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TITLE
Large Horns on the Far Away Cattle (The Grass is always greener on the other side)
EXTERNAL ID
HC_GAELICSTORYTAPE_003
DATE OF RECORDING
1997
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
The Highland Council
ASSET ID
2333
KEYWORDS
oral tradition
folklore
stories
Gaelic
story telling
audio

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This story is recorded in Gaelic and the following is an English translation.

Large Horns on the Far Away Cattle.
(The grass is always greener on the other side)

There was once a young gardener and he became extremely discontented. Now, he had no reason to be unhappy, indeed he should have been completely satisfied. There were no flowers or vegetables in the country as good as his and when he took them to market he always got a good price for them. But in spite of all that he was not at all satisfied and he did not enjoy his work at all.

"I do nothing but dig and delve and plant and plant and delve and dig," he said to himself, "year after year! That is of no use to me. I think I'll just get away from here. I'll get different work and I won't be half as busy as I am."

That is just what he did. He set off that very day and left the garden there, the lovely garden where the birds would sing and the bees would hum. He went on and on until at last he came to a place where an old man was sitting at a cottage door, playing a fiddle.

"What a good way you have," said he to the old man, "of making a living. I wonder if you would teach me to play a tune on the fiddle?"

"I certainly will do so," replied the old man, "but just you remember, my lad, that you will need to practise for hours every day otherwise the day will never come when you'll be good at playing the fiddle."

This did not appeal to the young fellow at all. "Indeed and indeed," said he, "that's a lot worse than working in the garden. I'll just try something else."

Off he went again, and after a while he reached a large town. What did he see there but a notice in a shop window seeking a young man to work in a bakery. He secured the job and soon he learned how to make the bread. But what hard work that was! His arms were as tired as though he were carrying a bag of stones from morning till night, and every time he tried to stop and have a rest the baker would shout at the top of his voice, "Don't stop at all, boy, don't stop, don't stop, or else the bread will be spoilt and it will be useless."

Within a short time the young man said to himself that that was no work for him at all and off he went again, not feeling very happy. After a while he came to a place where there was a man who kept bees.

"Surely to goodness," said the lad to himself, "I would enjoy to be working for this man, it must surely be good work to keep bees and sell honey."

The bee-keeper was very willing to give him a job. He gave him clothing to put on his face and on his head, and gloves to protect his hands, and he showed him how to collect the honey. But did the bees not start crawling in under the clothing and through the gloves and they stung him time after time. He ran off as fast as he could, shouting at the top of his voice.

"Come back, come back, come on back, come on back," the bee-keeper was shouting after him, "we won't be finished for a long time yet."

"You won't see that, me going back there," replied the young gardener. "I don't want to be murdered by those horrible creatures. They are too good at stinging you."

"Of course they are," replied the other man, "They have stung me often enough! Many a time. It is not at all easy to get honey without being stung."

"Well now," said the young man to himself, "it's my opinion that my own job isn't so bad after all."

And back he went, with a light heart and a happy spirit, to his own garden and to the work which he had to begin with.

This story is from a collection of stories available on tape, with an accompanying book, under the title 'Am Bloigh Beag le Beannachd'

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Large Horns on the Far Away Cattle (The Grass is always greener on the other side)

1990s

oral tradition; folklore; stories; Gaelic; story telling; audio

The Highland Council

Am Bloigh Beag le Beannachd (Cassette)

This story is recorded in Gaelic and the following is an English translation.<br /> <br /> Large Horns on the Far Away Cattle.<br /> (The grass is always greener on the other side)<br /> <br /> There was once a young gardener and he became extremely discontented. Now, he had no reason to be unhappy, indeed he should have been completely satisfied. There were no flowers or vegetables in the country as good as his and when he took them to market he always got a good price for them. But in spite of all that he was not at all satisfied and he did not enjoy his work at all.<br /> <br /> "I do nothing but dig and delve and plant and plant and delve and dig," he said to himself, "year after year! That is of no use to me. I think I'll just get away from here. I'll get different work and I won't be half as busy as I am."<br /> <br /> That is just what he did. He set off that very day and left the garden there, the lovely garden where the birds would sing and the bees would hum. He went on and on until at last he came to a place where an old man was sitting at a cottage door, playing a fiddle.<br /> <br /> "What a good way you have," said he to the old man, "of making a living. I wonder if you would teach me to play a tune on the fiddle?"<br /> <br /> "I certainly will do so," replied the old man, "but just you remember, my lad, that you will need to practise for hours every day otherwise the day will never come when you'll be good at playing the fiddle."<br /> <br /> This did not appeal to the young fellow at all. "Indeed and indeed," said he, "that's a lot worse than working in the garden. I'll just try something else."<br /> <br /> Off he went again, and after a while he reached a large town. What did he see there but a notice in a shop window seeking a young man to work in a bakery. He secured the job and soon he learned how to make the bread. But what hard work that was! His arms were as tired as though he were carrying a bag of stones from morning till night, and every time he tried to stop and have a rest the baker would shout at the top of his voice, "Don't stop at all, boy, don't stop, don't stop, or else the bread will be spoilt and it will be useless."<br /> <br /> Within a short time the young man said to himself that that was no work for him at all and off he went again, not feeling very happy. After a while he came to a place where there was a man who kept bees.<br /> <br /> "Surely to goodness," said the lad to himself, "I would enjoy to be working for this man, it must surely be good work to keep bees and sell honey."<br /> <br /> The bee-keeper was very willing to give him a job. He gave him clothing to put on his face and on his head, and gloves to protect his hands, and he showed him how to collect the honey. But did the bees not start crawling in under the clothing and through the gloves and they stung him time after time. He ran off as fast as he could, shouting at the top of his voice.<br /> <br /> "Come back, come back, come on back, come on back," the bee-keeper was shouting after him, "we won't be finished for a long time yet."<br /> <br /> "You won't see that, me going back there," replied the young gardener. "I don't want to be murdered by those horrible creatures. They are too good at stinging you."<br /> <br /> "Of course they are," replied the other man, "They have stung me often enough! Many a time. It is not at all easy to get honey without being stung."<br /> <br /> "Well now," said the young man to himself, "it's my opinion that my own job isn't so bad after all."<br /> <br /> And back he went, with a light heart and a happy spirit, to his own garden and to the work which he had to begin with.<br /> <br /> This story is from a collection of stories available on tape, with an accompanying book, under the title 'Am Bloigh Beag le Beannachd'