5 Minute Irish Stories  Set 1 :   1-30 
Set 1:1-30 Set 2: 32-64 Set 3: 65-91 Set 4 :95-121 Set 5:123-156 Set 6:157-192
1.The Wayside Fountain 

Cenn Escrach of the orchards, a dwelling for the meadow bees, there is a shining thicket in its midst, with a drinking cup of wooden lathes. 
-Irish 9th-10th century 

2. Daniel O’ Connell and the Trickster 

There was a man living at Carhan, near Caherciveen, in the time of Daniel O’ Connell.  He was poor and he had a large family.  One day he was selling two pigs- a white one and a black one- at Tralee  fair.  A buyer asked him how much he wanted for the white one, along with the black one.  The poor man thought, and no wonder, that 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”  “That’s a lie!” said the buyer. “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 the district, and everybody was sorry for the poor man.  He told his story to Daniel O’Connell, who had great sympathy for him.  “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?” “I  am ,” said he. 
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 next day to play a trick on the buyer. 
“He has a tobacco shop in Tralee,” said O’Connell; “and we’ll call into 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 him. 
“I’d smoke seven times as much, if I had it,” 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 that the lobe was missing.  He pretended nothing.  “We have caught you!” said O’Connell. “That’s not the lobe of his right ear. It is back in Carhan, if you know where that place is.  So you must measure from his toe to Carhan!” The buyer was dumbfounded.  He could say nothing.  The O’Connell ordered him to pay the man for the black pig, and he 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!- 

3. St. Mael Anfaidh and the Bird’s Lament for St. Mo Lua 

This was the Mael Anfaidh who saw a certain little bird wailing and sorrowing.  “O God”  said he, “what has happened there ? I will not eat food until it is explained to me.” While he was there he saw an angel coming towards him. “Well now, priest,” said the angel,” let it not trouble you any more.  Mo Lua son of Ocha has died, and that is why the living things bewail him, for he never killed a living thing, great nor small; not  more do men bewail him than the other living things do, and among them the little bird that you see” 
-Irish 9th-10th century 

4. How celtchar Killed the “Brown Mouse” 

....And this is the second plague next, namely the Brown Mouse; that is , a puppy which a widow’s son found in the hollow of a tree-trunk, and the widow reared it until it was big, At last  however it turned against the widow’s sheep, and killed her cows and her son, and killed her herself; and went after that to the Great Pig’s Glen. It would devastate a farmstead in Ulster every night, and lie asleep every day.  “Rid us of it, Celtchar!”! said Conchobar. Celtchar went to the woods and brought away an alder log, and a whole was bored through it as long as his arm, and he boiled it in fragrant herbs and honey and grease, until it was supple and tough.  Celtchar went to the cave where the Brown Mouse used to sleep, and entered the cave early before the Brown Mouse should come after its ravages.    It came with its snout lifted up to the scent of the trunk, and Celtchar pushed the trunk out through the cave towards it.  The hound took it in its jaws and  set its teeth in it, and the  teeth stuck in the tough wood.  Celtchar  dragged the trunk towards him and the hound dragged in the other direction; and Celtchar thrust his arm along inside the log, until he brought its  heart up through its mouth, so that he had it in his hand.  And he took its head with him.... 
-Irish ninth century 

5. The Blackbird’s Song 

The little bird has given a whistle from the tip of its bright yellow beak; the blackbird from the yellow-turfed bough sends forth its call over Loch Loigh 
-Irish 8th -9th Century 

6. The Fox and the Eagle 

There came a very bad year one-time. One day the fox was near the shore of the Lakes of Killarney, and he couldn’t find a bird or anything else to eat. Then he spied three ducks a bit out from the shore and thought to himself that if he could catch hold of them, he would have a fine meal.  There was some water parsnip with very large leaves growing by the shore, and he swam out to it and cut off two big leaves of it with his teeth.  He held one of them at each side of his mouth and swam toward the ducks.  The never felt anything until he had taken one of them off with him. 
Very satisfied with himself, he brought her ashore, laid her down, and decided to try and catch the other two as well- ‘tis seldom they would be an offer! 
He caught a second duck by the same trick and left her dead near the first.  Then out he swam for the third and brought her in.  But, if he did, there was no trace of the other two where he had left them   . 
“May god help me!” said he. “I have only the one by my day’s work. What’ll I do? I wonder who is playing tricks on me.” 
He looked all around but couldn’t  see an enemy anywhere.  Then he looked toward the cliff that was nearby, and what did he spy but the nest of an eagle high up on it. 
“No one ever took my two ducks but the eagle,” said he.  “As good as I am at thieving, there’s a bigger thief above my head.” 
He   didn’t know how to get at the eagle.  Then he saw a fire smoldering not far away, where men had been working at a quarry a few days before.  They had a fire and it was still burning slowly under the surface of the ground.  He dragged the duck to the fire and pulled her hither and thither through the embers.  Then he left her down on the grass and hid.  The eagle must have been watching out for the third duck too,  for down he swooped   and snatched her up to his nest.  No sooner did the dead duck’s body touch the dry nest than the nest caught fire---there were live embers stuck in the duck’s feathers.  Down fell the blazing nest with the three dead ducks as well as the eagle’s three young ones inside it, so the fox had six birds for his supper.  Didn’t he get his own back well on the eagle? 


7. How Cobhthach Contrived his Brother’s Death 

Cobhtach the Lean of Bregia, son of Ughaine M/or, was king of Br/egia; but  Loeghaire Lorc, son of Ughaine, was king of Ireland.  He too was the son of Ughaine M/or. Cobhtach was jealous of Loeghaire for the kingship of Ireland, so that a wasting sickness seized him, and his blood and his flesh withered from him, whence he was called “the Lean of Bregia”; but he had not succeeded in killing Loeghaire.  Loeghaire was summoned to him  after that, to give him his blessing before he died...”Come tomorrow,” said Cobhthach, “to build my tomb and set up my gravestone and conduct the wake for me, and perform my funeral lament, for I shall shortly die” “Good”, said Loeghaire, “it shall be done” “Well now, “ said Cobhtach to his queen and his steward, “say that I am dead, without anyone else knowing, and let me be put in my chariot with a razor-knife in my hand.  My brother will come hastily to bewail me, and will throw himself on to me; perhaps he will get something form me. “ That came true.  The chariot was brought out; his brother came to bewail him, and threw himself down on him.  He planted the knife in him at his midriff so that the point came out of him at the tip of his heart, and he killed Loeghaire so... 
-Irish Ninth Century 

8. Two Women or twelve Men 

There was a fox that had  three young ones, and when the time came to teach them how to fend for themselves, the old fox took them to a house.  There was great talk going on inside the house.  He asked the first two young ones if they could tell him who was in the house.  The couldn’t. Then he tried the third. 
“Who is inside?” asked the old fox. 
“Either two women or twelve men,” said the young one. 
“You’ll do well in the world,” said the old fox. 

9. The Cat and the Dog 

Long ago the dog used to be out in the wet and the cold, while the cat remained inside near the fire. 
One day, when he was “drowned wet,” the dog said to the cat, “You have a comfortable place, but you won’t have it any longer. 
I’m going to find out whether I have to be outside every wet day, while you are inside. 
The man of the house overheard the argument between the two and thought that it would be right to settle the matter.  “Tomorrow,” said he, “I  will start a race between ye five miles from the house, and whichever of ye comes into the house first will have the right to stay inside from then on.  The other 
can look after the place outside.” 
Next  day, the two got themselves ready for the race.  As they ran toward the house, the dog was a half -mile ahead of the cat.  Then he met a beggar man.  When the beggar man saw the dog running toward him with his mouth open, he thought he was running to bite him.  He had a stick in his hand and he struck the dog as he ran by.  The dog was hurt and started to bark at the beggar man and tried to bite him for satisfaction. 
Meanwhile the cat ran toward the house, and she was licking herself near the fire and resting after the race when the dog arrived. 
“Now,” said the cat when the dog ran in, “the race is won, and I have the inside of the house for ever more. “- 

10.St. Columba’s nettle Broth 

Once when he was going round the graveyard in Iona, he saw an old woman cutting nettles for broth for herself. What is the cause of this, poor woman?”  Said Colum Cille. “Dear Father” said she, “I have one cow, and it has not yet borne a calf; I am waiting for it, and this is what has    served me for a long time.” Colum Cille made up his mind then that nettle broth should be what should serve him mostly from then on for ever; saying,”Since they suffer this great hunger in expectation of the one uncertain cow, it would be right for us that the hunger which we suffer should be great, waiting for God; because what we are expecting, the everlasting Kingdom, is better, and is certain.” And he said to his servant “Give me nettle broth every night,” said he, “without butter or milk with it.” “It shall be done”, said the cook.  He hollowed the stick for stirring the broth and made it into a tube, so that he used  to pour the milk into that tube and stir it into the broth.  Then the people of the church noticed that the priest looked well, and talked of it among themselves.  This was told to Colum Cille, and then he said,”May your successors grumble for ever! Now!” said he to the servant, “what do you give me in the broth every day?” “You yourself are witness,” said the menial, “unless it comes out of the stick with which the broth is mixed, I know of nothing in it except broth alone.” Then, the explanation  was revealed to the priest, and he said. “Prosperity and good deeds to your successor for ever!” And this has come true. 
-Irish 11th Century 

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11. The Man who Swallowed the Mouse 

There was a man  in Rinnard one time.  He felt very thirsty one evening after a day’s  mowing; so he took a bowl of thick milk to drink.  The kitchen was half dark, as lamps and lights were scarce at that time.  He swallowed the m ilk, and what was in it but a mouse!  He never felt anything until he had swallowed the milk, mouse and all. 
Every day from that day  on, especially when he would lie down, he could feel the mouse running about and dancing inside of him.  At that time, the doctors were not as good as they are now, and no doctor or anybody else could help him.  He told all of his friends about the mouse, for he knew that they wouldn’t wish anything to be wrong with him. 

One woman came to see how he was, and she said that the best thing to do was to put a piece of roasted bacon and a piece of mutton on a plate on both sides of his mouth when he lay down in bed.  The cat should be kept in the room too.  When the mouse would smell the roasted meat, she would come out taste it. 
The man tried this remedy for three nights.  On the third night didn’t the mouse come out and start to eat the meat !  She hadn’t eaten much before the cat killed her.  The man lived to a great age after that happened. That story is as true as any I ever heard!- 

12. The Hermit Blackbird 

Ah, Blackbird, it is well for you where your nest is in the bushes; a hermit that clangs no bell, sweet, soft, and peaceful is your call. 
-Irish 11-12th Century J 

13. The Recognition of Ulysses 

...”good people said the queen “who are you at all?” “I am Ulysses son of Laertes,” said he.  “You are not the Ulysses whom I know” said she. “I am indeed,” he said, “and I will describe my credentials”; and then he told of their secrets and their talks together and their hidden thoughts.  “What has happened to your looks or your men,” said she, “if you are Ulysses?” “ They are lost,” he said “What was the last of your keepsakes that you left with me?” she said. “A golden brooch,”said he, “with a silver head; and I took your brooch with me  when I went into the ship and it was then you turned back from me,” said Ulysses. “That is true,” she said “and if you were Ulysses you would ask after your dog.” “I had not thought it would be alive at all,” he said.  “I made a broth of long life” said she, “because I saw that Ulysses loved it greatly.  And what sort of dog at all is that dog?” she said. “It has white sides and a light crimson back and a jet black belly and a green tail,” said Ulysses. “That is the description of the dog.” She said, “and no one in the place dares give it its food except myself and you and the steward” “Bring the dog in” said he.  And four men went to fetch it and brought it in with them.  And when it heard the sound of Ulysses’ voice, it gave a tug at its chain so that it laid the four men flat all over the house behind it, and, jumped at Ulysses ‘ breast and licked his face.  When Ulysses’ people saw that, they leaped towards him. Whoever could no get at his skin to kiss him covered his clothes with kisses... 
-Irish 13th. Century 

14.  The coming of Winter 

I have news for you; the stag bells, winder snows, summer has gone. 
Wind high and cold, the sun low, short its course, the sea running high. 
Deep red the bracken, its shape is lost; the wild goose has raised its accustomed cry. 
Cold has seized the bird’s wings; season of ice, this is my news. 
-Irish ninth century J 

15. The Smell of Money for the Smell of Food 

There were six young fellows visiting a town one day.  One of them suggested that they go and eat some food.  They had some drinks before that.  The went into an hotel, and one of them ordered a meal for them all.  Each was to pay his own share.  A pound of meat was placed  in front of each of them.  One of the fellows told the woman to take away his own meat, as he wasn’t going to eat it at all.  “I won’t,” she said. “It was ordered and you can eat it or leave  it.” 
He ate a small bit of bread and took a cup of soup or tea, whichever it was.  Tea wasn’t very plentiful at that time.  After the meal, each of the m went to pay his share, but this fellow wanted to pay only fro the read and the soup or tea.  As they were about to leave, the woman snatched this fellow’s hat at the doorway.  He asked her to give it back to him, but it was no use.  They started to argue about it, but she remained firm. 
Daniel O’Connell was walking along the street when he heard the argument and saw the young fellow bareheaded. He stopped and asked what was the trouble.  “This is the trouble,” said the fellow. “Five others and myself came to this woman to get a meal. One of us ordered a pound of meat for each.  When she put the meat in front of me, I said I wouldn’t have any and wouldn’t eat it.  She told me to eat it or leave it.  I didn’t taste the meat at all; so I didn’t want to pay for it.” 
“If this fellow didn’t  eat the meat,” said O’Connell, “tis strange that he should have to pay for  it.  Give him back his hat.” “He didn’t have to eat it,” said the woman. “The smell of  my meat filled his belly.” 
“You may be right in that,” said O’Connell. “I have always herd that all a woman needs to do to get an excuse is to glance over her shoulder.” 
O’Connell took off his own hat, put his hand into his trousers’ pocket, and  threw a fistful of silver into the hat. 
“Come over here now,” said he to the woman.  “Place you nose over this money and take your time smelling it.  Fill your belly well with it.” 
She was taken aback by that. 
“Does that satisfy you?” asked O’Connell. 
She was covered with shame and made  no reply. 
“Give him  his hat quickly, said O’ Connell. “You have got as good a bargain  as you gave.” That ended the  matter. The  fellow got  his hat and went  off.- 

16. Mo Chua’s Riches 

...Mo Chua and Colum Cille were contemporaries.  And when Mo Chua (that is Mac Duach) was in a hermitage of the wilderness, he had no worldly wealth but a cock and a mouse and a fly.. The work the cock used to do for him was to keep matins at midnight.  Now the mouse, it would not allow him to sleep more than five hours in a day and a night; and when he wished to sleep longer, being tired from much cross vigil and prostration, the mouse would begin nibbling his ear and  so awoke him.  Then the fly, the work it did was to walk along every line he read in his Psalter, and when he rested from singing his psalms the fly would stay on the line he had left until he returned again to read his psalms. It happened soon after this that these three treasures died; and Mo Chua wrote a letter afterwards to Colum Cille when he was in Iona in Scotland, and complained of the death of this flock.  Colum Cile wrote to him, and this is what he said; “Brother, said he, “you must not wonder at the death of the flock that has gone from you for misfortune never comes but where there are riches”.... 
-Irish, Geoffrey Keating 1634 

17. The Sow and Her Banbh 

An old sow and her young banbh were thieving one day, and a dog was set  to chase them.  They ran at their best with the dog at their heels. 
“I won’t go there any more, any more, any more,” grunted the old sow. 
“That’s what you say always, always always,” grunted the banbh.- 18. Winter Cold 

Cold,cold, chill tonight is wide Moylurg; the snow is higher than a mountain, the deer cannot get at its food. 

Eternal cold! The storm has spread on every side; each sloping furrow is a river and every ford is a full mere. 

Each full lake is a great sea and each mere is a full lake; horses cannot get across the ford of Ross, no more can two feet get there. 

The fishes of Ireland are roving, there is not a strand where the wave does not dash, there is not a town left in the land, not a bell is herd, no crane calls. 

The wolves of Cuan Wood do not get repose or sleep in the lair of wolves; the little wren does not find shelter for her nest on the slopes of Lon. 

Woe to the company of little birds for the keen wind and the cold ice! The blackbird with its dusky black does not find a bank it would like, shelter for its side in the Woods of Cuan. 

Snug is our cauldron on its hook, restless the blackbird on Letir Cr/o; snow has crushed the wood here, it is difficult to climb up Benn B/o. 

The Eagle of brown Glen Rye gets affliction from the bitter wind; great is its misery and its suffering, the ice will get into its beak. 

It is foolish for you- take heed of it--to rise from quilt and feather bed; there is much ice on every ford; that is why I say “Cold!” 
-Irish, eleventh century J 

19.The Old Crow Teaches the Young Crow 

There was an old crow long ago, and he made a nest.  After a time, only one of his brood remained with him. 
One day the old crow took the young one out into the field to teach him how to fly. 
When the young crow had learned how to fly and was able to go to any part of Ireland, the old crow said, “I think that you are able to fly anywhere now and make your living by yourself.  Before you go, I want to give you a little advice that will protect you from danger, as it has protected myself.” 
“Tell it to me,” said the young crow. “If you are ever in a potato field or cornfield and see a man coming toward you with something under his arm or in his hand, fly off immediately, fearing he may have a gun and may shoot  you”  “I understand,” said the young crow. “Another bit of advice to you,” said the old crow. “If you see a man bending down as he comes toward you in the field or on the road, fly off as fast as you can, for he will be picking up a stone to throw at you.  If he has nothing under his arm and if he doesn’t bend down, you’re safe.”  “That’s all very well,” said the young crow, “but what if he has a stone in his pocket?” “Off you go,” said the old crow.  “You know more than myself !”- 

20. The Best and Worst Nail in the Ark 

The shipwright who made the Ark left empty a place for a nail in it, because he was sure that he himself would not be taken into it.  When Noah went into the Ark with his children, as the angel  had told him, Noah shut the windows of the Ark and raised his hand to bless it.  Now the Devil had come into the Ark along with him as he went into it and when Noah Blessed the Ark the Devil found no other way but the empty hole which the shipwright had left unclosed, and he went into it in the form of a snake;   and because of the tightness of the hole he could not go out nor come back and he was like this until the Flood ebbed and that is the best and the worst nail that was in the Ark. 
--Irish 16th century 
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21. The Uglier Foot 

There was a tailor in Ballyvourney a long time ago.  He had very big ankles, and the nickname the people had on him was “Tadhg of the Ankles” .  At  that time, tradesmen traveled from house to house, and the people used to gather in for sport and fun with them. 
One night Tadhg was sewing away, sitting on the table, and he had one of his legs stretched out from him. The woman of the house was sitting at the head of the table, between Tadhg and the fire.  She noticed Tadhg’s big ankle. 
“Upon my conscience, that’s an ugly foot,” said she.  One or two people laughed at this. 
“Upon my conscience,” said Tadhg, “there’s   a still uglier foot than it in the house.” 
The woman of the house must have had badly shaped feet herself, and she thought that  Tadhg was hinting at her. 
“There isn’t an uglier foot than it in the whole world, “ said she 
“Would you lay a bet on that?” asked Tadhg “I would said she.  “I’ll bet you a quart of whiskey that there’s an uglier foot than it is in this house,” said Tadhg. “ I’ll take that bet,” said the woman. 
At that, Tadhg pulled his other foot from under him. “Now ,” said he, “which is the uglier, the first foot or the second one?” “Upon my word, the second is a lot uglier,” said the woman.  “Very well,” said Tadhg.  “Send out for a quart of whiskey for me.” “I will, indeed,” said the woman. 

22. The Wind 

It has broken us, it has crushed us, it has drowned us, O King of the star-bright Kingdom; the wind has consumed us as twigs are consumed by crimson fire from Heaven 
-Irish 8th-9th century 

23. The Blacksmith and the Horseman 

There was a man one time, and he was very strong.  He was full of money, and one day he put about twenty pounds of it into a purse. 
“I’ll set out on my travels now,” said he, “and I’ll keep on going until I meet a man who is stronger than myself.  If I meet him, he’ll get this purse.” 
So on he traveled, asking  everyone if they knew of any strong man, until at last he was directed to a certain smith.  When he reached the forge, he pulled up his horse outside the window without dismounting. “Have you anything in there to ‘redden’ my pipe for me?”he shouted to the smith.  The smith picked up a live coal with the tongs, placed it on the top of the great anvil, took up the anvil by its snout with one hand and reached it out through the window to the horseman.  The horseman took hold of the other end of the anvil, let the live coal slip into his pipe, and handed the anvil back to the smith.  The smith put the anvil back on the block.  “My horse needs a shoe.  Have you any made?” asked the horseman. “I have,” replied the smith, picking out a horseshoe.  “This may do you,” said he. 
“Give it here to me,” said the horseman.  When he got it he pulled it apart with his two hands.  “That shoe was no good,” said he. The smith gave him another shoe, but he broke it in two in the same way.  “That one was  no good either,” said he.  “Give me another.” “What’s the use in giving them to you?” asked the smith. “I’ll try one more,” said the horseman.  The smith passed another shoe to him.  “This will do,” said the horseman.  The smith put the shoe on the horse, and when he had the last nail driven,”How much do I owe you?” asked the horseman. “A half crown,” said the smith.  When the horseman handed him a half 
crown, the smith took it between his fingers and broke it in two. “That was no good,” said the smith.  The horseman gave him a second half crown, and the smith broke it in two again.  “That was  no good either. Give me another,” said he. What’s the use in  giving them to you?” asked the horseman. “I’ll try one more,” said the smith. “This will do,”said he when he got the third half crown. 
The horseman took the purse out of his pocket.  “Take this,” said he. “You deserve it, for you are a stronger man than I am.  I had a good hold on the shoes to break them, but you had hardly any hold on the half crowns that you broke”- 
24. The Four Seasons 

Once upon a time Athairne came on a journey in the autumn to the house of his foster son Amhairghen ,and stayed the night there; and was about to leave the next day.  But Amhairghen said to detain him: 
“A good season for staying is autumn; there is work then for everyone before the very short days.  Dappled fawns from along the hinds, the red clumps of the bracken shelter them; stags run from knolls at the belling of the deer-herd.  Sweet acorns in the wide woods, corn-stalks around the cornfields over the expanse of the brown earth.  There are thorn-bushes and prickly brambles by the midst of the ruined court; the hard ground is covered with heavy fruit.   Hazel-nuts of good crop f all from the huge old trees on dikes.” 

Again he made to leave in the winder, but then Amhairghen said: 
“In the black season of deep winter a storm of waves is roused along the expanse of the world.  Sad are the birds of every meadow plain, except the ravens that feed on crimson blood, at the clamor of harsh winter; rough, black, dark, smoky.  Dogs are viscious in cracking bones ; the iron pot is put on the fire after the dark black day.” 

Again he made to leave in the spring, but the Amhairghen said: 
“Raw and cold is icy spring, cold will arise in the wind; the ducks of the watery pool have raised a cry, passionately wailful is the harsh-shrieking crane which the wolves hear in the wilderness at the early rise of morning; birds awaken from meadows many are the wild creatures from which they flee out of the wood, out of the green grass.” 

Again he made to leave in the summer, and Amhairghen said, letting him do so: 
“a good season is summer for long journeys; quiet is the tall fine wood which the whistle of the wind will not stir; green is the plumage of the sheltering wood; eddies swirl in the stream; good is the warmth in the turf.” 
-Irish eleventh century 

25.Winter has Come 

Winter has come with scarcity, lakes have flooded their sides, frost crumbles the leaves, the merry wave begins to mutter. 
-Irish 9th Century 

26. Se/an na Scuab 

Long ago there was a poor man living in Buffickle, west in B/era.  He was married. He made his living by making brushes and selling them in Cork a few times a year.  After some years, the mayor of Cork died, and three men were in for the position.  When the day of the election came, the three had the same votes.  They went to a magistrate to decide between them, but he shook his head and said that he couldn’t settle the mater.  He told them to go out next morning to a certain place at the edge of the city and to tell their troubles to the first man who came along.  Whoever that man named would become mayor.  They did so.  The first man to come along was Se/an of the Brushes with a load of brushes on his shoulder.   The three of them stopped him and told him their story.  He listened to them and said that it would be hard to bass over two of them and elect the other.  So he told them that the best plan was to elect himself as mayor.  They did so That was that.  Se/an ‘s old wife was home when she heard that her husband was mayor of Cork with a gold chain across his chest and two gray horses drawing him from place to place. She set out and never stopped until she reached Cork.  She looked about, and next day she saw Se/an  being drawn by two gray horses, a Caroline hat on his head and a big gold chain hanging down from his neck.   She went over to him. 
“Stay out from me, old woman!” he shouted. “Are you my husband, S/ean?” she asked.  “I am,” said he, “but keep away from me and don’t pretend to  know me.  I don’t even know myself!” 

27. Arran 

Arran of the many stags, the sea reaches to its shoulder; island where companies were fed, ridge where blue spears are reddened. 

Wanton deer upon its peaks, mellow blaeberries on its heaths, cold water in its streams nuts upon its brown oaks. 

Hunting-dogs there, and hounds, blackberries and sloes of the dark blackthorn, dense thorn bushes in its woods, stags astray among its oak-groves 

Gleaning of purple lichen on its rocks, grass without blemish on its slopes, a sheltering cloak over its crags;gambolling of fawns, trout leaping. 

Smooth is its lowland, fat its swine, pleasant its fields, a tale you may believe; its nuts on the tips of his hazel-wood sailing  of long galleys past it. 

It is delightful for them when fine weather comes, trout under the banks of its rivers, seagulls answer each other round its white cliff; delightful at all times is Arran. 
-Irish 12th century. 

28.The Hill of Howth 

Delightful to be on the Hill of Howth, very sweet to be above its white sea; the perfect fertile hill, home of ships, the vine grown pleasant warlike peak. 

The peak where Finn and the Fianna used to be, the peak where were drinking-horns and cups, the peak where bold O Duinn brought Gr/ainne one day in stress of pursuit. 

The peak bright-knolled beyond all hills, with its hill-top round and green and rugged; the hill full of swordsmen, full of wild garlic and trees, the many coloured peak, full of beasts, wooded. 

The peak that is loveliest throughout the land of Ireland, the bright peak above the sea of gulls, it is a hard step for me to leave it lovely Hill of delightful Howth. 
-Irish 14th Century J 

29.The Boorish Patron 
I have heard that he does not give horses for songs of praise; he gives what is natural to him-a cow 
-Irish 9th Century 

30. C/u Chulainnn and the Charioteer 

...They came thence on the next day across Ard, and C/uChulainn  let them go on before him.  At Tamhlachtae /Orl/aimh a little to the north of Disert L/ochaid he came upon the charioteer or /Orl/amh, son of Ailill and Medhbh, cutting wood there (or according to another source it was C/uChulainn’s chariot shaft that had broken, and he had gone to cut a shaft when he met /Orl/amh’s charioteer). “The Ulstermen are behaving disgracefully, if it is they who are over there,” said C/uChulainn, “While the army is at their heels,”. He went to the charioteer to stop him, for he thought  he was one of the Ulstermen. He saw the man cutting wood for a chariot shaft. “What  are you doing here? Said C/u Chulainn. “Cutting a chariot shaft,” said the charioteer; “we  have broken our chariots in hunting that 
wild doe C /uChulainn.   Help me,” said the charioteer, “but  consider whether you will collect the poles or trim them,” “I shall trim them, indeed,” said C/u Chulainn.  Then he trimmed the holly poles between his fingers as the other watched, so that he stripped them smooth of bark and knots. “This cannot be your proper work that I gave you,” said the charioteer;he was terrified. “Who are you? Said C/u Chulainn.  “I am the charioteer of /Orl/amh son of Ailill and Medhbh.  And you? Said the charioteer. “C/u Chulainn is my name,” said he.  “Woe to me then!” said the charioteer.  “Do not be afraid,” said C/uChulainn,  “where is your master”? “He is on the mound over there,” said the charioteer. “Come along with me then,” said C/uChulainn, “for I never kill charioteers,” C/uChulainn went to /Orl/amh, and killed him, and cut off his head and brandished the head before the army.  Then he put the head on the charioteer’s back , and said, “ Take that with you,”  said C/uChulainn, “and go to the camp so”.... 
-Irish,Ninth Century 
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