The Lingaun

I grew up with the sounds of the Lingaun river. My first headlong
thrust into life echoed her frenetic gush from the womb of the
mountain. As my mother kept vigilant watch over me, Slievenamon
too stood guard over her offspring.
My first tentative steps were in unison with her erratic attempts to
form into a babbling brook. Her gentle murmurings were the
lullabies that crooned me to sleep. My infant gibberish was in unison
with her first sweet song.
Then I learned to crawl on the red titles of the kitchen floor that bore
the hatchet marks of the old teacher who chopped the wood,
ignorant of their beauty. The Lingaun picked her way round
mountain heathers only to jump and dance over stony outcrops and
then she fell down, down onto the ledge below.
When I fell on to unyielding ground it was her pure clear water that
cleaned my wounds and numbed the pain with its sudden sharp
coldness. My journey too would force me around and over the
stumbling blocks and sometimes stormy waters of life.
Together we played. I sailed mighty ships on her in the summers of
my childhood. Pirates tried to steal my gold. I fought off soldiers and
Indians and as Tarzan I swung from the trees and with a mighty roar I
thumped my chest and fell into her coolness.
I learned to stand on her rocky bed with feet of blue until inured to
the icy water I would lift her stones and form a dam. The rising water
levels enabled me to learn. Two plastic barrels under the old wooden
door meant that my raft was too high above the stream. However,
when these containers were half filled with water and tied securely
with rope, I could then man the seas, capture the enemy, survive the
doldrums and overcome ferocious storms where the waves were
higher than the school that they knocked down!
At morn the rising dew created smoke from the fires of my
imagination. In the cool air I guided and manoeuvred my trusty
vessel away from the danger whilst I rescued hundreds of innocent
people, the Red Indians of yesterday who had nearly mortally
wounded my brother with their powerful arrows that pinged off the
sides of my vessel.
As the sun rose higher in the sky a cooling swim was welcome until
whales and mighty sharks surrounded me and my crew. Five year old
Declan cried real tears of fear before finding safety on the mighty
seaworthy vessel that I had created with only a little help from my
brother who tended to stray off duty quite frequently to assuage his
hunger pangs and to answer the calls of nature.
It was many the summer I spent on the Lingaun fighting the
neighbour’s children who had dared to trespass on to my prized
territory. The river was mine! I fought tooth and nail to preserve its
sanctity! I knew every pebble, stone and rock. My steps were sure
with my knowledge of every mossy spot where extra care was
The gentle cows often came to admire my ship or maybe they were
just thirsty! They loomed large, their dinosaur heads stretching up
into the massive trees only to be felled in one foul swoop by the
giant meteorite. I paddled furiously to the safety of the land on the
other bank. Tomorrow I would have to battle against the volcano
that left only Declan and me to save the world and of course we
would get plenty of help from my best friend the River Lingaun!
The End.