It’s me again – Seán. Sorry for my long silence; it’s been 71 years since I last wrote to you. Remember? It was Christmas 1951 and I had just turned five. I was living with my grandparents – Big Mammy and Big Daddy, and my great grandmother, Muddy. We lived at 34, Saint Rita’s Avenue in Gurranabraher – people who aren’t from Cork have no idea how to pronounce Gurranabraher, so normally we just call it, Grán.
Anyway, I wrote to you and asked for a gun-and-holster, and you were kind enough to get it for me. But you messed up and gave me a real chintzy one, while you gave my pal across the avenue a fabulous one that even Roy Rogers or the Lone Ranger would be proud of. I apologize now for my reaction back then, ‘cos I rushed indoors and complained bitterly to Big Mammy about the injustice of it all. I threw my gun-and-holster at the little creche under our Christmas tree, knocking down the cow and a few sheep. I hope I didn’t injure the Baby Jesus? From what I hear, he’s a real forgiving kinda guy, so I hope he isn’t still holding a grudge. As far as I’m concerned, it’s water under the bridge – and I’ve forgiven you for your poor decision making back then. You must have been addled by all the requests you got just in Gurranabraher alone.
But the real reason I’m writing is that I want four gifts this Christmas. I’m not living in Gurranabraher anymore, in fact, I’m not even living in Ireland. Now my house is on a mountain top in the forest in America. No postmen (here in America, they call them ‘mailmen’) delivers letters here but that shouldn’t be a problem for you. I have a wood-burning stove with a very tall chimney stack, and I’ll make sure the fire is out and the stove door open, so you don’t get stuck and have to go back up the chimney in reverse.
So, here’s what I want. I want Wisdom, so I can separate the Truth from the Lies. Then, I want Eloquence so that I can express the Wisdom very well. Third, I want Courage to speak Truth to Lies. And, finally, I want Compassion – even for the Liars
One more question: How will I know if you’ve delivered them?