Once there was a man living in the small town of Carhan, near Caherciveen, in the time of Daniel O’ Connell. He was poor a poor man with a very large family. One day he was selling two pigs – a white one and a black one – at the Tralee fair to help pay obligations.
As he was preparing for the sale a buyer came along and asked him how much he wanted for the white pig, along with the black pig. The poor man thought the buyer wanted only the white pig; so he named the price. The buyer immediately marked both pigs and took from his pocket only that which had been asked for the white one. “What do you mean?” asked the poor man. “You only inquired about the white pig.” The buyer quickly replied, “That’s a lie!” “Didn‘t I ask you how much you wanted for the white one along with the black one?” The poor man could do nothing but give him the two pigs for the price of one. He returned home and told his story to his wife and to all the neighbors.
It wasn’t long till it spread all over Carhan, and everybody was sorry for the poor man because they he was taken advantage of. One day, while sitting in the local pub, the poor man told his story to Daniel O’Connell, who had great sympathy for the poor man. “We’ll get our own back on that buyer later on,” said O’Connell. “Are you willing to cut off the lobe of your right ear?” O’Connell added. “I am!” said the poor man. O’Connell cut of the lobe of the man’s right ear, put it into an envelope, and took it home. He asked the poor man to accompany him to Tralee the next day to play a trick on the buyer.
“He has a tobacco shop in Tralee,” said O’Connell; “and we’ll call upon him. After a while, you must take out your pipe and take a whiff or two from it. I will then pass the remark that you don’t smoke very much, and you must reply that you would smoke seven times as much, if you had the tobacco. I will then say that I’ll give you all the tobacco you want.”
The following day, they both went to Tralee and went into the tobacco shop. The poor man pulled out his pipe, reddened it, drew a few whiffs, and put it back into his pocket.
“You don’t smoke very much,” said O’Connell to the poor man.
“I’d smoke seven times as much, if I had the tobacco,” said the poor man.
“Well, I’ll give you plenty of tobacco,” said O’Connell. He ordered the buyer to give the poor man as much tobacco as would reach from his toe to the lobe of his right ear and asked how much it would cost.
“Eight shillings” said the buyer. “That’s agreed” said O’Connell . The buyer then began to measure the length from the man’s toe to the lobe of his right ear, but when he reached the ear, he found the lobe was missing. He pretended he did not notice. “We have caught you!” said O’Connell. “That’s not the lobe of his right ear. His lobe is back in Carhan, and you know where that place is. So you must measure from his toe to Carhan, where his right lobe is!” The buyer was dumbfounded. He could say nothing. Then O’Connell ordered him to pay the man for the black pig, and if he did O’Connell would not insist on the tobacco at all. The buyer paid the money and even something extra, and went off to his kitchen covered with shame. And no wonder!-