An Irish painter by the name of Murphy, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist.
Over a short number of years, his fame grew and soon people from all over Ireland were coming to the town of Miltown Malbay, in County Clare, to get him to paint their likeness.
One day, a beautiful young English woman arrived at his house in a stretch limo and asked if he would paint her in the nude.
This being the first time anyone had made such a request he was a bit flustered, particularly when the woman told him that money was no object; in fact, she was willing to pay up to £10,000.
Not wanting to get into any marital strife, he asked her to wait while he to confer with Mary, his wife.
It was hard to make the decision, but finally his wife agreed.
“T’would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus,” he said. “The wife says it’s okay. I’ll paint you in the nude all right; but I have to leave me socks on, so I have a place to wipe me brushes.”
The king was getting old and did not trust his sons to rule his kingdom after his passing. He decided that he must find a husband for his daughter. This man, who would one day take the throne, had to be the bravest and fiercest warrior in all the land.
The king devised a test. His engineers immediately began work on a massive pit filled with horrors.
On the day of reckoning, hundreds of brave men travelled from all the corners of the kingdom to prove their worth. They stood crowded at the edges of the pit waiting for the event to begin.
The king stood with the princess on the far side of the pit and addressed the crowd.
“I seek the bravest and fiercest warrior to take my daughter’s hand in marriage. To do so, simply cross this pit from that side to this and take her hand in yours. Additionally, I will…”
Before the king could finish, one of the warriors went straight into the pit and into a pool of black water. The crowd roared with excitement.
Starving crocodiles, imported from the Nile, immediately swarmed him. After a furious churning of blood and black water, the warrior emerged.
As he advanced, a swinging pendulum missed his face by a hair. The warrior ducked, dodged, and rolled past flying arrows, battering rams, spinning swords, and spouts of fire.
The warrior was halfway through the pit when the lions pounced on him. The warrior was quick. He blinded them with mud and lured them into attacking each other. Some he killed with his bare hands.
A few steps later, a giant swung his massive club with a thunderous shout. The crowd watched in amazement as the warrior slowly wore out the giant and broke him down by steadily pelting stones at his head. Finally, the giant fell.
The warrior slowly climbed out the far side of the pit, beaten and bloodied. He took the fair princess’ hand in his.
“I am truly amazed,” exclaimed the king.
“You went into my pit with no hesitation and have valiantly survived every obstacle. You are truly the rightful heir to my throne. However, you likely did not hear the rest of my proposal,” said the king.
“Whoever survives the pit will not only take my daughter’s hand in marriage, but may also make any request of the king that is in my power to grant. So, do you have a request, brave warrior?”
“Yes,” said the warrior. “Your highness, I want you to bring me the head of the guy who pushed me in.”