, on the way to the Airport. But Nameless Pup happened to be the seventh son of a seventh son, and thus he had pre-vision; he could see the Shape of Things to Come, and he did not like what he saw.
It was a long journey, so nasty Man finally had to stop the car by the side of the road, and vanish momentarily into the bushes. The orange crate was weak and had a nice hole near the bottom. A slight push and Nameless Pup was out of the crate and onto the tailgate. Heart in mouth and paws over eyes, he rolled to the edge, plunged to the soft grass, and continued to roll, like a little possum, until he felt the branches of the roadside bushes cover him from sight. He lay still. Only moments passed, and then the sound of the motor became loud and finally lessened into silence. He was alone, and the world was very big.
That night a farmer named O'Shaughnessy and his little son were doing the last long chores before bedtime, when they saw a small pup, almost too tired to walk, stagger into the warmth of the barn. Now O'Shaughnessy Jr. was a cripple, which perhaps made both O'Shaughnessys sensitive to the weaknesses of others. "We'll keep him until morning", said O'Shaughnessy Sr. "Do you think he would eat hot mash?"
But when morning came, Nameless Pup had taken a new lease on life. What joy the world held! No one had told him about cows and chickens and pigs and those noisy creatures the guinea hens. What rapture it would be to see that those ducks behaved them-selves and took their baths at appropriate intervals!
It is very handy to be the seventh son of a seventh son. Our pup knew that the first day would be the trickiest. What could he do to prove his sterling worth to O'Shaughnessy Sr.? O'Shaughnessy Jr. was already a pushover.
Fate, as so often happens to those who take her by the forelock, played into Pup's paws. Too small and weak to help with the cattle, he was not too small to think about chickens. And this day, as the seventh son of a seventh son knew, was full of portents. The clouds were heavy and lowering, and suddenly the wind struck. Half the hen house collapsed; the other half held. Chickens and their feathers flew like snow across the barnyard. His herding instinct in full play, Pup rounded up the survivors and paraded them happily into the undamaged wing of the chicken house.
"We had better keep him a little longer", said O'Shaughnessy Sr. "By the way, let's give him a good Irish name, like, say, 'O'Reilly'."
This could be the end of a happy story, and indeed it is, as O'Reilly has gone on from triumph to triumph. But this is a True Story, and so certain details must be hastily filled in, in the interest of Truth.
To Wit: O'Reilly has now become an expert in herding pigs, and has developed an unexpected technique in dealing with sows and boars. (We won't go into this, but it involves delicate nipping at hinder parts.)
Two: O'Reilly has developed his original passion for fowl, and can herd domestic and wild turkeys, guineas, roosters, hens, etc., arranging them on the boundary fence in a most photogenic manner, so that photographers from local farm journals pay premium rates to the O'Shaughnessys for pictures of their stock.
Three: With the months, O'Reilly has graduated to dealing with cattle. When the heavy snows came, and two prize young heifers were lost, it was O' Reilly who found them, and in the nick of time, as little O'Shaughnessy Jr., also hunting for them, had fallen into a snow-filled gully and might never have gotten out alone. But O'Reilly dug and tugged and pulled, and it was a victorious parade that finally made it back to the barn.
To put it briefly: O'REILLY IS TOPS.
Is anyone interested in an AKC registration or a pedigree?
Don't make the O'Shaughnessys laugh. Or O'Reilly.
And That's the Truth.
Source: The Cardigan News-Bulletin 1973/#1 - Original title: Success Story.