King Finbar in America

(Somewhere off the Coast of Nova Scotia, February, 1121)
(From The Ancient Cattle Raids of Finn McCool   —  Feb 1, 2016)

continued from last month

that when he actually landed on that North American beach in 993 AD the playful, tattooed Red men had already made off with six barrels of whiskey, more than a third of the unsettled cargo and certainly one of the main motivations for the voyage. Finbar quickly posted his most trusted lieutenant to guard the emergency rations and not one drop was dwindled further.

“Let them have a share,” Finbar had exclaimed in the sand. We can just make more tonight!”

The landing party was comprised of Dublin’s Brian the Fair, McDougall The Ugly from Ballyshannon, and Warren of Wexley, a self-described dandy from Galway. Joining these stalwarts were numerous squires, servants and several curious Druids that had promised not to interfere in official business.

Hacking its way through monster eucalyptus trees and dwarf maples the party stumbled around in circles before coming to rest at a clearing 200 feet above the beach.

“Tomorrow I shall claim this isle in the name of Brian Boru of Tara,” bellowed Finbar, frightening a group of nearby Indians while obsessively mapping the entire landscape on the back of his hand. Then, early the next morning the band set out to civilize the environs.

First the still must be erected and the fermentation process began. They would need corn, rye and barley. After an incursion or two into local villages it became clear that the Indians had storehouses of the stuff that they used to feed their pet marmots. They happily traded a sufficient supply for a boat ride and a few pictures of Queen Elizabeth.

Just then, a subtle brush with reality brought them back to their senses. Two of the Red man had retuned just in time for last call. With them they brought tobacco and all of the aforementioned ingredients necessary to distill Irish whiskey. They gave Finbar gourds filled with cider to hold the White folks over until their batch was pronounced potent and potable. Finbar thanked the chief, a fine-feathered brave of about 23.

The chief immediately agreed to provide a tour guide for Finbar and his crew if they would only share their joy juice. What commenced might have been the first chronicled multi-ethnic cocktail hour in the Western Hemisphere.

Once the silly natives found out Finbar was a bona fide king they wanted to carry him through the jungle in a diamond-studded litter. But since they didn’t have one they hauled him around in an out-of-commission canoe. Often times the thirsty entourage covered more than 400 yards per day before falling exhausted, corks a –popping, into their buckskin hammocks and canopy yurts.

Once the party got roaring, the Irish were keen to learn the skills of a woodsman. The only problem occurred when the bosun’s mate was dragged off and eaten by a large bear while he was collecting firewood. That was it, other than a case of scurvy that was treated by repeated ingestion of green whiskey by accompanying Jesuits on their way overland to what is now Paraguay.

At the end of the weekend everyone bode farewell to their elbow bending buckaroos and went their separate ways, all except a skeleton contingent of the bravest who would remain behind to establish a colony.

Three years later explorers traveling under the protection of Fitzgerald the Imp, landed at the site of the first still and found no sign of so much as a bartender. Conjecture was that the colony had run short of hickory, which made the best copper kettle process. One blind eyewitness said they moved south following the caribou herds all the way to the outskirts of Savannah. Little more is known of their aborted attempt to create a Celtic Empire in what is now The Maritimes.

– Melvin O”Toole

Filed Under: Featured Peeks


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