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Madra na n-ocht gCos - Dog with 8 legs IX

Mar a cloiseann siad cionus do tharla gach ní
(How they hear how everything came about.)

.
o chomáineadar go léir leo annsain i dteannta a chéile fé dhein na cúirte. Do bhí athair Madra na nOcht gCos n-a shuí ar an dtaobh istig d'fhinneóige a pharlús agus nuair a chonnaic sé an gasra breá neamhchoitiannta ag teacht fé dhéin na cúirte d'imigh sé amach n-a gcoinnibh chun cuireadh thabhairt dóibh chun teacht isteach n-a chúirt. Nuair a thángadar, do bheannaigh sé dhóibh agus d'iarr sé ortha teacht isteach agus suí go fóill, go mb'éidir go raibh gá aca le bia agus deoch. Do ghabhadar a bhuiochas leis agus bhuaileadar isteach i n-éinfheacht leis agus do shuíeadar síos agus d'órdaigh an rí bia agus deoch d'fháil dóibh. Nuair a bhí a ndinneéar ithte aca d'fhiafraigh an bhanáltra dhe cad n-a thaobh gur athraigh sé an rud seo agus an rud úd ar fud an tí. Do chuir sin ana-iona air agus do chuir sé ag cuímhneamh é caidé an fios a bhi aice ar cionnus a bhí na nithe socair síos annso roimhe sin. Fé dheire d'fhiafraigh sí dhe car ghaibh a chlann, ná feaca sí timcheall an bhaill iad.

57. They all carried on then together in each others company to the palace. The Madra's father was sitting inside by the parlour window and when he saw the unusual, fine company coming towards the palace, he went to meet them to give them an invitation to enter. When they arrived, he greeted them and invited them to sit for a while and maybe they might feel the need for food and drink. They thanked him and went in with him and sat down and the king ordered food and drink for them. When they had eaten their dinner, the nurse asked him why he had moved this and that thing through out the house. This made the king amazed and he began to wonder how she knew how the things had been arranged previously. At last she asked him where his family had gone because she couldn't see them about the place.

58. "Ní fheadar cioca beó nó marbh atá mo chlann. ná an bhanaltra a bhí ag tabhairt aire dhoibh," arsa eisean, "acht ó chuiris an chead cheist i dtaobh athrú an tí orm tá sé ag rith im'aigne gur tusa an bhanaltra, agus má's tú innis dom é." "Is mé an bhean céanna," arsa ise. "Agus má's tú, car ghabhais lem'clann ?" arsa eisean. "Sin é annseo do mhac," arsa sise, "agus sin í ansan a bhean agus sin iad a thriúr clainne agus sin iad annseo do thriúr iníon." "Agus ca bhfios domh-sa an iad seo iad," arsa an rí, "nó bhfuil aon teaspáinadh agat le thabhairt dom seachas d'fhocal gur b'iad mo chlann iad. má dheineann tú amach domsa gur'b iad mo chlann iad. Tabharfadsa díol maith dhuit ann."

58. "I have no idea whether my family is alive or dead, nor the nurse who was taking care of them," he said," but since you asked the first question about changes in the house, it has been running in my mind that you must be the nurse , and if that is so, tell me." "I am that woman," she said. "And if you are, where did you go with my family ?" he asked. "That is your son," she said, "and over there is his wife and her three children and those are your three daughters." "And how do I know that they are who you say they are ? - Can you give me anything beyond your word that they are my family - If they are who you say they are I'll give you a good reward ."

59. "Déanfadsa amach chun do thoile gur b'iad do chlann iad," arsa an bhanaltra. "An cuímhin leatsa cad iad na nithe do thug do mháthair duit le linn báis di ?" "Is cuimhin go maith," arsa seisean. "An cuimhin leat," arsa sise, "gur thugais mar tabharthas dod' chlann iad am éigin sar a imigheadar uait ?" "Is cuimhin go maith," arsa an rí. "An n-aithneofá na nithe sin anois, dá bhfeaicfeá iad ?" d'aithneoghainn go maith," arsa seisean. "Do bhronn do chlann na níthe sin ar bhean do do mhic mar ba mhaith a thuill sí é," arsa an ise, "agus do bhronn sí sin ceann aca ormsa agus sin é é," - ag tarrac an úrna amach. Le n-a linn sin, do tharraig bean mhic an rí a mach na trí cinn eile. Le n-a linn sin do léim an r'i n-a sheasamh. "Sin iad mo chlann iad," arsa eisean, agus do phóg sé iad i ndiaidh ar ndiaidh ar an lathair sin agus bean a mhic agus an bhanaltra comh maith leó. Nuair a thainig sé cuige féin d'fhiafraigh sé de'n bhanaltra, "An amhlaigh imthigheabhar chun fáin nó cár ghabhair riamh ó shoin ?"

59. "I will prove to you that they are your family," said the nurse. "Do you remember what were the things which your mother gave you as she was dying ? - I remember well." "Would you recognise those things now if you saw them ?" "I would indeed," he said. "Your children made presents of them to your son's wife, because she had well earned them, and she gave one of them to me and that's it," she said - pulling the hank of thread out of her pocket. Then the wife of the king's son pulled out the other three items. With that, the king jumped up. "They are my family !" he said and he kissed them one after the other on the spot and his son's wife and the nurse too - How did you go away and where have you been ever since ?"

60. " 'Neósfadsa sin duit," arsa an bhanaltra. "An lá úd fhágas-sa an baile timcheall le fiche blian ó shoin, do tháinig do bhean chugamsa agus d'iarr sí orm ídiúghadh eigin a thabhairt ar do chlann, mar dúirt sí ná raibh neart di fhéin iad a chuir chun báis agus go ndíolfadh sí go maith mé má dhéanfainn an obair sin di. D'eitigheas í agus duirt sí liom ansan go mb'éidir go mbeadh 'na chathú orm. Duirt léi gur chuma liom pé buairt ná trioblóid a chuirfeadh sí orm. Do chuir san ar dearg-buile ar fad í agus d'iompaigh s'i uaim i bhfeirge mhóir. Is gearr go dtáinig sí fém' dhein arís agus do ghlaoch sí isteach i seómra eile mé agus d'fhiafraigh sí dhiom arís an ndéanfainn an rud a bhí aice dh'á iarraidh orm. Duirt mé léi go neamh-mbalb nár b'aon mhaitheas di bheith liom, ná déanfainn é sin, dá maireóchadh sí ar lathair na huaire sin mé

60. "I'll tell you that," said the nurse: "That day when you left home about twenty years ago, your wife came to me and asked me to do some harm to your children, because she said that she couldn't do it herself and that she would pay me well -. I refused her and she told me then that perhaps I would regret it - and I said that it was all the same to me what trouble she might put on me. That put her into a terrible rage entirely and she turned from me in great anger. It wasn't long after that she came for me again and she shouted for me to come into the other room and asked me again if I would do what she asked me. - I told her, outspokenly, that it was no use her being at me, that I wouldn't do it if she she were to kill me that very moment.
61. " 'Seadh 'más,' arsa sí,"Ní mhaireóchad thú acht déanfaidh mé cor cómh holc leis do thabhairt duit agus dom' leas-chlainn comh maith." "'Seadh, cad déanfidh tú linn ?" arsa mise. "Déanfaidh mé madra de mhac an rí go mbeidh ocht gcosa fé," arsa sise, "mar is é is lugha orm díbh go leir, agus déanfaidh mé trí cinn de chonaibh d'á thriúr deirfúir, agus déanfaidh mé gadhar mór donn diot agus is é áit n-a gcuirfeadsa ceathrar clainne an rí chun comhnuí ná i gcoillte uaigneacha agus, fé mar tá aois aca, an ceann óg aistear lae ón gcúirt seo agus mar sin dóibh. Beidh tig agus bia agus gach aon chóir eile d'oirfeadh dóibh." "Agus dúirt sí liom féin go raibh cheithre háird ar an ndomhan agus mo rogha áit aca san a bheith agam. "Cuirfidh me geasaibh oraibh n-a theannta sin," arsa ise, "bheith sa chroth sin go brá go bhfaghaidh mac an rí bean d'iarrfidh é mar cheile d'á toil fein...

61. "Right, then!" she said," I won't kill you, but I will do something as bad to you and to my step-family also." - "Well, what will you do with us ?" I said - "I will make the king's son into a Dog with Eight Legs under him" she said, "because he is the worst of you all in my estimation,and I will make three hounds out of his three sisters and I'll make a black dog out of you and the place where the four children of the king will have to live will be in a dark , lonely forest - each a day's journey from each other according to their ages, with the youngest a day's journey from this palace. - and there will be a house in every wood for them." "And she told me that I could have my choice of the four points of the compass - I will put the 'geasa' (conditions) on you that - you will all be in that shape for ever until the king's son will get a wife who will choose him as a husband of her own free will ...."

62. "Agus mar bhárr ar sin do chuir sí na geasa, má bheadh aoinne clainne ar feadh na haimsire sin aca - caithfidh an deirfiur crionna theacht i gcló con agus an leanbh sin a bhreith chun siúl i bhfios nó i gan fhios agus do coimead go nglaoch a mac an rí agus a bhean cúcha agus annsan, má bheadh an tárna duine aca, an tárna dreifiúr a theacht chun é bhreith chun siúl ar an slí gcéanna agus iachaint ar an ndreif iúr óig mar an gceanna 'dhéanamh má ráineochadh an triú duine clainne bheith aca...Agus," ar sise, " isí bean mhic an rí a tógfaidh an draoiocht díb go leir im' anneóinsa 'sé sin má choimhlíonann sí na cionníollacha do chuirfeadsa mar geasa uirthe, agus iad sin, gan aon cathú theacht uirthe a bharr mac an rí a phósadh. In a theannta sin, má shíleann sí aon deoir i gcaitheamh na haimsire ó pósfidh sí mac an rí go dtagaidh sí annso abhaile. In-aghaidh gach aon deoir d'á sílfidh sí beidh an draoieacht chúig bliana ní-sa shia oraibh.

62. "And on top of that, she put the condition ('geasa), that if there was to be any children during that time, the eldest daughter must come in the shape of a hound and steal that child away, secretly or not, and to keep it until the king's son or his wife should visit them. Then, if there should be a second child, the second daughter must come and steal it away in the same way and similarly with the youngest daughter. She must steal the third child.... And," she said, " it is only the wife of the king's son who can take the enchantment off you all despite my wishes - that is on condition that she keeps the conditions that I set for her, and they, without her ever having regrets about marrying the king's son.. In addition to that, if she should shed a single tear during that time, since she married the king's son until she comes home here, for every tear the spell will be extended for another five years.

Le na linn sin, ghlaoch sí isteach ar do chlainnse agus do tharraig chuiche slaitín draoichta a bhí aice agus do bhuail sí buille dhí ar do mhac agus do dhéin sí madra dhe go raibh ocht gcosa fé agus do bhuail sí buille ar gach ceann ded' thriúr inion agus do dhéin cú de gach duine aca agus do bhuail an ceathrú buille orm fhéin agus do dhéin madra mór donn díom ar an gcuma go bhfeacaidh bean do mhic é go minic." "Ní fheadar cá bhfuil an mhéirleach anois," arsa an rí ag éiri 'n-a sheasamh agus ag tarrac a chlaíomh as an ndúbla, "chun go mbainfidh mé sasamh di as an gcor a thug sí dhíbh." "Ní gá dhuit," arsa an bhanaltra, "í bac anois, mar tá sí marbh sa bhreach-choill i dtaobh thiar thuaidh do'n chúirt. Ar theacht bean do mhic fé dhein na chúirte seo do tháinig sí siúd i gcló mactíre agus do cheap sí ceann des na páistí a bhaint di chun moille bhaint aisti i gcás ná cóimhlíonfidis na geasa.

63. Then she called the family in and got a magic wand which she had and she gave a tap with it to your son and made a dog out of him that had eight legs under him and she gave a tap of it to each of the three daughters and made a hound out of each of them and she gave the fifth tap to me and made a brown dog of me such as the wife of your son would see often."

" I don't know where the villain is now," said the king rising to his feet and drawing his sword out of its sheath. "till I take satisfaction out of her for what she did to you all." "There's no need for you to bother," said the nurse," because she is dead in the tangled forest on the north side of the palace. - As your son's wife approached the palace that woman came in the shape of a wolf and thought to take one of the children to delay the completion of the conditions of the spell in case you didn't comply with the conditions ('geasa').

64. Do bhíosa 'n-a ndiaidh ag fáire ortha ar eagla go ndeanfidhe aon díobháil dóibh agus nuair a chonnac í ag rith i ndiaidh an pháiste, do léimeas fhéin chúiche chun í stop agus is amhlaidh d'iompaigh sí orm agus d'iompuímair féin ar a chéile agus do chaitheas í mharbhadh, mar bhí eagla orm go maireóchadh sí mé. Le linn bás di, do tháining sí n-a cruth féin agus duirt sí liom go raibh an lámh-uachtar faghalta againn uirthe sa deire. Tamaillín n-a dhiaidh san do comhlíonadh na geasa agus do thóg bean do mhic an draoiocht dínn go léir." Do mhaireadar go léir annsan go lán-tsasta. Do phós triur iníon an rí agus d'fhán an bhanaltra i dteannta Madra na nOcht gCos ag tabhairt aire d'á chlainn go bhfuair sí bás.

...Deireadh

64. I, myself was following and keeping a watch on her for fear that she might do some harm to them. When I saw her running after the child, I myself jumped at her to stop her and she turned on me and we wrestled with each other until I killed her, for I feared that she might kill me. As she was dying, she came into her own shape and she told me that we had got the upper hand on her in the end. A little while after that, all the conditions of the spell were fulfilled and your son's wife took the spell of us all. They all lived happily then. The three daughters of the king got married and the nurse stayed in the palace with the Dog with Eight Legs, looking after the children for the rest of her life.

...the End

Cogar !(Whisper) These tales are often thought to be over-long, rambling and frequently disjointed by modern readers. They are relics of an age long gone in Ireland, when storytellers would be welcome guests at fireside gatherings of neighbours, helping to pass the 'Long nights of Samhan'. They require to be heard by flickering firelight, in their original Munster Gaelic with a wrapped audience listening large-eyed and in total silence.
This story is part of a genre of traditional tales centuries old. Frequently, a storyteller would add his own bit of 'embroidery', since a 'Good tale, well told' is well worthy of 'polishing' in the process of being related to an audience more than ready to 'suspend disbelief' and in an age well accustomed to making their own amusement during the long, dark winter evenings.
This story was related by Micheál Ua Loinsigh of Ballymakeera, Co Cork at the Oireachtas Traditional Story Competition in 1901, held in the Rotunda in Dublin.. It won a prize of 5.00 which was awarded by Pádraig Pearse; subsequently executed as the leader of the Easter Rising in Dublin, 1916. It was published by The Gaelic League as part of a collection titled : Madra na nOcht gCos agus Scéalta Eile in 1907.
We hope you enjoyed it "Like our language, It is part of what we are."

We apologise for the 'childishness' of the illustrations - this is because they are aimed at a child reading audience. They also help break up the solid 'blocks' of print. The reactions of readers are interesting - Adults tend to dismiss them as being not worthy of attention - they concentrate on the plot and the text, Irish and English. But just expose them to children...and stand back to study their reactions ! They demand to see the pictures and study them with concentration as the plot develops. Interesting....interesting...Thus we aim to satisfy most readers who might come on these tales... 'Beatha duine a thoil' !

Courtesy of Jack & Vivian, IrishPage.com August 6, 2010
Click here for Madra Chapter I
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Madra Chapter II
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Madra Chapter III
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Madra Chapter IV
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Madra Chapter V
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Madra Chapter VI
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Madra Chapter VII
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Madra Chapter VIII
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Madra Chapter IX
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