Thanks to Ian Dickey for this great photo of Shindler McGarry the new boy in town! You wonder just how it can balance its Fez on its headz!
bodA shaggy Shindler McGarry scented his way along the highroad. He had not been there before, but he was guided by the trail of his brethren who had preceded him. He had gone unwillingly upon this journey, yet with the perfect training of McGarrys he had accepted it without complaint. The path had been lonely, and his heart would have failed him, traveling as he must without all but one of his camels (a big brown one called Sheilla), had not these traces of countless McGarrys before him promised companionship of a sort at the end of the road.
The landscape had appeared arid at first then turned to Bogland, this was Lough Beg in the summer of 1982, for the translation from recent agony into freedom from pain had been so numbing in its swiftness that it was some time before he could fully appreciate the un-pleasant McGarry-country through which he was passing. There were shucks upon the ground through which to fall on ones face before reaching the lake into which he might plunge for relief--But he did not complete his thought, for Larry was not with him. A little wave of homesickness possessed him.
It made his mind easier to see far ahead a great gate as high as the heavens, wide enough for all. He understood that only Nobirders built such barriers and by straining his eyes he fancied he could discern McGarrys passing through to whatever lay beyond. He broke into a run that he might the more quickly gain this inclosure made beautiful by Barry; but his thoughts outran his pace, and he remembered that he had left the goats behind as well, and again this lovely new world became not perfect, since it would lack the hedonism he was accustomed too.
The scent of the McGarrys grew very strong now, and coming nearer, he discovered, to his astonishment that of the myriads of those who had arrived ahead of him, twenty losers were still gathered at Church Island awaiting their Nobirds Bird Report. They sat in a wide circle spreading out on each side of the tower, big, little, curly, handsome, McGarrys of every age, complexion, and personality all totally lost and confused. All were apparently waiting for something, someone, and at the noise of Shindlers feet on the hard road they arose and looked in his direction.
That the interest passed as soon as they discovered the new-comer to be Shindler McGarry puzzled him. In his former dwelling-place the Bedoiun Tent a McGarry brother was greeted with enthusiasm when he was a friend, with suspicious diplomacy when a stranger, and with sharp reproof when an enemy; but never had he been utterly ignored. He had better get used to it.
Shindler remembered something that he had read many times on great buildings with lofty entrances. "McGarrys not admitted," the signs had said, and he feared this might be the reason for the waiting circle outside theTower. It might be that Church Island stood as the dividing-line between mere McGarrys and humans or else they were looking in vein for the mystical Irish Ladys Tresses. But he had been a member of the Committee, romping with them in the living-room, sitting at meals with them in the dining-room, going upstairs at night with them, and the thought that he was to be "kept out" would be unendurable.
He despised the passive McGarrys. They should be setting an example, for he was still full of the rebellion of the world an Omar Sheriff off the desert; but he found no report once again. He could see beyond the report, beyond the threshold. They continued in their patient ring, their gaze upon the stone tower.
He now advanced cautiously to examine “a report” lying on the dark brown rush’s. It occurred to him that it must be migration-time in this region, and he did not wish to make himself ridiculous before all these strangers by trying to identify a Desert Warbler. Yet there before him was a Little Egret, and despair entered his soul. What bitter punishment these poor McGarrys must have suffered before they learned to ring Flapline.What have we done on earth to merit this? Stolen bird records troubled Shindlers conscience, runaway days, sleeping in the best chair until the key clicked in the lock. These were sins.
At that moment Larry McGarry with liver-colored slacks and a jaunty manner, approached him, snuffling in a friendly way Larry expressed his joy at meeting Shindler by putiing the kettle on and getting the ironing board and iron out . Shindler McGarrys reserve was quite thawed by this welcome, though he did not know just what to make of it.
"I know you! I know you!" exclaimed Larry, adding inconsequently, "What's your name?"
"Shindler McGarry. They call me Shindler," was the answer, with a pardonable break in the voice.
"I know you," said Larry . "A new McGarry."
"Best ever McGarry," said Barry, trying to be nonchalant, its amazing how many Middle East rarities we get
"Come for a walk, and tell me all about them," was his new friend's Larry invitation.
"Aren't we allowed in there?" asked Shindler, looking toward the Tower.
"Sure. You can go in whenever you want to. Some of us do at first, but we don't stay."
"Like it better outside?"
"No, no; it isn't that."
"Then why are all you McGarrys hanging around here? Any sane McGarry can see it's better inside the Tower."
"You see, we're waiting for our tenners to arrive."
Shindler McGarry grasped it at once, and nodded understandingly.
Garry McGarry coughed in slight embarrassment.
"Nobirds couldn't have that. It wouldn't be the thing to have non believers hanging around outside its just not dignified."
"Quite right," agreed Shindler. "
All the McGarrys were aroused to excitement by a figure making its way uncertainly across the Beg. They ran to meet it, crowding about in one big loving, eager pack of McGarrys.
"Look out; don't scare it," cautioned the older McGarrys "Quick! Quick! A Pantymime Horse, an aristocratic Pantymime Horse!
Larry looked at Shindler for appreciation.
"That's the way we do it," he said proudly.
"Yes, but--" as Shindler put his head to one side in perplexity.
"Yes, but what?" asked the Larry.
Shindler smiled, he did not need to reply. He looked at the Pantymime Horse and back to the sad and lonely McGarrys. Shindler laughed out loud and just looked on in absolute bewilderment and summoned his camel. He mounted his Camel as Larry begged
“But its what we always wanted, the greatest Pantymime Horse of all time and he is ours all ours”
Shindler just put his ankles into the camel and headed for Paddy’s Dub as there was Caspian Plovers to find…… he was leaving the greatest show on earth behind