The Four-Leafed Shamrock
THIS tale gives a good instance of the virtue of the four-leafed shamrock against the power which takes people's eyes--i.e., true vision--from them:
A good many years ago a showman came to the town of Dingle and performed many tricks there. At one time he'd eat a dozen straws and then pull yards of ribbon from his throat. The strangest thing he showed was a game-cock that he used to harness to a great log of wood.
Men, women, and children were breaking their bones, running to see the cock, and he a small bird, drawing such a great weight of timber. One day, when the showman was driving the cock on the road toward Brandon Mountain, he met a man with a bundle of fresh grass on his back. The man was astonished to see crowds running after a cock dragging one straw behind him.
"You fool," said the people, "don't you see the cock drawing a log of timber, and it would fail any horse to draw the like of it?"
"Indeed, then, I do not. I see the cock dragging a straw behind him, and sure I've seen the like many a time in my own place."
Hearing this, the showman knew that there was something in the grass, and going over to the man he asked what price was he asking for the bundle. The man didn't wish to sell the grass, but at last he parted with it for eighteen pence. The showman gave the grass to his boy and told him to go aside and drop it into the river. The boy did that, and when the bundle went down with the stream the man was as big a fool as another; he ran after the cock with the crowd.
That evening the same man was telling a friend how at first he saw the cock with a straw behind him, and then saw him drawing a great log of wood. "Oh, you fool!" said the friend, "there was a four-leafed shamrock in your bundle of grass; while you had the shamrock it kept every enchantment and devilment from you, and when you parted with it, you became as big a fool as the others."