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The Witch Of Ballyyahoo

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The best thing about Ballyyahoo is that there’s always an adventure waiting to be had.

There’s the beaches and bays, the mountains and fields, the woods and forests and lots of animals too.

There’s even the magnificently mucky Ballyyahoo bog where the Banshee is rumoured to lie in wait for someone to come along and…but that’s another story.

Most kids love living in Ballyyahoo, except one, there’s always one and this one’s name is Gerry…Gerry Mac.

cartoon of a boy on a gate - illustrating a children's story called The Witch of BallyyahooGerry Mac is bored, and since he’s bored, he spends most of his time swinging on the gate.

Like the other kids in Ballyyahoo Gerry could get off the gate and go and have an adventure but Gerry’s too bored to have an adventure, so just Gerry swings on the gate all day long – too bored to bother.

He’s not the only bored Ballyyahooian.

You see, Ballyyahoo is a tiny little Irish town that’s so far into the middle of nowhere, that apart from those who live there, nobody even knows where it is.

Unless you like having amazing adventures around the wild Atlantic coast then there’s not much to do and nowhere to do it.

RUMOURS AND SCANDALS

The Ballyyahooians who don’t like adventure spend a lot of time sitting around making things up. They just love a good story in Ballyyahoo.

Some of these stories are true but not all and since Ballyyahooians are great story tellers it’s hard to tell which stories are true and which are false.

They all agree false stories are fun stories so there’s always lot of rotten rumours and silly scandals going around the town, but when Gerry hears the rumour of the Witch of Ballyyahoo, he starts to wonder…

Could it really be just a rumour? Or could the rumour be true? Could there be a witch in Ballyyahoo?

CRIME IN BALLYYAHOO

cartoon of a donkey with headlights  - illustrating a children's story called The Witch of BallyyahooMost Ballyyahooinans say that you shouldn’t spoil a good rumour with the truth.

Gerry begins to see some strange goings on in the quiet lanes of Ballyyahoo.

He realises that these strange goings on could well be witch related.

But he also realises that he’ll never find out – unless he gets off the gate.

Soon Gerry learns that a crime is going to happen and that’s a really strange thing – there’s never any crime in Ballyyahoo.

Because there’s no crime in Ballyyahoo even Sergeant Sid gets bored, and when Sergeant Sid gets bored, people have to watch out, be careful, mind themselves and take care.

Because that’s when Sergeant Sid starts making up crimes – silly crimes like having no lights on a donkey, looking crooked, or picking hazelnuts without a license.

MAGICAL HELP

But the crime Gerry hears about is not the type of crime that usually happens in Ballyyahoo, nothing to do with donkeys, lights, or hazelnuts.

No, it’s a terrifying crime that starts with a big knife, a big burglar, a horrible crime that might just end in murder.

Someone has to stop this crime and for once Gerry gets off the gate and stays off the gate.

He desperately tries to stop this crime from happening, but soon he realizes he’s all alone.

He needs help – actually he needs more than just ordinary help, Gerry needs magical help. If anyone ever needed a witch in Ballyyahoo, it was now.

But is there really a witch in Ballyyahoo and if there is, will she be a good witch? Or, a bad witch?

 

Grace Jolliffe is an award-winning writer who lives in Galway on the wonderful, wild Atlantic coast of Ireland. She loves nature and gardening and her stories are inspired by the natural surroundings where she lives. Her children’s stories have been broadcast on RTE Radio One in Ireland

poster of the cover of the children's story - The Witch of Ballyyahoo

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