Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Our very own shillelagh.
Hands up all those who could spell that without resorting to a dictionary (TFE excepted of course). It took me ages to find the word even then.
For years one of our old, gnarled hawthorn trees in the pasture has had this great lump of wood attached to one of the branches. A few years ago the branch broke off, leaving just a stump, but the lump remained. We used to look at it and say how much it reminded us of a shillelagh.
Now this Summer, the heifers in the pasture have obviously found it a good scratching post and gradually, over the Summer, they have dislodged it, until the other morning the farmer found it lying on the floor.
It is so like a shillelagh that I can't help feeling this is how they were formed. According to my dictionary, the term is probably from Shillelagh oak wood in County Wicklow so this makes sense doesn't it.
Whatever the origins, it is lovely to have such a good example and I intend to put it on the window sill and admire it, at least for a while.