The Keeper Of Baughavilla
The Keeper Of Baughvilla
A short story by Paul McCann
Little Jimmy was part of a poor family who never had some of the comforts that most other families took for granted . Yet he ever complained .
He remained content with his life His biggest love was football and each Sunday he would go to the foothills near Baughavilla mountain where the steel workers factory team always played in the local competition . It was always a hard fought game and the result usually a tight one .
Most of the older men got to know young Jimmy . Every game they let Jimmy kick the ball around for a while ,
Some people began to notice the talent in Jimmy’s feet as he weaved in and out between the bricks on the pitch and swerved around invisible players in his imagination until he cracked the ball into the top corner of the net .
Jimmy would always go home happy each Sunday after the match .
On the day that Jimmy turned ten his heart leapt when his family presented him with his very first ball of his very own . Jimmy was overjoyed and all day he played kicking the ball up against the old factory wall , Dreaming of greatness and living out this new experience, with his very own football . What a great birthday Jimmy had .
Sunday came around quickly and he proudly took his ball to the match .
After the game he kicked the ball on to the field . He got so caught up with himself the game that he never saw the boys who crept up behind him . There was nothing he could do to stop them .as they stole his ball..
”Let go . Give me my ball back.”
Said young Jimmy .
“Ha Ha . Listen to the baby cry”
Said one of the three bullies .
They stuck a penknife into the ball and burst it .before they walked away leaving Jimmy in tears . Little Jimmy picked up a few stones from around the pitch and shouted at them at the tough guys saying ,
‘I’ll remember you and you’ll be sorry for what you’ve done .”
The stones just grazed their heads as they turned and ran after little Jimmy who fled like a bunny rabbit chased by a bloodhound .
Suddenly from out of nowhere a hand grabbed him and a soft voice said
“Quiet , keep down. ”
The three bullies ran past,
“Who are you ?”
Little Jimmy asked ..
“I’m the keeper of the bog. One of the fairy folk , Friend of footballers and guardian of children . The wish granter of time , past , present and to come , I saw what just happened there and I’d be happy to give you something for your trouble ”
Said the tiny little man .
“I wish I had my ball back .“
Said little Jimmy with the tears in his eyes .
“Say no more .“
The friendly fairy said and with a click of his fingers , Jimmy disappeared into the bog feet first .
At once Jimmy began to get afraid but the fairy took him by the hand and he said ,
“Kick your feet. “
Sure enough Jimmy found that he was swimming underneath the bog ina great big pink pool .
Suddenly he felt himself being lifted up into the air .
He looked up to see a giant who held him in his hand like a toy ,
“Well what’s your name little one ?“
Said the giant .
‘Jimmy’s the name . What’s yours ?”
“ My name , I’m the giant Toran”
And the fairy said .
“Toran , Jimmy needs a new ball “
There at the feet of the large giant , his large hands reached down and plucked up the little fairy .
“So it’s you again wish granter . How is everything above in the bog? “
The little fairy jumped up high in the air and landed on top of the giants head and slid down unto his shoulders .Then he took a good look into the giants eyes and said
“Things aren’t the best my friend / Three bully boys just stole little Jimmy’s ball and they were ready to punch him up .“
“Hhmmm ,If I every get my hands on them .“
The giant growled .
“Now calm down Toran . We don’t need any trouble ,Remember the last time you lost your temper . It started a landslide .on the bog that took six months to clear up “
The giant slowly made his way over to a great big wooden door with great big handles and he pulled the door open and said ,
“In there . Have a look and you’ll find what you’re looking for .“
“What’s in there ?”
Jimmy asked .
“That’s where all the lost balls are kept.. Other things as well . Kites that have been broken , balloons that blew away in the wind , coins , in fact anything that’s been lying around lost in the bog over the years you’ll probably find in there .”
The little fairy interrupted ,
“Now that’s one job I do you see . I find the lost things and bring them here, where Toran looks after them. The when its someone’s turn to get a wish , I have everything here that they need..”
Little Jimmy went in through the door and there before his very eyes
There were balls of every shape and colour . Plastic or pigskin , rubber or leather. Jimmy’s eyes popped out of his head .
He took a few and bounced them and kicked them and threw them up in the air.
Finally he found one that he liked .
Almost like the one he had got for his birthday .
He put it under his arm , had a look at it , checking it out and then walked out through the large door .
As soon as he got to the other side of the door he found himself back up on the football pitch kicking the ball up into air , trapping it under his hip and he kicked it up the ground and then he fired a right foot thunderbolt shot into the corner of the net.
A man who stood on the sideline began to clap furiously .Jimmy started to dribble the ball with his feet .
The man on the sideline called out . .
“Hey there boy . Can I have a word”
Jimmy dribbled his way over to the sideline .
“What do you want mister ?”
Jimmy asked .
“I want you . I want you son to play for the big team next week . You’ve got something in the making . I’ve got plans for you . Come here next Sunday with your boots . You won’t regret it. “
Said the man who turned and walked away .
Sunday came and Jimmy played his first game on the big pitch and he scored a hat trick of goals . It wasn’t long until Jimmy was playing in the major league competition.
Jimmy became one of the greatest players ever to come from Baughavilla .His name was splattered across all the local newspapers . He did interviews on radio stations all around the country .
The little boy from Baughavilla . The young lad who made a name for himself and at 21 he was the highest paid footballer in the world .
Not many people ever believe the story of the keeper of the bog but Jimmy does and he never lets anyone forget it .
Never worry about losing things because they’re always well kept and looked after .
Jimmy knew only too well how his wish came true in life ..
He captured his dream .