By Denis Lehane
My bullocks have been viewed on the internet more than 15m times, crazy but true.
A woman came up to me in Macroom last Thursday morning while I chewed on a sausage and informed me that Mark Hamill had just liked them on Twitter.
Hamill, in case you don’t know, is the star of that film made in Kerry a few years back. No, not The Field. The other one, Star Wars.
So my bullocks might well have an impact on the next Star Wars movie. Possibly titled Star Wars: The Return of the Jersey, if I have anything to do with it.
The whole business began when my daughter Grace was filmed by myself last July, playing her concertina to the raggle-taggle bunch of cattle. She wanted to emulate her hero Sharon Shannon who did something similar in Dungarvan. So Grace played a few tunes to the bullocks.
She thought they might like the break from chewing grass on this farm (and further afield).
At the time, my cattle were on a right rampage, not helped, I might add, by the wondrous grass on my neighbours’ farms. It had them spellbound.
The half-squeezed ones were the most rampaging, with nothing on their minds but neighbouring grass and other delights over the boundary ditch.
Anyhow, fair play, they liked Grace and her concertina, and for one summer afternoon, the cattle stayed put. There was grace and harmony all around.
To cut a long story short, Sharon Shannon spotted my Grace clip on the internet, and subsequently drove it bananas with the height of views and what have you.
Millions have seen it.
Everyone from Chris O’Dowd on Twitter to the Pope himself, I suspect, if he has a computer in the Vatican. Grace had the cattle in the palm of her hand, and the world of the internet too. They were all mesmerised by her and her tune.
Anyhow, knowing nothing about the value of such publicity, didn’t I sell the very bullocks in the mart last week.
And worse again, I sold them for a song.
Make no mistake, rounding them up on a cold March morning was a far cry from Grace’s antics back in the summer. No amount of my roaring, shouting, or banjo playing could encourage them to the gate.
I dare say, even if Liberace himself sat by the gate playing his grand piano in a jovial fashion with candelabras and all the rest, they wouldn’t have budged.
Grace, it would seem, is the only one with the magic touch.
But alas, she was in school.
Eventually I corralled them and duly sent them off to the mart, only to be told after the sale that I had made the greatest mistake of my life.
“You’re a fool, a damn fool!” An old man cried to me after the mart had concluded, for he had heard that they were an internet sensation. “Them boys,” says he, “are the most popular bullocks in the world. Your fortune could have been made from that half-castrated old bunch of Jersey steers.”
“You could have been on the Late Late Show on Friday night, with your old bullocks on display,” says he.
“And once seen by the TV masses, they would have gone from worthless to priceless. You could have named your price,” he scowled,
before shaking his old walking stick in dismay at my foolishness. I suppose the old man was right. If a fellow from Star Wars likes the bullocks, I could surely have sold them for an out-of-this-world sum.