ann roimhe so aig an robh Peata bàn; agus 'n uair a bha an Nollaig a'
teannadh air smuaintich e gu 'marbhabh e 'm Peata bàn. Chuala am Peata bàn
sin agus smuaintich e gun teichadh e, agus 'se sin a rinn e. Cha deachaidh
e fada 'n uair a thachsir Tarbh air. Thubhairt an tarbh ris, “Fàilte
dhuitse a' Pheata bhàin; càite am bheil thusa a' dol?" “tha mi," ars' am
peata bàn, "a' falbh a dh' iarridh an fhortain, bha iad a' dol a m'
mharbhadh a dh' ionnsuidh na Nollaig agus smuaintich mi gum b' fheàrr domh
teicheadh." "S' feàrr domhsa ars' an Tarbh falbh leat: oir bha iad a' dol
a dhianadh a leithid eile ormsa." "Tha mi toileach ars’ ‘m Peata bàn; mar
is mò a' chuideachd 'sann is fheàrr 'n làn-aidhir." Ghabh iad air ‘n
aghaidh gus an do thachuir Củ orra. “Fàilte dhuit a Pheata bhàin," ars' an
Cu "Failte dhuit fhé’ ‘choin." "Càite 'm bheil thu a' dol?" ars' an Cu. "Tha
mi aig teicheadh bho 'n a chuala mi gun robh iad a' brath mo, mharbhabh
air son na Nollaig. " "Bha iad a' dol a dhianadh a leithid cheủdna ormsa,"
ars' an Cu, "agus falbhaidh mi leibh. " "Thig, mata" ars' am Peata bàn.
Dh’ fhalbh iad an sin gus an do chomhlaich Cat iad. "Failte dhuit a Pheata
bhàin ars' an cat. Fàilte dhuit fhé a Chait." "Caite am bheil thu a' dol?"
ars' an Cat. ”Tha mi a' dol a dh' iarridh an fhortain," ars' am Peata ban,
"a chionn gu 'n robh iad a' dol am' mharbhadh air an Nollaig." "Bha iad
aig iomradh air mise mharbhadh cuideachd” ars an Cat, "agus 's féarr dhomh
falbh leibh." "Thugainn mata," ars' 'm Peata bàn. Ghabh iad an sin air an
aghaidh gus an do choinnich Coileach iad. "Fàilte dhuit a Pheata bhàin,"
ars' an Coileach. "Fàilte dhuit fhé'," ars' am Peata bàn. "Caite," ars' an
Coileach, "am bheil thu a dol?” "Tha mi," ars' am Peata bàn. "a' falbh o
'n a bha iad a mòidhadh mo mharbabh. aig an Nollaig." "Bha iad a' dol am'
mharbhabh-sa aig an am cheudna," ars' an Coileach, “agus theid mi leibh."
"Thig mata," ars' am Peata bàn. Ghabh iad air an aghaidh gus an do
thachair giadh orra. "Fàilte dhuit a Pheata bhàin," ars' an géadh "Fàilte
dhuit fhé a gheoidh," ars' am Peata bàn. "Caite am bheil thu a dol?" ars'
an gèadh. "Tha mise ars' am Peata ban, "a' teichadh, a chionn gu 'n robh
iad a dol am' mharbhadh aig an Nollaig." "Bha iad a dol a' dhèanadh sin
ormsa cuideachd ars' an Gèadh, "agus falbhaidh mi leibh.” Ghabh a'
chuideachd air an aghaidh gus an robh an oidhche 'teannadh orra, agus
chunnaic iad solus beag fada bhuatha 's ge b'fhada bhuatha cha bh' fhada 'ga
ruigheachd. An uair a ràinig iad an tigh, thubhairt iad ri 'cheile gun
amhairceadh iad a stigh air an uinneag a dh' fhaicinn co a bha anns an
tigh; agus chunnaic iad meairlich a' cunntas airgid; agus thubhairt am
Peata bàn, "Glaoidhidh na uile aon aguinn a ghlaodh féin; glaoidhidh mise
mo ghlaodh; agus glaoidhidh an Tarbh a ghlaodh fein; glaoidhidh an Củ a
ghlaodh fein; agus an Cat a ghlaodh fein; agus an Coileach a ghlaodh fein;
agus an Gil a ghlaodh féin." Leis sin thug iad aon ghàir asda. An uair a
chuala na meairlich a' ghàir a bha muidh shaoil iad gun robh an donas ann,
agus theich iad amach, agus dh' falbh iad do choille a bha dlủth daibh. An
uair a chunnaic am Peata bàn agus a chuideachd gun robh an tigh falamh 'chaidh
iad a stigh, agus fhuair iad an t-airgid a bha aig na meairlich 'ga
chunntas, agus roinn iad eatorra fein e. An sin smuaintich iad gun gabhadh
iad mu thàmh. Thubhairt am Peata bàn, "Caite an caidil thus' an nochd a
Thairbh." "Caidlidh mise," ars' an tarbh, "Củl an doruis far an àbhaist
domh." "Caite an caidil thu fein a Pheata bhàin?" "Caidlidh mise," ars' am
Peata bàn am meadhan an ủlair far an àbhaist domh." "Caite an caidil thus'
a Choin?" ars' am Peata bàn. "Caidlidh mise taobh an teine far an àbhaist
domh," ars' an Củ, "Caite an caidil thusa Chait?" "Caidlidh mis'," ars' an
Cat, "ann am preas nan coinnleann far an toil leam a bhith." "Caite an
caidil thus' a Choilich?" ars' am Peata bàn. "Caidlidh mise," ars' an
Coileach,, "air an spàrr far an àbhaist domh." "Caite an caidil thus a
Gheòidh?" "Caidlidh mise," ars' an Géadh air an dủnan far an robh mi
cleachte ri bhith."
Cha robh iad
fada air gabhail mu thamh an uair a thill fear do na meairlich a dh'
amharc a stigh feuch am mòicheadh e an robh aon sa' bith 'san tigh. Bha na
uile ni sàmhach agus dh' ealuith e air aghaidh gu preas nan coinnlean
airson coinneal a lasadh e dheanadh soluis da, ach an uair a chuir e làmh
'sa bhocsa shàbh an cat inean na laimh, ach thug e leis a' choinneal agus
dh' fheuch e ri 'lasadh. An sin dh' eirich an củ agus chuir e earball ann
am poit uisge bha aig taobh an teine; chrath e earball agus chuir e as a
choinneal. Shaoil am meairleach an sin gu robh an donus 'san tigh agus
theich e; ach an uair a bha e dol seachad air a' Pheata bhàn thug e buille
dha; mun d' fhuar e seachad air an tarbh thug e breab dha; agus thòisich
an coileach air glaoidhich; agus an uair a chaidh e mach thòisich an gèadh
air a ghreadadh le 'sgiathan mu na luirgnean. Chaidh e don choillidh far
an robh a chompanich, co luath 'sa bha 'na chasan. Dh' fheòraich iad dheth
cia mar chaidh dha. "Cha deachaidh," ars' esan, "ach meadhonach; an uair a
chaidh mi gu preas nan coinnlean bha fear ann a shàth deich sgeanan ann am
laimh, agus an uair a chaidh mi gu taobh an teine a lasadh na coinneal
bha fear mor, dubh 'na luidhe ann a bha spreadadh uisge urra 'ga cuir as,
agus an uair a thug mi làmh air dol amach bha fear mor am meadhan an
urlair a thug utag domh, agus fear eil' aig củl an doruis a phut amach mi,
agus bha ablach beag air an fharadh aig glaoidhich amach, "cuir an nios
an so e 's foghnaidh mi fhein dha," agus bha Griasaich amach
air an dủnan 'gam ghreadadh mu na casan le apran. A nuair a chual na
meairlich sin cha do phill iad a dh' iarridh an cuid airgid, agus fhuair
am Peata bàn agus a chompanaich dhaibh fein e, agus chum e socair iad am
feadh 'sa bha iad beo.
MacTavish got this story from a young girl in her service, November 1859,
who learned it in OA, a district of Islay, last year, when she was
employed in herding cattle.
It is a
version of the same tale as Grimm's "Bremer Stadt Musikanten," which
appears to have been long known in Germany in various shapes.
of the cock is imitated in Gaelic and in German. The Gaelic is closer. "Bringt
mir den Schelm her" is not so close to "kikeriki" as the Gaelic words -
which I have tried to spell phonetically - are to the note of a cock.
There is a bull in the Gaelic tale, instead of an ass; and a sheep and a
goose, in addition to the dog, cat, and cock, which are common to both.
There are six creatures in the one tale, commonly found about the Highland
cottage, which is well described; four in the other, common about German
cottages, My own opinion is, that the tale is common to both languages and
old, but it might have been borrowed from a book so well known in England
as Grimm's Stories are. It is worth remark, that the dog and the cat were
to die at Christmas, as well as the sheep and bull, who might reasonably
fear to be eaten anywhere, and who have been sacrificed everywhere; the
goose, who is always a Christmas dish in the Highlands; and the cock, who
should die last of his family, because the toughest. The dog was once
sacrificed to Hecate on the 30th of every month; and there was a dog
divinity in Egypt. Cats drew the car of Freya, a Norse divinity; they were
the companions of Scotch witches, and did wondrous feats in the Highlands.
See "Grant Stewart's Highland Superstitions." To roast a cat alive on a
spit was a method of raising the fiend and gaining treasure, tried, as it
is asserted, not very long ago. I myself remember to have heard, with
horror, of a cruel boy, who roasted his mother's cat in an iron pot on a
Sunday, while the rest were at church, though it was not said why he did
it. A cock has been a sacrifice and sacred amongst many nations; for
instance, a cock and a ram's head were emblems of Msculapius. The crowing
of a cock is a terror to all supernatural, unholy beings, according to
popular mythology everywhere. When the mother, in these stories, sends her
children into the world to seek their fortune, she bakes a cake, and kills
a cock. A fowl, as I am informed by a minister in one of the Orkneys, is
still, or was lately, buried alive by nurses as a cure for certain
childish ailments. In short, the dog, the cat, and the cock may possibly
have had good reason to fear death at a religious festival, if this part
of their history came from the East with the Celts. The goose also has
been sacred time out of mind. Bernacle geese are supposed to be hatched
from a seashell. The goose was the great cackler who laid the egg of the
world, according to Egyptian inscriptions on coffins. He was the emblem of
Seb; he is sacred at the present day in Ceylon. He was sacred in Greece
and at Rome; and the Britons would not eat his flesh in the days of
Caesar. Perhaps the custom of eating a goose at Christmas which, to the
best of my knowledge, is peculiar to the Scotch Highlands, may be a custom
begun by the British Christians to mark their conversion, and carried on
ever since. Much will be found on this subject in "Rawlinson's Herodotus,"
p. 122, etc.; in "Mill and Wilson's History of British India;" and in
books on Ceylon. At all events, this Gaelic story is well known in Islay,
for MacLean writes that he has often heard it, and all the creatures
mentioned in it have had to do with mythology at some period somewhere.
that it is one of the class given in "Contes et Apologues Indiens" (Paris,
1860), a class which includes such well known stories as "The Goose
with the golden Eggs," as a man who cut down a tree to get at the
fruit (No. 45); "The Belly and the Members," as a quarrel between
the head and tail of a serpent (No. 40), a story which somewhat resembles
that which is quoted in the introduction, as "MacLeod's Fool," "Le
Sage et le Fou" (No. 18); "The two Geese that carried a Tortoise" (No.
14); "Le Jeune Brimane qui c' est sali le Doight" (No. 64), which is a
schoolboy story in Scotland in another shape; "The Ass in the Lion's Skin"
(No. 59); "Les Choses impossibles et les Reliques du Bouddha" (No. 110),
which has a parallel in Gaelic, in broad Scotch, and in Norse. The Gaelic
poet describes impossibilities, such as shell fish bringing heather from
the hill, and the climax is a certain great laird dressed in homespun. The
Scotch rhyme came to me from a little boy of five year's old, and is
called "The Mantle Joe." It begins " 'Twas on a Monday Mornin' when the
Cat crew Day;" There are "Twenty-four Weavers riding on a Paddock;" "A
Hare and a Haddie racin' owre the Lea," and such like; and it ends, "Frae
Beginning to the End it’s a' big Lees." The Norse song was written out for
me by an officer on board a steamer, and includes "Two Squirrels taming a
Bear," and other such events; and the Sanscrit, which Chinese and French
savants have translated, names similar absurd events which might sooner
happen than the discovery of the reliques of Buddha. In short, European
stories are to be traced in the east, and this White Pet may be one of the