And lo, it came to pass in the fifth month of the third reign of King Bertie that a great darkness fell upon the land of Blan-chards-town. And a plague of crane fly descended upon the people and it got into their houses and it covered their asses and their oxen and their kith and kin and the people were sore afraid.
And they ran out into the street and they rent their teeth and gnashed their garments and they cried out, Lord, why hast Thou set this plague of daddylonglegs upon us?
But the Lord remained behind a cloud giggling and made no answer.
And the spider who lived in the window frame cast out his net upon the left side and he cast out his net upon the right side and soon his net was heaving with the weight of crane fly and the spider gulped.
And the sky drew dark and more and more daddylonglegs descended upon the land. And the children of Blan-chards-town had great fun removing their legs on the one side so they ran around in circles. And some children removed the legs from one daddylonglegs and stuck them onto another daddylonglegs to make the second daddylonglegs go faster.
And the Lord grew red in the face trying to suppress his laughter.
And the sun went down on the first day.
And then the great prophet Va-rad-kar spoke unto the people.
I am a doctor, he sayeth. Let me through.
This plague is all the fault of King Bertie. In his court is great wickedness and sloth and the Lord is punishing us for following the path King Bertie has shown us. For surely the jackass may lead the hyena into the wilderness and his tongue will cleave to the roof of his mouth and he may lose one tenth of his body fluid but the lamb will not lay down with the lion unless it is a very foolish lamb.
I call on the people now to give thanks and praise to the Lord and to call upon the great prophet Enda to lead you out of the darkness and banish this plague of daddylonglegs for ever. For though I am a great and powerful prophet I am not worthy even to tie the sandal of the great prophet Enda who lives in the land of Ma-yo.
But the people paid no heed to the great prophet Va-rad-kar and passed by on the other side. And the sun went down on the second day.
And the people called instead upon the wise men of the Sanhedrin who lived in a magnificent palace in the centre of Blan-chards-town where people came from all over the county to worship and pay homage. And the wise man in charge of the administration department sayeth that it was not his issue for the daddylonglegs were in the houses of the people and he told the people that it was a housing issue and the wise man in charge of the housing department sayeth that it was a matter for public lighting as the place was dark with the plague of daddylonglegs and the wise man in charge of public lighting sayeth to the people that they must contact the environment department as this kind of problem layeth under their domain and the wise man in charge of the environment department put the people onto environmental health and the wise man in charge of environmental health said he was away from his desk yea verily until the 18th but if you leave a message he would get back unto you. Yea verily.
And the sun went down on the third day and the people went to bed with daddylonglegs skimming over their faces and they woke on the morning of the fourth day to find their houses crawling with these insects and they had taken over the sitting room and the remote control and the people could not watch Strictly Coming Dancing for the daddylonglegs kept flicking onto David Attenborough.
And then the great prophet Hig-gins who had been banished unto the wilderness rode back into Blan-chards-town upon his ass and the people lined the streets and sang hosannas and laid palm leaves beneath his feet or used dandelion leaves when palm leaves could not be found.
And Hig-gins addressed the people thus.
Good citizens of Blan-chards-town. This plague of daddylonglegs is the result of selfish and wicked ways. Thou hast followed the teachings of the property developer who sitteth down at the table of the politician and shares his wine. For as the lion attacks his prey the hyena will follow and the hyena may fill his basket a hundredfold from the table of the lion. Just as the ivy cannot live without the cedar, so the property developer cannot live without the politician.
I am urging you now to cut down this vine and hunt down this lion and rid this land of the scourge of daddylonglegs.
But the people looked mystified and walked over on the other side. And the sun went down on the fourth day.
And on the fifth day the people called upon the great Brian son of Brian to save them from the plague of daddylonglegs which had now taken over the public transport system and were driving the 39 into town during off-peak hours.
And Brian son of Brian told the people that he had made representation to the holy Green Party members within the sacred cabinet upon their behalf and that the holy Green Party members had promised to look into it and report back in due course.
And the people bowed down in thanks and gave praise to Brian son of Brian, saying, He is indeed a wise and holy man.
But still the daddylonglegs kept on appearing. And the sun went down on the evening of the fifth day.
And on the sixth day the daddylonglegs had assumed control of all the light industry and service industry in Blan-chards-town, yea even the shops in the Centre and all the bottles of insect repellent mysteriously disappeared from the shelves in Atlantic Homecare. And all the plugs were removed from all the hoovers in the land and the sweeping brushes were hidden and the people blamed it on global warming and immigration and the EU and George Bush and the younger generation.
And they packed the churches in great lamentation and wailing and called upon the Lord to deliver unto them salvation from the great pestilence that lay upon the land, though some secretly said the public transport sytem was now a big improvement on Dublin Bus. But the Lord was on a pilgrimage to Fatima and had forgotten to turn his out of office on.
And the sun went down on the evening of the sixth day.
And on the morning of the seventh day the people woke from their fitful slumber to find that all the daddylonglegs had disappeared, save for the few still caught in the nets of the spider on the window frame. And they were sore puzzled and scratcheth their heads and furroweth their brows and peepeth nervously behind curtains.
And the great prophet Va-rad-kar addressed the people and claimed the credit.
And the even greater prophet Enda addressed the people and claimed the credit.
And the wise men of the Sanhedrin addressed the people and claimed the credit.
And the banished prophet Hig-gins addressed the people and claimed the credit.
And Brian son of Brian addressed the people and claimed the credit.
And the priests and pharisees addressed the people and claimed the credit.
But the people cared not and there was much drinking and carousing and revelling and barbequeuing, yea, even past the setting of the sun.