A Lowland Scot settled near
Carrickfergus under the Plantation Schemes set up by King Jamie. He built
a loose stone wall all round his little plot and tended his mean crops and
pigs. The wall was quite nicely built and the local children were
fascinated by it. But every time a local child came near to his wall he
would raise, whatever tool he happened to have in his hand, and shout,
"Get away from the wall!!" and so they would run off.
This scenario would repeat itself every day because the children found
this repetitive exercise somewhat amusing. But, one day, little Donald
McNeill, expressed his concern about this business. He called his little
friends together suggesting that perhaps, in the name of their community,
they should all stop. They asked him why. Donald said, "Well by mam says
that if someone does not want you to do something you should not do it".
Donald then reflected a little and then added, "But my mam also says that
it is wise to always try and understand why people want what they do. So
maybe I had better ask him so, that way, we will all be a little wiser."
The children looked at each other somewhat puzzled, one shrugged his
shoulders, the other grinned, the smallest giggled. But matters suddenly
got serious when little Donald smiled at his friends and turned. The other
children looked in awe as brave little Donald's thin frame walked bare
foot and with no company, towards the wall. When Donald got to the point
where he knew the old Scot would bellow his usual warning, Donald
surprised the Scot by calling out to him, "Please, Sir, each time we come
towards your wall you tell us to get away from it. We would never harm the
wall so why do you always send us away?"
The Scot walked forwards menacingly and shouted, in a louder voice than
any had ever heard before, "Because its MY wall!!"