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Day Twenty: Ireland

August 20, 2006


Dingle Bay, County Kerry

Snakes on an island? Not this one. Snakes in the grass? Nope. Snakes and ladders? Only at the zoo. Ophidiophobes are free to frolic from one end of the Emerald Isle to the other without fear of running into their reptilian nemeses.

“What about creepy-crawlies?” cringes Orange Bear.

Sorry. No (Irish) luck there.

But for those of you suffering from Melissophobia (fear of bears), fear not: Ireland doesn’t have any indigenous bears, either.

“Fear of bears? You made that up,” grumbles Orange Bear.

St. Patrick might not get any kudos these days for shooing the snakes away from Ireland, but that’s all right — best-selling author/historian Thomas Cahill basically credits him with saving the whole of Western civilization! (How the Irish Saved Civilization, 1996)

“Score another one for St. Paddy.”

Of course, snakes are missing from Antarctica, too, but Ireland’s just a wee bit more inviting. The Dingle Peninsula, located in southwestern Ireland, is home to some of the country’s most striking coastal landscapes and some of the oldest historical sites in Europe. Or, go for the people: the Irish are among the friendliest people in the world.

Mr. Crumpet approves of the headwear.

“It’s my color, too,” he says.

“You’re a little tall for a leprechaun,” laughs Orange Bear.

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