White Goats and Black Bees

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Author: Donald Grant
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Grant and his wife Mary, journalists in their fifties, left their jobs and their New York penthouse to become small farmers in Dooneen, a tiny ""townland"" on the Southwest coast of Ireland where the resident O'Mahonys, Dalys, McCarthys and O'Donovans had dwelt for at least 700 years. They did it with no fanfare and on back-to-nature proselytizing, discovering the land and their Irish neighbors, planting a garden, acquiring ducks, milch goats, rabbits and bees, by dint of hard work joining ""a biological network of our own creation."" Their satisfaction and serenity comes through on every page of this thoughtful, understated account of their new home. ""We had become peasants,"" thinks Donald after a year of laying down asparagus beds, treating an ailing goat with Paddy Old Irish whiskey, weathering the winter gales and acquiring the lilt and nuance of West Cork speech. An unobtrusively observant man, Grant is on comfortably intimate terms with the surrounding human and animal populations and he conveys the rhythms of life in rural Ireland in a relaxed and kindly fashion. Frantic American urbanites will envy them their self-sufficient tranquility -- orchestrated with myriad bird songs and the roar of the Atlantic.

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