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18363The Goban Saor: 'What Donkeys Do'

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Jul 22, 2012
      An ancient Irish tradition speaks of the Goban Saor,
      who may have been a not so distant relative of
      Mullah Nasrudin. Here is one of many teaching
      stories about him. Enjoy!

      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 a donkey
      leans over a gate and brays at me, I'm not going to get
      upset, am I? Because that's what donkeys do ..!"
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