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The Little Book Of Swinging On A Gate

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cartoon-boy-on-gateBallyyahoo is a magical little town that hides between the mountains and the Atlantic ocean on the west coast of Ireland.

THE BALLYYAHOO SHOVEL DAY

Ballyyahoo is so well hidden nobody knows exactly where it is apart from the Ballyyahooians and they are so determined to keep their tiny town a secret they held a ‘Ballyyahoo shovel day.’ and

They dug up every single signpost that pointed in their direction and then buried the whole lot  in  the darkest, scariest place in Ballyyahoo – the bog.

Everyone who lives in Ballyyahoo thinks it’s a great place to live. There’s always something to do around the fields, the rivers, the ocean, the beaches, the lakes, the bogs and the mountains, and there’s lots and lots of animals.

Nobody’s bored in Ballyyahoo, except one boy, a boy called Gerry – Gerry Mac.

THE LAZIEST BOY IN THE WEST

Gerry Mac is the laziest boy in the west and because he’s the laziest boy in the west he’s also the most bored boy in the west.

All Gerry wants to do is swing on his gate and he’s so bored he’s bored with being bored but he’s also so bored that he’s too bored to have ideas.

Gerry’s mother, on the other hand, is far from bored.

She has lots of ideas but Gerry doesn’t like her ideas. She wants him to get off the gate and do some work.

Now, if you knew Gerry you’d know that he doesn’t like work any more than he likes getting off the gate.

That’s why when his mother tells him he has to go over to old Paddy Plant’s place and dig his garden Gerry tries to get out of it.

HARD WORK PHOBIA

Gerry knows that Paddy Plant always worked really hard and that he might expect him to do the same.

If there’s one thing Gerry doesn’t like even more than getting off the gate, or work, it’s really hard work.  You might even say Gerry has a phobia about hard work.

But his mother puts her foot down and  Gerry knows that when his mother puts her foot down he’d better do what she says or that foot might well end up somewhere he wouldn’t want it to end up.

So Gerry goes to Paddy Plant’s place and begins to get acquainted with a shovel. However, something shocking happens and pretty soon Gerry’s life begins to change in a very surprising way.

Grace Jolliffe is a Galway based writer whose work has won several awards and whose children’s stories have been broadcast on RTE Radio One in Ireland

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