True, Mostly True, Mostly Mostly True

My Soul Mate’s cousin asked me to talk to her class of 7-8 year olds this week about our Drumlin Giants. You know her cousin , Laura ? The one who had me trawling through the entire Parkrun database for her one Saturday to allocate her time before she remembered, several hours later, that she hadn’t registered ? Yes, that one.

Generally, I have no trouble with public speaking, but that’s normally in a business context, and the audience is usually made up of adults. Adults, even Monaghan adults, are very forgiving, they laugh when they are supposed to, even if only out of politeness. Kids are not forgiving. I know, I was one.

I was asked to come to the school at 1pm and speak to Laura’s class for 20 minutes. This then grew to speaking to the four first classes, some 90 children. Schools have changed a lot! The front doors are locked, I had to be buzzed in and then escorted to Laura’s classroom. Classrooms have changed a lot ! There’s no blackboard. They now have fancy Dan whiteboards, laptops and there is colour everywhere. What was missing was a desk in the middle at the front for me to hide behind when I spoke.

Laura introduced me and explained that I was going to talk about the Drumlin Giants and that they were to be nice and quiet and that they could ask questions at the end. This fine idea lasted about 20 seconds into my talk.

My talk started out well…I thought. I told them that everything I was about to tell them was either true, mostly true or mostly mostly true. We quickly established that birds are dinosaurs, Drumlin Giants are older than the dinosaurs, you should take your goldfish for a walk regularly and that Noah’s daughter visited Monaghan to chat to the Drumlin Giants…before the Flood , obviously. As you can imagine hands shot up regularly and questions and answers ricocheted around the room.

We learnt that there are 11 Giants in Rossmore Park, namely Banba, Big Ross, Roddy, Spike, Aoife, Dagda and his cauldron of plenty, Muireann, The Morrigan, Airmed, Thoth ,and Dian Cecht. Some are visible, but some are still invisible. And some are visible but move very slowly and we haven’t noticed them yet , like a fly and us.

Many of the kids told me that they had taken a selfie beside Roddy, and I said that Roddy loved selfies and had in fact asked me to take one with them, which I did, and got all of the kids to roar ‘SAUSAGES !’ while I did so. I also told them that people have started tying ribbons on to Roddy’s beard and making a wish. The Giants will do their best to make those wishes come true. One boy asked me where Roddy’s hands had gone. I told him that his hands were very cold and that we couldn’t get big enough gloves, so we asked McAree Engineering to make him a giant water bottle which is under the lake now and he’s resting his hands on it until the Spring.

I said that Spike will shortly make himself visible, hopefully in time for Christmas and that the next Giant to reveal herself would be a Giant heron called Aoife. A wee girl sitting in front of me put up her hand and was so excited that she seemed to shake.

“Yes ?”

“My name’s Aoife !” she said in a rush.

“Well, now you know who you’re named after.”

I told them about Mary Bailey from Monaghan, Mary Westenra before she got married, and how meeting Aoife inspired her to learn how to fly and she joined the Royal Flying Corps in WW1, was the first woman to fly across the Irish sea, and in 1927 was the first person to fly from England to South Africa and back, at the time the world’s longest solo flight.

I told them how Dagda and his Cauldron of plenty fed all of the Giants and how he had helped Monaghan’s 18th century highway man , Parra Glas avoid capture. I asked them if they knew what a ‘Highwayman’ was. Hands shot up, one boy shouted out “Someone who lives on their own !”.

“That’s a hermit.”

I told them that Parra Glas had a reward on his head of £500 , which is worth €70,000 today…although I might have said €250,000. They asked why no one had claimed the money and told them where he was.

“Well Parra Glas was a kind hearted man really he only took from the rich , kept what he needed and gave the rest to the poor…like Jesus…if Jesus had a gun…” Thankfully they didn’t hear the last bit.

I was by now thoroughly enjoying myself and was hopping around from Giant red wolves to Banba a Giant lady with Elk antlers, to Spike’s wet bottom , and the Monaghan man on the moon….but eventually Laura had to step in and say that we’d run out of time.

I asked the kids to shout out sausages one last time so that Roddy might hear them, and they screamed it so loud that I thought a few of them were going to turn themselves inside out.

I got several hugs at the end. None were from Laura.

One wee chap asked me what the Giants are made of. I asked him what was he made of, “Stone ?” he guessed.

“No ,you are made out of tiny atoms, and so are the Giants.”

He smiled.

A wee girl was waiting to ask me a question. She asked me in a whisper, I had to bend down and asked her to repeat the question.

“Are the Giants real ?” she whispered.

“ Do you believe they are ?” I whispered back.


“Me too.”

She smiled.

And then I was escorted from the building…

Toodles ,

Author: paul

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