across the sea, on a small island carpeted with emerald green grass,
stood a small church. Surrounding the old church were headstones and
crosses of stone. Every Saturday night music flowed through the stained
glass windows and blew in the wind across the isle.
four O'Reilly brothers had lovely voices. Their mum and dad brought them
to practice with the church organ, small though it was. Kevin, Patrick,
Seamus and Ryan didn't always want to come, but their mum and dad
encouraged them. They didn't have a car, so they had to walk across the
moor to the church.
they sat and waited for the boys to finish practicing, Mr. and Mrs.
O'Reilly would go outside and watch the waves crash against the shore.
Sometimes they gathered seashells for the boys, or picked up pieces of
driftwood that was carried in with the tide.
Sunday morning the boys sang for the congregation. It made them feel
happy inside when they saw all the smiles and twinkling eyes.
Saturday morning, Kevin woke up with a cold. He coughed and sneezed and
didn't feel well. “Mum, if Kevin doesn't have to practice tonight, I
don't want to either,” said Patrick.
either,” added Seamus and Ryan.
looked at the boys with a frown. “Lads, you have to go. Everyone at
church looks forward to you singing. It brightens their weeks. I heard
Mrs. O'Connor say that the reason she comes to church is because of you
don't want to, Dad.” Patrick folded his arms across his chest.
well, Patrick. Since you're not going to sing, then you've got plenty of
time to go and weed the potatoes. Get to it, lad.” Dad pointed at the
“Seamus, are you going to sing?”
shook his head no.
outside you go. I want you to scrape the moss of the Celtic cross. Be
off with you then, lad.”
about you, Ryan? Are you going to sing?”
Dad. I'll sing, but I can't sing alone.” Ryan hung his head.
tell you what. Mum and I will sing with you,” Dad said.
and Mum? You can't sing,” Ryan said.
do you think Mum and I while we wait for you. We go down to the beach
and we sing. Tonight we'll go and practice with you and leave Seamus and
Patrick to take care of Kevin.”
they'd finished their jobs, Seamus and Patrick came inside. Mum and Dad
were wearing coats. “Where are you going?” Patrick looked at his mum.
your mum and I are going to the church to practice singing. Since you
and Seamus won't sing without Kevin, then it's up to Mum and I to sing
with Ryan.” Dad buttoned his coat.
funny, Dad. You and Mum can't sing,” Seamus said, giggling.
can.” Mum opened the door. “While we're gone I want you to clean the
dishes and then sit and read your school books.” She shut the door
next day Kevin felt better and asked if he could go to church. Seamus
and Patrick wanted to go too. They didn't want to have to stay home and
do more work. The family crossed the moor. A mist floated a few inches
above the ground, capturing the smell of the peat bog.
was time to sing, Mum, Dad and Ryan stood in front of the congregation.
Seamus, Kevin and Patrick winked at each other. Kevin whispered, “I hope
they don't sound too horrible.”
hour later there wasn't one dry eye in the church, including the boys.
They stared at their mum and dad. Dad walked towards them. “Dad, you and
Mum and Ryan sounded wonderful, even better than when we all sing
together. You can sing and so can Mum.”
family hugged and then headed home. The next Saturday night when they
went to the church to practice, the lads invited their mum and dad to
stay. From then on the family sang together each and every Sunday.