roimhe so, sean iasgair bochd, ach air a bhliadhna so, cha robh e faotainn
a bheag do dh'iasg. Latha do na laithean 's e 'giasgach, dh' eirich
maighdean-mhara ri taobh a bhàta, 's dh' fheòraich i dheth, An robh e
faotainn a bheag do dh'iasg? Fhreagair an seann duine, 's thubhairt e nach
robh. "De 'n duais a bheireadh tu dhòmhsa airson pailteas éisg a chuir
thugad?" "Ach!" ars' an seann duine, "Cha 'n 'eil a bheag agamsa ri
sheachnadh. " "An toir thu dhomh an cèud mhac a bhitheas agad?" ars' ise.
`S mise a bheireadh sin dhuit na'm biodh mac agam; cha robh's cha bhi mac
agamsa," ars' esan; "tha mi féin 's mo, bhean air cinntinn co sean. 'Ainmich
na bheil agud.' Cha 'n 'eil agamsa ach seann làir eich, seana ghalla choin,
mi féin 's mo bhean; sin agadsa na tha chreutairean an t-saoghail mhòr
agamsa." "So agad, mata, tri spilgeanan a bheir thu do d'mhnaoi air an
oidhche nochd, agus tri eile do 'n ghalla, agus an tri so do 'n chapull,
agus an tri so mar an ceudna, cuiridh tu air củủl do thighe; agus 'nan am
fein bithidh triủir mhac aig do bhean, tri searraich aig an Iàir, tri
cuileanan aig a ghalla, agus cinnidh tri chraobhan air củl do thighe, agus
bithidh na craobhan 'nan samhladh; 'nuair a bhasaicheas a h-aon do na mic
seargaidh té do na craobhan. Nis, thoir do thigh ort, agus coinnich mise
dur a bhitheas do mhac tri bliadhna 'dh' aois, 's gheibh thu féin pailteas
eisg an déigh so. "Thachair na h-uile ni mar a thubhairt a
mhaighdean-mhara; agus bha e féin a faotainn pailteas éisg, ach a nuair a
bha ceann nan tri bliadhna a dlủthachadh bha an seann duine a fàs cianail,
trom-chridheach, 's e 'dol uaithe na h-uile latha mar bha teachd. Air
comhainm an latha, chaidh e'dh' iasgachd mar a b'àbhaist, ach cha d'-thug
e mhac leis.
Dh' érich a
mhaighdean-mhara ri taobh a bhàta, 's dh' fharraid i, "an d'-thug thu leat
do mhac thugam?" "Ach! cha d'-thug, dhi-chuimhnich mi gu 'mi b’e so an
latha." "Seadh! seadh! mata," ars' a mhaighdean-mhara, "gheibh thu ceithir
bliadhn' eile dheth; faodaidh gur ann is usa dhuit dealachadh ris; so agad
a chomhaoise," 'si togail suas leanabh brèagha sultmhor, "am bheil do
mhac-sa cho brèagha ris?" Dh' fhalbh e dhachaidh Iàn sodain is sòlais, a
chionn gu 'n d' fhuair e ceithir bliadhn' eile d'a mhac; 's bha
e’g-iasgach 'sa' faotainn pailteas éisg. 'Ach an ceann na h-ath cheithir
bliadhna, bhuail mulad 's bròn e, 's cha ghabhadh e lòn 's cha dèanadh e
tủrn, 's cha robh a' bhean a tuigsinn dè a bha cur air. Air an am so, cha
robh fios aige de 'dhèanadh e, ach chuir e roimhe, nach d'-thugadh e leis
a mhac air an uair so nis mò. Dh'-fhalbh e dh' iasgach mar air na h-uairean
roimhe, 's dh'èirich a mhaighdean-mhara ri taobh a bhàta, 's dh' fheòraich
i dheth, "An d' thug thu thugain do mhac?" "Ach dhi-chuimhnuich mi e air
an uair so cuideachd," ars' an seann duine. "Falbh dhachaidh, mata," ars'
a mhaighdean-mhara, "agus an ceann seachd bliadhna na dheigh so, tha thu
cinnteach mis' a choinneachadh; ach cha 'n ann an sin is usa dhuit
dealachadh ris; ach gheibh thu iasg mar a b-àbhaist dhuit."
seann duine dhachaidh làn aoibhneis: fhuar e seachd bliadhn' eile d'a mhac!
agus mu'n rachadh seachd bliadhna seachad, bha 'n seann duine a
smuaineachadh gu 'm biodh e féin marbh, agus nach faiceadh e 'mhaighdean-mhara
tuillidh. Ach coma co dhiu, bha ceann nan seachd bliadhna so a dlủthachadh
cuideachd, agus ma 'bha cha robh an seann duine gun chủram a's trioblaid.
Cha robh fois aige a latha na dh' oidhche. Dh’ fheòraich am mac bu shine
d'a athair, aon latha, an robh ni air bith a' cuir dragh air? Thubhairt an
seann duine gu'n robh, ach nach buineadh sin dhàsan, na do neach air bith
eile. Thubhairt an t-òganach gu 'm feumadh e fios fhaotainn air, 's
dh'innis athair dha mu dheireadh mar a bha chuis eadar e féin 'sa
mhaighdean-mhara. "Na cuireadh sin củram 'sam bith oirbh," ars' am mac:
"Cha téid, mise na 'r n-aghaidh." "Cha teid, cha teid, a mhic, ged nach
faighinn iasg a chaoidh." "Mur leig sibh* dhomh dol maille ribh, rachaibh
do'n cheàrdach, agus deanadh an gobha claidheamh mòr làdir dhòmhsa, 's
falbhaidh mi air ceann an fhortain. " Chaidh athair do 'n cheardaich, 's
rinn an gobha claidheamh. Rug an t-òganach air ‘s thuge crathadh na dhà
air, 's dh' fhalbh e 'na cheud spealg. Dh' iarr e airathair dol do'n
cheàrdaich, agus claidheamh eile fhaotainn deanta, anns am bitheadh a dhà
uiread do chudthrom; agus mar so rinn athair, agus air an dòigh cheudna
thachair do 'n chlaidheamh; bhrist e na dha leth. Air ais chaidh an seann
duine do'n cheàrdaich, agus rinn an gobha claidheamh mòr; a leithid, cha
d' rinn e riamh roimhe. "So agad do chlaidheamh," ars' an gobha, " 's
feumaidh an dorn a bhi maith a chluicheas an lann so." Thug an seann duine
an claidheamh d'a mhac; thug e crathadh na dithis air; "Ni so feum," ars'
am mac, " 's mithich a nis triall air mo thuras," ars' esan. Air maduinn
an ath latha, chuir e diollaid air an each dubh a bha aig an làir, agus
thug e'n saoghal fuidh' cheann 's an củth dubh ri thaobh. 'N uair a chaidh
e greis air aghaidh, thachair carcais caora ris aig taobh an rathaid. Aig
a charcais bha madadh mòr, seabhag, agus dòbhran. Theirin e bhàr an eich,
agus roinn e a'chlosach eadar an triủir. Tri trianan do'n mhadadh, da
thrian do'n dòbhran, agus trian do'n t-seabhag. "Airson so," ars' am
madadh, "Ma ni luathas chas na géire fiacail cobhair dhuit, cuimhnich
ormsa, agus bithidh mi ri d' thaobh." Thubhairt an dòbhran, "Ma ni snàmh
coise air grunnd linne fuasgladh ort, cuimhnich ormsa agus bithidh mi ri'
d' thaobh." Ars' an t-seabhag, "Ma thig cruaidh chàs ort, far an deàn
luathas itean na crom ionga feum, cuimhnich ormas, 's bithidh mi ri 'd'
thaobh." Ghabh e'n so air aghaidh, gus an d'ràinig e tigh righ, 's ghabh e
muinntearas gu bhi 'na bhuachaille, agus 's ann a réir 's na bhitheadh do
bhainne aig a chrodh a bhiodh a thuarasdal. Chaidh e air faibh leis a
chrodh, ach cha robh an t-ionaltradh ach lom. 'Nuair a thàinig an t-anmoch,
's a thug e dhachaidh iad, cha robh 'bheag do bhainn' aca, bha 'n t-àite
co lom, 's cha robh 'bhaidh na 'dheoch ach suarrach air an oidhche so. Air
an ath latha, ghabh e air adhart ni b' fhaide leo, agus mu dheireadh
thàinig e gu àite anabarrach feurach, ann an gleann uaine nach fac e riamh
a leithid. Ach mu am dha dol mu chủl a chruidh gu 'n tabhairt dhachaidh,
co a chithear a'tighinn ach famhair mòr,'sa chlaidheamh 'na làimh. "HIU!
HAU! HOAGRAICH! " ars' am farnhair, " 's fada bho 'n bha meirg air m'
fhiaclan ag iarraidh do chuid feola: 's leamsa 'n crodh, tha iad air mo
chrich, agus is duine marbh thusa." "Cha dubhairt mi sin," ars' am
buachaille; "cha 'n 'eil fios nach usa sin a ràdh na dhèanamh."
badaibh a' cheile gabhar e féin 's am famhair. Chunnaic e gu 'n robh e
fada bho a charaid 's dlu d'a nàmhaid. Tharruing e 'n claidheamh mòr nach
fhagadh fuigheal beum, agus dhlủthaich e ris an fhamhair, agus ann am
mireadh a chatha leum an củ dubh air củl an fhamhair, 's tharruing am
buachaill' a chlaidheamh's bha ‘n ceann do 'n fhamhair ann am prioba na
sủil. Leum e air muin an eich dhuibh, agus chaidh e shealltainn airson
tigh an fhamhair. Ràinig e 'n dorus, agus leis a' chabhaig, a bha air an
fharnhair, dh' fhàg e gach geata 's gach dorus fosgailte. 'Steach chaidh
am buachaille, agus 'sann an sin a bha 'n greadhnachas, òr 's airgiod ann
am pailteas, 's trusgain dheth gach seòrsa air am faitheam le òr ‘s
airgiod, 's gach ni bu riomhaiche na cheile. Am beul na h-oidche thug e
caisteal an righ air, ach cha d' thug e dad air bith leis a tigh an
fhamhair; agus a nuair a chaidh an crodh a bhleoghan, 's ann an sinn. a
bha 'm bainne. Fhuair e de bheatha mhaith air an oidhche so, biadh 's
deoch gun ghainne, agus bha an righ anabarrach toilichte, gu 'n d' fhuair
e greim air a leithid do bhuachaille. Chaidh e air aghaidh air son ủine
air an dòigh so, ach mu dheireadh, dh' fhàs an gleann lom do dh' fheur,
agus cha robh an t-ionaltradh cho maith. Ach smaoinich e gun rachadh e air
aghaidh beagan ni b’fhaide a' stigh air còir an fhamhair, agus faicear
pàirce mhòr do fheur. Thill e airson a chruidh agus cuirear a stigh do 'n
phàirce iad. Cha robh iad ach goirid ag ionaltradh 'sa phàirce, 'nuair a
thàinig famair mòr, fiadhaich, lan fearg agus corruich "Héu! Hò! hoagraich!"
ars' am famhair, " 'se deoch do d' fhuil a chaisgeas mo phathadh a nochd."
"Cha 'n 'eil fios,” ars' am buachaille, "Nach fasa sin a ràdh na dheanamh."
Ach na cheile ghabh na fir, 's ann an sin a bha 'n crathadh lann. Mu
dheireadh thall bha coltas air gu'm faigheadh am farnhair buaidh air a
bhuachaille. 'N sin ghlaodh e air a chủ, agus le aon leum, rug an củ dubh
air amhaich air an fhamhair, 's ghrad bhuail am buachaille an ceann de.
dhachaidh glé sgith air an oidhche so, ach nu'r thaing, mar a' robh bainne
aig crodh an righ! 's bha 'n teaglach air fad co toilichte air son gun d'
fhuair iad a' leithid so do bhuachaille. Lean e air a bhuachailleachd air
an dòigh so ré uine; ach oidhche 's e air tighinn dhachaidh, an àite do 'n
bhanaraich furan's fàilte 'chur air, ‘s ann a bha iad air fad ri cumha 's
ri bròn. Dh' fhoighneachd e de 'n t-aobhar bròin a bha' so an nochd.
Thubhairt a bhanarach, gu 'n robh beist mhòr le tri chinn 'san loch, agus
gu 'n robh i ri aon fhaotainn a h-uile bliadhna, agus gu 'n d' thàinig an
crannchur am bliadhna air nighean an righ, " 's mu mheadhon latha 'màireach,
tha i ri coinneachainn na huile-bhéist aig ceann shuas an loch; ach tha
suiriche mòr an siud a tha 'dol g’a teàrnadh." "De 'n suiriche a tha ann?"
thubhairt am buachaille. "0! tha Seanalair mòr airm," thubhairt a'
bhanarach, "agus a nuair a mharbhas e 'bhéist, pòsaidh e nighean an righ;
oir thubhairt an righ 'ge b'é theàrnadh a nighean, gu 'faigheadh e i ri
phòsadh." Ach air an latha 'maireach, 'nuair a bha an t-am a dluthachainn,
dh' fhalbh nighean an righ 's an gaisgeach airm so gu coinneamh a
thabhairt do 'n bheist, 's rainig iad an Coire dubh aig ceann shuas an
loch. Cha robh iad ach goirid an sin 'nuair a ghluais a bhést ann am
meadhon an loch; ach air do'n t-Seanalair an t-uamhas bèiste so fhaicinn
le tri chinn, ghabh e eagal, 's shéap e air falbh 's dh' fhalaich e e féin,
's bha nighean an righ fo chrith 's fo eagal, gun neach ann a theàrnadh i.
Sủil do 'n d' thug i faicear òganach foghainteach, dreachmhor a marcachd
each dubh 's a' tighinn far an robh i. Bha e air a sgeadachdainn gu h-anabarrach
's fo làn armachd 's an củ dubh a' siubhal 'na dhéigh. "Tha gruaim air do
ghnủis, a nighean," ars, an t-òganach; "dè tha thu deanadh an so?" "0! 's
coma sin, thubhairt nighean an righ, cha 'n fhad' a bhitheas mi ann co
dhiu." "Cha dubhairt mi sin," ars' esan. "Theich laoch cho cohach riutsa,
's cha 'n 'eil fada uaidhe," thubhairt ise. " 'Se laoch a sheasas cath,"
ars' an t-òganach. Shuidh e sios làimh rithe 's thubhairt e rithe, "Na 'n
tuiteadh esan 'na chadal, i ga 'dhủsgadh 'n uair a chitheadh ‘bhéist a'
deanamh air son tir." "De 's dủsgadh duit," thubhairt ise? " 'S dusgadh
dhomh am fàinne th' air do mheur a chur air mo lughdag." Cha b’ fhada bha
iad an sin, 'n uair a chunnaic i bhéist a dèanamh gu tir. Thug i 'm fàinne
bhàr a meur, 's chuir i air lughdag an òganaich e. Dhủisg e, agus an
coinneamh na béste ghabh e, le 'chlaidheamh 's le chủ; ach 's ann an sin a
bha 'n t-slupartaich 's an t-slapartaich eadar e féin 's a' bhéist; 's bha
'n củ dèanamh na b’ urrainn e, 's bha nighean an righ air bhall-chrith
eagail le fuaim na béiste. Bhiodh iad uair fuidhe 's uair an uachdar, ach
ma dheireadh, gheàrr e fear do na cinn di; thug i aon raibheic aiste, 's
ghoir mac-talla nan creag d'a sgrèuch, 's chuir i 'n loch 'na lasair bho
cheann gu ceann, agus ann am prioba na sủla, chaidh i as an t-sealladh. "Piseach's
buaidh gu'n robh ga d’ leantainn, òganaich," arsa nighean an righ, "tha
mise sàbhailt air son aon oidhche; ach thig a bheist a rithist, gu bràth
gus an d' thig an dà cheann eile dhi." Rug e air ceann na béiste, agus
tharruing e gad roimhe 's thubhairt e rithe, i ga' thabhairt leatha 'm
màireach an sud. Dh' fhalbh i dhachaidh's an ceann air a guallainn, 's
thug am buachaille na mairt air. Ach cha b' fhada bha i air a' rathad 'n
uair a choinnich an Seanalair mòr so i, agus thubhairt e rithe gu marbhadh
e i mur canadh i gur esan a thug an ceann do 'n bhéist. "0! ars' ise, 's
mi their! co eile 'thug an ceann do 'n bheist ach thu." Ràinig iad tigh an
righ 's an ceann air guallainn an t-Seanalair; ach 's ann an so a bha 'n
t-aoibhneas, i 'thighinn dhachaidh beò slàn, agus ceann na béiste làn fola
aig a Chaiptean mhòr so 'na làimh. Air an latha ‘màireach, dh'fhalbh iad,
agus cha robh teagamh sam bith nach teàrnadh an gaisgeach so nighean an
righ. Ràinig iad an t-àite ceudna, 's cha robh iad fad' an sin, 'n uair a
ghluais an uile-bheist oillteil ann am meadhon an loch, 's shèap an
gaisgeach air falbh mar a rinn e air an lath' dè. Ach cha b' fhad an déigh
so, dur a thàinig fear an eich dhuibh 's deis eile air. Coma co dhiu,
dh’aithnich i gur e cheart òganach a bh’ ann. " 'S mise tha toilichte d'
fhaicinn," ars' ise, "tha mi 'n dòchas gu làimhsich thu do chlaidheamh mòr
an diugh mar a rinn thu 'n dè; thig a nios 's leig t-anail." Ach cha b'
fhada bha iad an sin, 'n uair a chunnaic iad a bhéist a totail am
meadhon an loch. Luidh an t-òganach sios ri taobh nighean an righ, 's
thubhairt e rithe, "Ma chaidleas mise mu 'n d'thig a bhéist, dủisg mi."
"De as dủsgadh dhuit?" " 'S dủasgadh dhomh a chluais-fhail sin a tha 'na
d' chluais, a chuir 'na mo thè féin." Cha mhath a chaidil e 'n uair a
ghlaodh nighean an righ, "Dủisg! dủisg!" Ach dusgadh cha dèanadh e; ach
thug i chluas-fhail as a cluais, agus chuir i 'n cluas an òganaich e, 's
air ball dhủisg e, ‘s an car na béiste chaidh e; ach 's ann an sin a bha
'n t-slupartaich ‘s an t-slapartaich, raoiceil, 's taoiceil air a bhéist.
Lean iad mar so rè ủine fada, 's mu bheul na h-oidhche, gheàrr e 'n ceann
eile do 'n bhéist. Chuir e air a' ghad e 's leum e air muin an eich dhuibh,
's thug e 'bhuachailleached air. Dh' fhalbh nighean an righ dhachaidh leis
na cinn: thachair an Seanalair rithe 's thug e uaipe na cinn, 's thubhairt
e rithe, "Gu 'm feumadh i chantainn gu 'm b’ esan a thug an ceann do 'n
bhéist air an uair so cuideachd." "Co eile a thug an ceann do 'n bhéist
ach thu?" thuirt ise. Ràinig iad tigh an righ leis na cinn, ach 's ann an
sin a bha 'n t-aoibhneas 's an t-aighear. Mha bha an righ subhach an ceud
oidhche, bha e nis cinnteach gu 'n teàrnadh an gaisgeach mòr so a nighean,
's cha robh teagamh sam bith nach bitheadh an ceann eile do 'n bhéist air
an latha màireach. Mu 'n am cheudna, dh'fhablh an dithis air an latha 'màireach.
Dh' fhalaich an t-oifigir e féin mar a b-abhaist: thug nighean an righ
bruaich an loch oirre, 's thàinig gaisgeach an eich dhuibh, 's luidh e ri'
taobh. Dhủisg i 'n t-òlach 's chuir i cluas-fhail 'na chluais eile agus
ann am bad na béiste ghabh e. Ach ma bha raoiceil, is 's taoiceil air a
bheist air na làithean a chaidh seachad, ‘s ann an diugh a bha 'n t-uamhas
oirre. Ach coma co dhiu, thug e ‘n treas ceann do 'n bhéist, 's ma thug
cha b' ann gun spàirn. Tharruing e ro 'n ghad e, 's dh' fhalbh i dhachaidh
leis na cinn. 'N uair a ràinig iad tigh an righ, bha na h-uile lin
gàirdeachas, 's bha ‘n Seanalair ri nighean an righ a' phòsadh air an ath
latha. Bha bhanais a dol air a h-aghaidh 's gach neach mu 'n Chaisteal 's
fadal air gus an d' thigeadh an sagairt. Ach a nuair a thainig an sagairt,
cha phòsadh i ach an neach a bheireadh na cinn do 'n ghad gun an gad a
ghearradh. "Co bheireadh na cinn do 'n ghad ach am fear a chuir na cinn
air," thuibhairt an righ. Dh' fheuch an Seanalair iad, ach cha b-urrainn e
na cinn fliuasgiadh; 's mu dheireadh, cha robh a h’aon mu 'n tigh nach d'
fheuch ris' na cinn a thoirt do 'n ghad, ach cha b-urrainn iad. Dh'
fhoighneachd an righ, "An robh neach air bith eile mu 'n tigh a dh'
fheuchadh ris na cinn a thoirt bhar a ghaid." nubhairt iad nach d' fheuch
am buachaille fathast iad. Chaidh fios air a' bhuachaille, 's cha b' fhada
bha esan a tilgeadh fear a null 's a nall diubh. "Ach fan beagan òganoich,"
arsa nighean an righ: "am fear a thug na cinn do 'n bhéist, tha 'm fàinne
agamsa aige, agus mo dhà chluais-fhail." Chuir am buachaille ‘làimh ‘na
phòca, 's thilig e air a bhòrd iad. "S'-tusa mo dhuine-sa," arsa nighean
an righ. Cha robh an righ cho toilichte, 'n uair a chunnaic e gu 'm b’e 'bhuachaille
a bha ri' nighean a phòsadh; ach; dh' òrduich e gu feumt' a chur ann an
trusgan ni b’fhearr. Ach labhair a nighean, 's thubhairt i, "Gun robh
trusgan aige cho rìomhach 'sa bha riamh 'na chaisteal; agus mor so
thachair, chuir am buachaille deis' òir an fhamhair, air, agus phòs iad
air an oidhche sin fein.
Bha iad a nis
pòsda's na h-uile ni dol air aghaidh gu maith. Bha iad aon lath' a
spaisdearachd mu thaobh an locha, 's thàinig béist a b-uamhasaiche na 'n
te eile, 's thugar air falbh e gun athadh gun fhoighneachd. Bha nighean an
righ an so gu dubhach, dèurach, dalla-bhrònach air son a fear-posda. Bha i
daonnan 'sa sủil air an loch. Thachair scana ghobha rithe, 's dh' innis i
dha mar thachair da céile-pòsda. Chomhairlich an gobha dhi i 'sgaoileadh
gach nì bu bhrèagha na chèile anns a cheart àite 'san ‘d’ thug a bhéist
air falbh a duine; agus mar so rinn i. Chuir a bhéist suas a sròn, 's
thubhairt i. " 'S brèagh ‘d’ ailleas a nighean an righ." " 'S brèagha na
sin an t-àilleagan a thug thu uam," thubhairt ise. "Thoir dhomh aon
sealladh do m' dhuine,'s gheibh thu aon ni do na tha thu 'faicinn." Thug
a' bhéist suas e. "Aisig dhomh e, 's gheibh thu na tha thu ‘faicinn," ars'
ise. Rinn a' bhéist mar a thubhairt i; thilig i beo slàn e air bruach an
locha. Goirid 'na dheigh sud, 's iad a sràidimeachd ri taobh an loch, thug
a bhéist cheudna air falbh nighean an rìgh. Bu bhrònach gach neach a bha 'sa
bhaile air an oidhche so. Bha a duine gu dubhach, deurach, a' siubhal sìos
agus suas mu bhruachan an locha a latha 's do dh' oidhche. Thachair an
seana ghobha ris. Dh' innis an gobha dha, Nach robh dòigh air an
uile-bheist a mharbhadh, ach aon dòigh, agus 's e sin – “Anns an eilean 'tha
am meadhon an locha tha eilid chaisfhionn as caoile cas 's as luaithe ceum,
agus ge do rachadh beirsinn oirre, leumadh feannag aisde, agus ged a
rachadh beirsinn air an fheannag, leumadh breac aisde; ach tha ubh am beul
a bhric, agus, tha anam na béiste 'san ubh 's ma bhristeas an t-ubh, tha a
bhéist marbh." Nis cha robh dòigh air faotainn do 'n eilean so, bho 'n
chuireadh a bhéist foidh gach bata 's gach ràth, a rachadh air an loch.
Smaoinich e gu 'm feuchadh e 'n Caolas a leum leis an each dhubh, agus mar
so fhein rinn e. Leum an t-each dubh an Caolas, 's an Củ dubh le aon leum.
as an déigh. Chunnaic e' n eilid, 's leig e 'n củ dubh 'na déigh, ach an
uair a bhiodh an củ air aon taobh do 'n eilean bhiodh an eilid air an
taobh eile. "0! bu mhath a nis madadh mòr na closaiche feòla an so." Cha
luaithe 'labhair e 'm facal na bha 'm madadh còir ri thaobh, agus an déigh
na h-eilid ghabh e 's cha b’ fhada 'bha na laoich ga cuir ri talamh; ach
cha bu luaithe a rug e oirre, na leum feannag aisde; " 'S ann a nis a bu
mhath an t-seobhag ghlas as geire suil 's is làidire sgiath." Cha luaithe
thubhairt e so, na bha 'n t-seobhag as déigh 'na feannaig, 's cha b’ fhada
'bha i ga cuir ri talamh; agus air tuiteam do 'n fheannaig air bruach an
locha, a mach aisde leumtar am breac. "0! nach robh thus' agamsa a nis a
dhobhrain." Cha luaith' thubhairt na bha 'n dobhran ri thaobh, agus a mach
air an loch leum i, 's thugar am breac a meadhon an loch; Ach cha luaithe
bha 'n dòran air tir leis a bhreac na thainig an t-ubh a mach as a bheul.
Ghrad leum esan, 's chuir e 'chas air, 's ann an sin a leig a bhéist raoic
aisde, 's thubhairt i, "Na brist an t-ubh, 's gheibh thu na dh' iarras tu.
" "Aisig dhòmhsa mo bhean. " Ann am prioba na sủla bha i ri 'thaobh. Nuair
a fhuair e greim air a laimh 'na dha' Iàimh, leig e chas air an ubh, 's
bhisaich a béist. Bha ‘bheist marbh a nis, agus 'sann a nis a bha 'n
sealladh ri fhaicinn. Bha i uamhasach ri sealltainn oirre, bha na tri
chinn di gun teagamh, ach ma bha, bha ceann os-ceann cheann oirre, agus
sủilean, 's coig ceud cas. Coma co dhiu, dh' fhàig iad ann a 'sud i, 's
chaidh iad dhachaidh. Bha sòlas is gàirdeachas ann an tigh an righ air an
oidhche so, 's cha d’innis e do 'n righ gu so mar a mharbh e na famhairean.
Chuir an righ urram. mòr air, 's bha e 'na dhuine mòr aig an rìgh.
Bha e fein 's
a' bhean a' sràidimeachd aon latha, 'n uair a thug e fainear caisteal beag
ri taobh an loch, ann an coille. Dh’ fharraid e do 'n mhnaoi co bha
gabhail còmhnuidh ann? Thubhairt i nach robh neach air bith a' dol a chòir
a chaisteal ud, bho nach d'thainig neach air ais fathast a chaidh ann a
dh' innseadh sgeủil. "Cha 'n fhaod a chủis a bhi mar sin," ars' esan; "a
nochd féin chi mi co' tha gabhail comhnuidh ann." "Cha d' theid, cha d'
theid," thubhairt ise, "cha deach duine riamh do 'n chaisteal so a phill
air ais. " "Biodh sin 's a roghainn aige," ars' esan. Dh' fhalbh e, agus
gabhar do 'n chaisteal 's nuair a ràinig e 'n dorus, thachair cailleach
bheag, bhrosgulach ris 'na seasamh san dorus. 'Furan's failte dhuit, a
rnhic an iasgair 's mi féin a tha toilichte d' fhaicinn; 's mòr an onair
do 'n rioghachd so do leithid a thighinn innte; 's urram. do 'n bhothan
bheag so thu thighinn a stigh;' gabh a stigh air thoiseach, onair na h-uaisle,
's leig t' anail:” ‘s a steach ghabh e; ach a nuair a bha e air tì dol
suas, tharruing i an slacan-dhruidheachd air an củl a chinn, ‘s air ball
thuit e 'n sin. "Air an oidhche so bha bròn ann an caisteal an righ agus
air an latha màireach bha tuireadh ann an tigh an iasgair. Chunnacas a
chraobh a seargadh 's thubhairt mac meadhonach an iasgair, "gu 'n robh a
bhràthar marbh," 's thug e bòid is briathar gu falbhadh e s gu 'm biodh
fios aige cait' an robh corp a bhràthar na luidhe. Chuir e dìollaid air
each dubh, 's mharcaich è an déigh a choin duibh (oir bha each dubh 's củ
dubh aig triủir mhac an iasgair) agus gun dol a null na nall, lean e air
ceum a bhràthair bu sine, gus an dràinig e tigh an righ. Bha e so co
coltach ri 'bhràthair 's gu, 'n d' shaoil le nighean an rìgh gu 'm be
duine fein a bh' ann. Dh' fhan e 'n so 'sa chaisteal, 's dh' innis iad dha
mar thachair d'a bràthair, agus do chaisteal beag na cailliche dh'
fheumadh e' dol bog na cruaidh mar thachradh, 's do 'n chaisteal chaidh e,
agus ceart mar a thachair do 'n bhràthair bu sine, anns gach dòigh
thachair do 'n mhac mheadhonach, 's le aon bhuille do 'n t-slacan-dhruidheachd,
leag a' chailleach e na shineadh ri' taobh a bhràthar. Air faicinn an
darna craobh a' seargadh do mhac òg an iasgair thubhairt e, gu 'n robh a
nis a dhithis bhràithrean marbh, agus gu' feumadh fios a bhi aigesan de 'm
bàs a thàinig orra. Air muin an eich dhuibh ghabh e, 's lean e 'n củ mar a
rinn a bhràthair, agus tigh an rìgh bhuail e mu 'n do stad e. 'Se 'n rìgh
bha toilichte fhaicinn, ach do 'n chaisteal dubh (oir 'se so ainm) cha
leigadh iad e, ach do 'n chaisteal dh' fheumadh e dol, 's mur sin ràinig e
'n caisteal. "Failte 's furan dhuit féin, a mhic an iasgair, 's mi tha
toillichte d'fhaicinn; gabh a steach 's leig t-anail," thuirt ise. " 'Stigh
romham thu, a chailleach, 's coma leam sodal a muigh." "Rach a steach 's
cluinneam do chòmhradh." A' steach, ghabh a chailleach, agus a nuair a bha
a củl ris, tharruing e a chlaidheamh 's spadar a ceann dhi, ach leum an
claidheamh as a laimh, 's ghrad rug a chailleach air a ceann le a da Iàimh,
s cuirear air a h-amhaich e mar' bha e roimhe. Leum an củ air a chaillich,
's bhuail I 'm madadh còir leis an t-slacan-dhruidheachd, 's luidh esan an
sin, ach cha deach so air mhithapadh do 'n òlach, 's an sàs sa chaillich
gabhar e. Fhuair e gréim air an t-shlacan-dhruidheachd, agus le aon
bhuille am mullach a cinn bha i ri talamh ann am prioba na sủl. Chaidh e
beagan air aghaidh suas, 's faicear a dha bhràthair na 'n luidhe taobh ri
taobh. Tbug e buille do gach fear dhiubh, leis an t-slacan dhruidheachd 's
air an cois bha iad. Ach 's ann so a bha ‘n spuill òir 's airgid, 's gach
ni bu luachmhoire na chèile ann an caisteal na cailliche. Thàinig iad air
an ais do thigh an rìgh, 's ann an sin a bha 'n gàirdeachas. Bha 'n rìgh a
fàs seann, agus chaidh mac bhu shine an iasgair a chrủmadh 'na rìgh, 's
dh' fhan an dithis bhràithrean latha 's bliadhna ann an tigh an rìgh, 's
dh' fhalbh an dithis a nis dhachadh le òr 's airgiod na caifliche, 's gach
nì rìomhach eile 'thug an rìgh dhoibh; 's mar do shiubhail iad uaidh sin
tha iad beo gus an latha 'n diugh.
version of this was told to me in South Uist, by DONALD MACPHIE, aged 79,
in September 1859.
There was a
poor old fisher in Skye, and his name was Duncan. He was out fishing, and
the sea maiden rose at the side of his boat, and said, "Duncan, thou art
not getting fish." They had a long talk, and made a bargain; plenty of
fish for his first son. But he said, "I have none." Then the sea maiden
gave him something, and said, "Give this to thy wife, and this to thy
mare, and this to thy dog, and they will have three sons, three foals, and
three pups," and so they had, and the eldest son was Iain. When he was
eighteen, he found his mother weeping, and learned that he belonged to the
mermaid. "Oh," said he, "I will go where there is not a drop of salt
water." So he mounted one of the horses and went away. He soon came to the
carcase of an old horse, and at it a lion (aeon), a wolf (matugally), and
a falcon (showag). LEÒMHAN, MADADH-ALLUIDH, SEABHAG or SEOBHAG.
spoke, and she asked him to divide the carcass. He did so, and each
thanked him, and said, "When thou art in need think of me, and I will be
at thy side (or thou wilt be a lion, a wolf, or a falcon, I am
uncertain which he meant), for we were here under spells till some one
should divide this carcass for us."
He went on
his way and became a king's herd. He went to a smith and bade him make him
an iron staff. He made three. The two first bent, the third did well
enough. He went a herding, and found a fine grass park, and opened it and
went in with the cattle. FUATH of the seven heads, and seven humps, and
seven necks, came and took six by the tails and went away with them (so
Cacus dragged away cows by the tail). "Stop," said the herd. The FUATH
would not, so they came to grips. Then the fisher's son either thought of
the lion, or became one, but at all events a lion seized the giant and put
him to earth.
"Thine is my
lying down and rising up," said he. "What is thy ransom?" said the herd.
The giant said, "I have a white filly that will go through the skies, and
a white dress; take them." And the herd took off his heads.
When he went
home they had to send for carpenters to make dishes for the milk, there
was so much.
The next day
was the same. There came a giant with the same number of heads, and took
eight cows by their tails, and slung them on his back. The herd and the
wolf (or as a wolf) beat him, and got a red filly that could fly through
the air, and a red dress, and cut off their heads. And there were still
more carpenters wanted, there was so much milk.
The third day
came a still bigger giant and took nine cows, and the herd as, or with
a falcon, beat him, and got a green filly that would go through the sky
and a green dress, and cut his heads off, and there was more milk than
On the fourth
day came the Carlin, the wife of the last giapt, and mother of the other
two, and the fisher's son went up into a tree. "Come down till I eat
thee," said she. "Not I," said the herd. "Thou hast killed my husband and
my two sons, come down till I eat thee." "Open thy mouth, then, till I
jump down," said the herd. So the old Carlin opened her gab, and he thrust
the iron staff down her throat, and it came out at a mole on her breast [
this is like the mole of the Gruagach in No. 1], and she fell.
Then he sprang on her, and spoke as before, and got a basin, and when he
washed himself in it, he would be the most beautiful man that was ever
seen on earth, and a fine silver comb, and it would make him the grandest
man in the world; and he killed the Carlin and went home.
this agrees almost exactly with the next version, but there is a giant
added here and a coarse comb left out].
fisher's son came home, there was sorrow in the king's house, for the
DRAYGAN was come from the sea. Every time he came there was some one to be
eaten, and this time the lot had fallen on the king's daughter.
The herd said
that he would go to fight the draygan, and the king said, "No; I cannot
spare my herd." So the king's daughter had to go alone. [ The incident
of the cowardly knight is here left out]. Then the herd came through
the air on the white filly, with the white dress of the Fuath. He tied the
filly to the branch of a tree and went where the king's daughter was, and
laid his head in her lap, and she dressed his hair, and he slept. When the
draygan came she woke him, and after a severe battle he cut off one head,
and the draygan said, "A hard fight tomorrow," and went away. The herd
went off in the white filly, and in the evening asked about the battle,
and heard his own story. Next day was the same with the red filly and the
red dress, and the draygan said, "The last fight to morrow," and he
On the third
day she scratched a mark on his forehead when his head was in her lap: he
killed the draygan, and when he asked about it all, there was great joy,
for now the draygan was dead. Then the king's daughter had the whole
kingdom gathered, and they took off their head clothes as they passed, but
there was no mark. Then they bethought them of the dirty herd, and when he
came he would not put olf his head gear, but she made him, and saw the
mark, and said, "Thou mightest have a better dress." He used his magic
comb and basin, and put on a dress, and was the grandest in the company,
and they married. It fell out that the king's daughter longed for dulse,
and he went with her to the shore to seek it. The sea maiden-rose up and
took him. She was sorrowful, and went to the soothsayer and learned what
And she took
her harp to the sea shore and sat and played and the sea-maiden came up to
listen, for sea-maidens are fonder of music than any other creatures, and
when she saw the sea-maiden she stopped. The sea-maiden said, "Play on;"
but she said, "No, till I see my man again." So the sea-maiden put up his
head. (Who do you mean? Out of her mouth to be sure. She had swallowed
him.) She played again, and stopped, and then the sea-maiden put him
up to the waist. Then she played again and stopped, and the sea-maiden
placed him on her palm. Then he thought of the falcon, and became one and
flew on shore. But the sea-maiden took the wife.
Then he went
to the soothsayer, and he said, "I know not what to do, but in a glen
there is TARBH NIMH, a hurtful bull, and in the bull a ram, and in the ram
a goose, and in the goose an egg, and there is the soul of the
called on his three creatures, and by their help got the goose, but the
egg fell out in the loch.
Then the lion
said she knew not what to do, and the wolf said the same. The
falcon told of an otter in an island, and flew and seized her two cubs,
and the otter dived for the egg to save her cubs. He got his wife, and
dashed the egg on the stones, and the mermaid died. And they sent for the
fisher and his sons, and the old mother and brothers got part of the
kingdom, and they were all happy and lucky after that.
I asked if
there was anything about one brother being taken for the other and the
naked sword, and was told that the incident was in another story, as well
as that of the withering of the three trees. These incidents were in the
version of the stable boy; and as they are in Mackenzie's, they probably
belong to the story as it was known in Argyllshire.
version of this was told in April 1859, by John MacGibbon, a lad who was
rowing me across Loch Fyne, from St. Katharine's to Inverary; he said he
had heard it from an old man living near Lochgilphead, who could tell many
stories, and knew part of the history of the Feine.
The hero was
the son of a widow, the youngest of ten; blackskinned and rough "carrach."
He went to seek his fortune, and after adventures somewhat like those of
the heroes in the other versions, he became like them a king's herd, and
was in like manner beset by giants who claimed the pasture. Each fight was
preceded by a long and curious parley across a ditch. The giants got
larger each day, and last of all came the wife of one, and mother of the
other two, who was worst of all.
He got spoil
from each, which the conquered giant named as his ransom, and which, as
usual, the herd took after killing his foe. From the mother he got a
"golden comb, and when he combed his hair with the fine side, he was
lovely, and when he combed it with the coarse side, he was hideous again,"
and a magic basin which made him beautiful when he washed in it. And he
got wonderful arms, and dresses, and horses from the giants.
king's daughter was to be given to a giant with three heads who came in a
ship. When he leaped on shore, he buried himself to the waist, he was so
heavy. The herd was asleep with his head in the lap of the princess, and
dressed in the giant's spoil, combed with the fine gold comb, and washed
in the magic basin, and beautiful, but nevertheless the princess dressed
awakened each day by biting a joint off his little finger - cutting a
patch from the top of his head - and a notch from his ear. Each day he cut
off a head, and the giant, when he leaped from the ship on the third day,
only sunk to his ankles in the sand, for he had lost two heads.
head jumped on again as fast as it was cut off, but at last, by the advice
of a hoodie, the cold steel of the sword was held on the neck till the
marrow froze, and then the giant was killed, and the herd disappeared as
lad, who went to guard the princess, ran away and hid himself, and took
the credit each day, but he could not untie the knots with which the heads
were bound together on a withy by the herd. Then when all the kingdom had
been gathered, the herd was sent for, but he would not come, and he bound
three parties of men who were sent to bring him by force.
At last he
was entreated to come, and came, and was recognized by the marks, and then
he combed his hair, and washed in the magic basin, and dressed in the
giant’s spoils, and he married the princess, and the Gille Ruadh was
story ended, but so did the passage of the ferry.
4. I have
another version written by Hector Maclean, from the dictation of a woman,
B. Macaskill, in the small island of Bemeray, Aug. 1859. - MAC A
GHOBHA,The Smith's Son.
A smith takes
the place of the old fisherman. The mermaid rises beside his boat, gets
the promise of the son, and sends him fish. (The three mysterious
grains are omitted.) One son is born to the fisher, and the mermaid
lets him remain till he is fourteen years of age.
BHA 'N GILLE
‘N SO CHO MOR AN CEAUNN NAN CEITHIR BLIADHNA DIAG! CHA ROBH LEITHID RE
BHAIGHIN CHO MOR 'S CHO GARBH 'S CHO FOGHAINTEACH RIS.
The lad was
now so big at the end of the 14 years! His like was not to be found, so
big, so rugged, so formidable as he.
Then he asked
his father not to go in the wind of the shore or the sea, for fear the
mermaid should catch him, and to make him a staff in which there should be
nine stone weight of iron; and he went to seek his fortune. His father
made him the staff, and he went, and whom should he meet but MADADH RUADH
the fox, MADADH ALLUIDH the wolf, AGUS AN FHEANNAG, and the hoodie, AGUS OTHAISG
ACA GA H'ITHEADH, and eating a year old sheep. He divided the sheep, and
the creatures promised to help him, and he went on to a castle, where he
got himself employed as a herd, and was sent to a park; "No man ever came
alive out of it that ever went into it."
A big giant
came and took away one of the cows, and then (SABAID) a fight began, and
the herd was undermost, AGUS DE RINN AM BUACHAILL’ ACH CUIMHNEACHADH AIR A
MHADADH ALLUIDH AGUS GHRAD! BHA 'M BUACHAILL AN AIRD AGUS AM FUAMHAIR
FODHA AGUS MHARBH E 'M FUAMHAIR, and what did the herd but remember the
wolf, and swift! the herd was above and the giant below, and he killed the
giant, and went home with the cattle, and his master said to the
BANACHAGAN, "Oh, be good to the herd." (The spoil, the dresses, and the
horses are here all left all out). The second day it was the same, and
he again thought of the wolf, and conquered after he was down.
The third day
it was again the same. On the fourth day CAILLEACH MHOR a great carlan
came. They fought, and he was undermost again, but thought of the wolf and
was up. BAS AS DO CHIONN A CHAILLEACH ARS AM BUACHAILLE DE’ T’ EIRIG? (EIRIG,
a fine for bloodshed, a ransom. Fine anciently paid for the murder of any
person. Scottish Laws - Regiam Majestatem (Armstrong dic.) The
Laws of the Brets and Scots, in which every one was valued according
to his degree (Innes's "Scotland in the Middle Ages").
"Death on thy
top, Carlin," said the herd, "what's thy value?"
"That is not
little," said the Carlin, "if thou gettest it. I have three TRUNCANNAN (an
English word with a Gaelic plural) full of silver. There is a trunk
under the foot board, and two others in the upper end of the castle."
"Though that be little, its my own," said he as he killed her.
On the morrow
the king's daughter was to go to the great beast that was on the loch to
be killed, and what should the herd do but draw the cattle that way, and
he laid his head in her lap and slept, but first told the lady, when she
saw the loch trembling, to take off a joint of his little finger. She did
so. He awoke, thought of the fox, and took a head, a hump, and a neck off
the beast, and he went away, and no one knew that he had been there at
all. Next day was the same, but he had a patch cut from his head.
The third day
she took off the point of his ear, he awoke, was again beaten by the
beast, thought of the fox, and was uppermost, and killed the beast (S' BHA
I NA LOCH UISGE N’ UAIR A MHARBH E I) and she was a fresh water lake when
he had killed her.
cowardly general, or knight, or lad, or servant, is here left out.)
Then the king's daughter gave out that she would marry the man whose
finger fitted the joint which she had cut off and kept in her pocket.
Everybody came and cut off the points of their little fingers, but the
herd staid away till it was found out by the dairymaids that he wanted the
joint, and then he came and married the lady.
were married they went to walk by the shore, and the mermaid rose and took
him away. "It is long since, thou wert promised to me, and now I have thee
perforce," said she. An old woman advised the lady to spread all her
dresses on the beach, and she did so in the evening, and the mermaid came,
and for the dresses gave back her companion, "and they went at each
other's necks with joy and gladness."
fortnight the wife was taken away, "and sorrow was not sorrow till now -
the lad lamenting his wife." He went to an old man, who said, "There is a
pigeon which has laid in the top of a tree; if thou couldst find means to
break the egg ANAIL, the breath of the mermaid is in it." SMAOINTICH E AIR
AN FHEANNAIG 'S CHAIDH E NA FHEANNAIG 'S LEUM E GO BARR NA CRAOIBHE. He
thought on the hoodie, and he became a hoodie (went into his hoodie),
and he sprang to the top of the tree, and he got the egg, and he broke the
egg, and his wife came to shore, and the mermaid was dead.
It is worth
remarking the incidents which drop out of the story when told by women and
by men. Here the horses and armour are forgotten, but the faithful lover
is remembered. The sword is a stick, and the whole thing savours strongly
of the every-day experience of the Western Isles, which has to do with
fishing, and herding sheep and cattle. It is curious also to remark the
variations in the incidents. The hero seems to acquire the qualities of
the creatures, or be assisted by them.
5. I have
another version from Barra, but it varies so much, and has so many new
incidents, that I must give it entire, if at all. It most resembles
MacGibbon's version. It is called AN 'T IASGAIR the fisher, and was told
by Alexander MacNeill, fisherman.
6. I have a
sixth version told by John Smith, labourer, living at Polchar in South
Uist, who says he learned it about twenty years ago from Angus Macdonald,
Balnish. It is called AN GILLE GLAS, the Grey lad. He is a widow's son,
goes to seek his fortune, goes to a smith, and gets him to make an iron
shinny (that is a hockey club), he becomes herd to a gentleman,
herds cattle, and is beset by giants whom he kills with his iron club; he
gathers the skirt of his grey cassock (which looks like Odin), he
gets a copper and a silver and a golden castle, servants (or slaves) of
various colour and appearance, magic whistles, horses, and dresses, and
rescues the daughter of the king of Greece. The part of the cowardly
knight is played by a red headed cook. The language of this is curious,
and the whole very wild. Unless given entire, it is spoilt.
story, also from Berneray, the incident of meeting three creatures again
There is a
lion, a dove, and a rat. And the lion says:
is thy notion of myself being in such a place as this?"
he, "I have no notion, but that it is not there the like of you ought to
be; but about the banks of rivers."
impossible not to share the astonishment of the lion, and but for the fact
that the rat and the dove were as much surprised at their position as the
lion, one would be led to suspect that Margaret MacKinnon, who told the
story, felt that her lion was out of his element in Bemeray. Still he is
there, and it seems worth inquiring how he and the story got there and to
other strange places.
story is clearly the same as Shortshanks in Dasent's Norse Tales, 1859.
But it is manifest that it is not taken from that book, for it could not
have become so widely spread in the islands, and so changed within the
resembles, in some particulars, the Two Brothers, the White Snake, the Nix
of the Mill Pond, the Ball of Crystal, in Grimm; and there are similar
incidents in other German tales. These have long been published, but I
never heard of a copy in the west, and many of my authorities cannot read.
It is only necessary to compare any one of the Gaelic versions with any
one German tale, or all together, to feel certain that Grimm's collection
is not the source from which this story proceeded.
3d. A story
in the latest edition of the Arabian Nights (Lane's, 1839), contains the
incident of a genius, whose life was not in his body, but in a chest at
the bottom of the Circumambient Ocean, but that book is expensive, and
quite beyond the reach of peasants and fishermen in the west, and the rest
of the story is different.
4th. There is
something in Sanscrit about a fight for cattle between a herd and some
giants, which has been compared with the classical story of Cacus. - (Mommsen's
5th. I am
told that there is an Irish "fenian" story which this resembles. I have
not yet seen it, but it is said to be taken from a very old Irish MS. (Ossianic
6th . It is
clearly the same as the legend of St. George and the Dragon. It is like
the classical story of Perseus and Andromeda, but Pegasus is multiplied by
three, and like the story of Hercules and Hesione, but Hercules was to
have six horses. On the whole, I cannot think that this is taken from any
known story of any one people, but that it is the Gaelic version of some
old myth. If it contains something which is distorted history, it seems to
treat of a seafaring people who stole men and women, and gave them back
for a ransom, of a wild race of "giants" who stole cattle and horses, and
dresses, and used combs and basins, and had grass parks; and another
people who had cattle and wanted pasture, and went from the shore in on
the giants' land.
If it be
mythical, there is the egg which contains the life of the sea monster, and
to get which beast, bird, and fish, earth, air, and water, must be
overcome. Fire may be indicated, for the word which I have translated
SPINDRIFT, LASAIR, generally means flame.
I am inclined
to think that it is a very old tale, a mixture of mythology, history, and
every-day life, which may once have been intended to convey the moral
lesson, that small causes may produce great effects; that men may learn
from brutes, Courage from the lion and the wolf, Craft from the fox,
Activity from the falcon, and that the most despised object often becomes
the greatest. The whole story grows out of a grain of seed. The giant's
old mother is more terrible than the giants. The little flattering crone
in the black castle more dangerous than the sea monster. The herd thought
of the wolf when he fought the giants, but he thought of the fox when he
slew the dragon. I can but say with the tale tellers, "dh' fhàg mise n'
sin eud." "There I left them," for others to follow if they choose. I
cannot say how the story got to the Highlands, and the lion into the mind
of a woman in Berneray.