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Take a slurp of that.
A fine batch today.
No need to twist my arm.
After the empire fell to the hoards of Fenians in 1916 the consumption of coddle rose astronomically across the Isles of Eire.
Coddle became a mainstay of every household in the Isles and was used as a form of welcome. Upon entering a house guests were offered a small bowl of coddle and a few sups were taken. A person could live off these sups if they were so inclined but it was of course gauche to call to a neighbours house purely for a slurp when there were coddle kitchens in every town and dozens in every city.
There were of course some individuals who were exempt from consumption of coddle. Priests, doctors, nuns and coal men. If they were to partake of a bowl at every house then by God they’d be fit to burst!
At first most coddles were brewed in the home from scratch every morning. In fact for the first decade after the formation of the new Eire if a pot wasn’t brewing you could be imprisoned for a year. But after a few decades coddle could be bought ready made, such was the demand.
Cuchulainn’s Coddles was formed in 1949 by Siobhan O’ Leary and her husband Luke. They ran the family business for twenty years before handing it over to their only daughter Maibh. Once Maibh took over the company went global. In five years coddle was available in most European countries and in the USA. The new president, Eamon De Valera, made coddle mandatory in all public schools.
Needless to say Maibh O’ Leary was a very wealthy and powerful woman but despite all her success she was unsatisfied. She knew it was all a sham, all this coddle, and so one winter morning she found herself walking along the pier in Howth idly looking at the trawlers coming in to dock with their catch and she approached a small vessel. A more bebarnacled and bebollocked boat she had never for shites sake seen.
It was an awful looking heap.
And cleaning the sail was a scrawny fisherman who caught her eye.
“Me?” he answered.
“Where’s your catch?”
“It slipped over the side.”
“Indeed! I was out for over a week, Jaysus it could have been a month, and I had me nets bulging with cod. But sure I was coming back in and as I was happily shoving me final shag into me pipe didn’t I hear this almighty hum from below and then all of a sudden all of the cod flapped in unison like one giant cod and slipped over the edge back into the salty murk.”
“You’re coddin’ me.”
“I’m the one who was codded.”
Maibh smiled at the uncanny chap.
“Do you fancy some coddle?” she asked.
“No, I don’t touch the stuff.” Maibh was ecstatic.
“What’s your name fisherman?”
“It’s Conal… and I’m a monger.”
The language of the Gods is a combination of Sumerian, Sanskrit and Egyptian but spoken, through the cosmic four dimensional larynx of these higher beings, it sounds, to the human ear, exactly like a Dub speaking English. Humans are unable to differentiate between a God and someone from the Five Lamps.
“Events have taken a pleasing turn.”
“That they have Thoth, that they have.”
“Listen lads, this globe has started bouncing. We need to capitalise on this and make the whole thing spin out of control. How else are we going to be free of it?”
“Cernunnos is right. Let’s put this fishmonger back on our current string. Is another version available?”
“Checking… yes, the twenty third variant is compatible. Won’t be missed. Almost one hundred percent likeness.”
“Well then. Let us wait no more.”
“Borne unto another. Creased and cac drenched. Plum pith pimple pop. Anew. Anew! ANEW!!!”
The heavens folded in the blink of an eye.
As Bishop Greene held aloft his crystalline crozier a great tiredness spread from the Ashford Place cottage across the city. Maibh slumped down into a chair, Martin lay down on the footpath outside and the rest of the Dubliners got dozy.
But the Bishop held fast. His concentration never breaking, he was aware of some power, some otherness, was whipping itself into his space.
As the tiredness snored it’s way into the world there was another bizarity occurring in the Phoenix Park.
The Dog Pond to be exact.
Light faded, trees drooped and the pond waters bubbled. The dirt brown water crept away from the cavity in the ground leaving only mud and roots.
And a body.
A living, coddleless body.
It was Conal. Born again in the canine liquid, mere minutes from his current resting place. He lay for a minute before blurting a cobweb of gunge out of his lungs. Once he was finished he stood with difficulty and steadied himself. He began to walk.
“A bowl will sort you out.”
“Have some coddle love.”
The recently awakened masses shouted at this newborn monger as he trudged his way up the North Circular.
Children huddled neath their mother’s bejeweled kaftans and wept into their coddles as they saw the sausages and rashers turn into cod.
But Conal didn’t seem to notice, he just kept walking and thinking about home.
Home is where the cod is.