Monday, August 1, 2011

The Hard Servant: Part 1

The Fianna went hunting in the two proud provinces of Munster. They left Almhuin and traveled to the Brosna river in Slieve Bladhma by the fastest paths. From there they went on to the twelve mountains of Eiblinne, and then to Aine Cliach, the harp of Aine.
They then spread themselves out and hunted throught the borders of the forest called Magh Breogain, blind, trackless places, broken lands, over beautiful level plains and the high hills of Desmumum, under pleasant Slieve Crot and smooth Slieve na Muc, along the level banks of the blue Siuir, over the green plain of Feman, the rough plain of Eithne, and the dark woods of Belach Gabrain.
Finn was on the side of a hill with the chief men of the Fianna, watching the hunt; for they liked to listen to the baying of the hounds, the hurried cries of the boys, and the noise and whistling and shouts of the men.
Finn asked which of the men that were with him would stay and keep watch on the side of the hill where they were. And Finn-bane, son of Bresel, said he would stay. Finn-bane went to the top of the hill, where he could see all about him. He was not there long when he saw, coming from the east, a very big man, ugly, gloomy, and deformed: he had a dark colored shield on his back, a wide sword on his crooked left hip, two spears on his shoulder and a turn loose cloak over his limbs that were as black as quenched coal. A sulky horse was with him and had did not look good, it was thin and bony, and waek in the legs. The man was leading it with a rough iron halter, it was a wonder the horse's head was not pulled from its body, or the arms of the man, with all the jerks and stops the horse made. The big man was striking blows on the horse with an iron cudgel, trying to get the horse to move faster, and the sound of the blows was like the breaking of strong waves on the shores, or cliffs.
When Finnbane saw all that, he thought to himself it would not be right to let the stranger go up unknown to Finn and the Fianna, so he ran back in haste to where they were and told them all he had seen.

To Be Continued...
Stay tuned for more of this legend.

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