The following day he stretched the cured goatskin over the rim, cutting away the raggedy
skirts until the hide extended uniformly for an inch over the rim. Then stretching it as taughtly
as he felt necessary Bluenose hammered it gently on to the rim with five dozen upholstery tacks.
Later when he was out of doors Delia Bluenose would remove those tacks which did not conform
to the even line which glistened around the rim. Gently she would hammer them into line until
task was completed. The making of the bodhrán had been carried through by Christmas
Bluenose judged that it was far from ready for use. He therefore decided that he would not
present it to Donal until the night of the wrendance. Beyond doubt it was the best bodhrán he
had ever fashioned. It had a sonorous and most melodious tone and it carried farther than any
instrument of its kind that he had ever heard. It shivered and trembled when struck, its booming
reverberations circulating around the kitchen long afterwards and diminishing delightfully until
they were no more.
'That's where heaven is,' Bluenose explained to Delia. 'Where the sound ends and the
- from The Bodhrán Player
(See my other John B. Keane painting)