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Myths and Folk Tales of Ireland   By: (1835-1906)

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E text prepared by Ruth Morrison, Matthew Wheaton, David Edwards, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net)

MYTHS AND FOLK TALES OF IRELAND

by

JEREMIAH CURTIN

CONTENTS.

THE SON OF THE KING OF ERIN, AND THE GIANT OF LOCH LÉIN 1

THE THREE DAUGHTERS OF KING O'HARA 15

THE WEAVER'S SON AND THE GIANT OF THE WHITE HILL 26

FAIR, BROWN, AND TREMBLING 37

THE KING OF ERIN AND THE QUEEN OF THE LONESOME ISLAND 49

THE SHEE AN GANNON AND THE GRUAGACH GAIRE 65

THE THREE DAUGHTERS OF THE KING OF THE EAST, AND THE SON OF A KING IN ERIN 77

THE FISHERMAN'S SON AND THE GRUAGACH OF TRICKS 85

THE THIRTEENTH SON OF THE KING OF ERIN 99

KIL ARTHUR 113

SHAKING HEAD 121

BIRTH OF FIN MACCUMHAIL AND ORIGIN OF THE FENIANS OF ERIN 135

FIN MACCUMHAIL AND THE FENIANS OF ERIN IN THE CASTLE OF FEAR DUBH 148

FIN MACCUMHAIL AND THE KNIGHT OF THE FULL AXE 157

GILLA NA GRAKIN AND FIN MACCUMHAIL 166

FIN MACCUMHAIL, THE SEVEN BROTHERS, AND THE KING OF FRANCE 186

BLACK, BROWN, AND GRAY 195

FIN MACCUMHAIL AND THE SON OF THE KING OF ALBA 203

CUCÚLIN 212

OISIN IN TIR NA N OG 230

NOTES 243

MYTHS AND FOLK TALES OF IRELAND

THE SON OF THE KING OF ERIN AND THE GIANT OF LOCH LÉIN.[1]

[1] Loch Léin, former name of one of the Lakes of Killarney.

On a time there lived a king and a queen in Erin, and they had an only son. They were very careful and fond of this son; whatever he asked for was granted, and what he wanted he had.

When grown to be almost a young man the son went away one day to the hills to hunt. He could find no game, saw nothing all day. Towards evening he sat down on a hillside to rest, but soon stood up again and started to go home empty handed. Then he heard a whistle behind him, and turning, saw a giant hurrying down the hill.

The giant came to him, took his hand, and said: "Can you play cards?"

"I can indeed," said the king's son.

"Well, if you can," said the giant, "we'll have a game here on this hillside."

So the two sat down, and the giant had out a pack of cards in a twinkling. "What shall we play for?" asked the giant.

"For two estates," answered the king's son.

They played: the young man won, and went home the better for two estates. He was very glad, and hurried to tell his father the luck he had.

Next day he went to the same place, and didn't wait long till the giant came again.

"Welcome, king's son," said the giant. "What shall we play for to day?" "I'll leave that to yourself," answered the young man.

"Well," said the giant, "I have five hundred bullocks with golden horns and silver hoofs, and I'll play them against as many cattle belonging to you."

"Agreed," said the king's son.

They played. The giant lost again. He had the cattle brought to the place; and the king's son went home with the five hundred bullocks. The king his father was outside watching, and was more delighted than the day before when he saw the drove of beautiful cattle with horns of gold and hoofs of silver.

When the bullocks were driven in, the king sent for the old blind sage (Sean dall Glic), to know what he would say of the young man's luck.

"My advice," said the old blind sage, "is not to let your son go the way of the giant again, for if he plays with him a third time he'll rue it."

But nothing could keep the king's son from playing the third time... Continue reading book >>




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