History of Mac Datho's pigs

Here is the story of Mac Datho's pigs, from the red branch of the mythology Irish.

Mac Datho's pigs

Mac Datho's pigs

There was an illustrious king in Leinster; his name was Mac Datho. He had a dog that guarded the whole of Leinster; his name was Ailbe and Ireland was full of his fame. Ailill and Mève came to ask for the dog. At the same time also came messengers from Conor son of Ness to ask for the same dog. They were all welcomed and shown into the hotel. It was the sixth hotel there was in Ireland at that time: the hotel of Daderga in Cuala, the hotel of Forgall le Ruse, the hotel of Mac Daré in Brefné, the hotel of Da Choca in Westmeath, the hotel of Blai Briuga in Ulster. The hotel had seven gates, and seven roads passed through it; it contained seven hearths and seven cauldrons; an ox and a pig in each cauldron. Anyone who passed on the path put the fork in the cauldron, and whatever he caught on the first try, he did not start again.

So the messengers were brought to MacDatho's room to know his will before the feast. They presented their request.

 "It is to ask for your dog that we have come, on behalf of Ailill and Mève, said the messengers from Connaught, and we will immediately give sixty dairy cows, a chariot and two horses the best of Connaught. , and as much after a year, moreover.

`` We came to ask for your dog, '' said the Ulster messengers, `` on behalf of Conor, '' and Conor is no worse off neither as a friend nor to give precious objects and cattle, and so will be given to the end of the year and a good friendship will result. " 

MacDatho kept a great silence, so that he was three days without drinking, eating or sleeping, turning from side to side. Then his wife said to him: “You have been fasting for a long time; you have food and you do not eat it. What do you have ? He didn't answer the woman; then the woman said:

Insomnia has subsided
on Mac Dathô, in his house.
He had a case he was meditating on,
although he doesn't tell anyone.

He turns and turns away from me against the wall,
the Fenian hero with violent exploits;
his cautious wife remarks
that her husband is sleepless.

THE MAN. - Nar's nephew Crimthand said:
You will not give your secret to women;
a woman's secret is not well hidden
one does not entrust property to a slave.

WIFE. - What would you say to a woman
if you didn't miss anything?
What does not enter your mind
comes to someone else's mind.

THE MAN. - Mesroida Mac Dathô's dog,
it is a bad day that it has come to him;
many handsome men will fall for the love of him
in combat; we will not be able to count the number.

If it is not to Conor that it is given
he is sure that the matter will be hot;
his armies will not leave many cows or land.

If it's a denial for Ailill,
he raises the plain of Fal against the tribe;
Maga's son will take us away;
no plain will be empty of ashes.

WIFE. - I give you an advice
which does not have a bad consequence for us;
give them both the dog,
it doesn't matter who will fall because of him!

THE MAN. - The advice you give
it is he who frees me from worry;
Ailbé, God sent him;
we do not know by whom he was brought.

With that, he got up and shook himself: “May it be good,” he said, “for us and for the guests who have come! These remain with him three days and three nights. He calls the Connaught messengers aside: “I had a great worry and a long hesitation before seeing clearly: I granted the dog to Ailill and Mève; let them come and get him with great pomp; they will have food and drink, they will take the dog away and we will welcome them. Connaught's messengers thank him for his response.

Then he went to the Ulster messengers: 'So I granted, he said hesitantly, the dog to Conor. Let him be proud of it! May the braves of Ulster come in crowds for him! They will take the presents and they will be welcome. The Ulster messengers thank.

But it was on the same day that they met, those from the East and those from the West. None was missing, and two provinces of Ireland arrived the same day and were at the door of MacDatho's hotel. He himself went out and welcomed them: “We are not prepared to receive you, he said, O young people; however, hi to you! Enter the courtyard. They all entered the hotel: half of the house was for the Connacians and the other half for the Ulates. The house was not small; there were seven doors and fifty beds from door to door. At the meal, it was not the faces of friends that we had in the house. Many quarreled with each other. It was in the three hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ that this battle took place.

For them, therefore, Mac Dathô's pig was killed. Three score cows had fed him for seven years. It was poison that he had been fed, for it was he who was the cause of the slaughter of the men of Ireland. They brought the pig to them, which forty oxen were dragging along, besides other things to eat. MacDatho himself served. Hello to you, he said; there is nothing like the oxen and pigs in Leinster. What is missing will be killed for you tomorrow.

"He's good, the pig," Conor said.

- He's good, said Ailill, how are we going to share the pig, O Conor? said Ailill. - How? 'Or' What ? said Bricré son of Carbad, from the top of the room, where the bravest warriors in Ireland are! But because of their exploits and their struggles! Previously, each will have given more than one blow on the nose of his comrade

'Very well,' said Aillill.

- It's just ! said Conor, we have boys here who guarded the border.

"Your boys will be useful tonight, O Conor," said an old warrior, chief of Luachra Conalad in the West. There are a lot of fat oxen that you left me, and the roads of Luachra Dedad behind you!

- Fatter was the beef that you left with us, your own brother Cruachné son of Ruadlom, from the hills of ConaJad.

- It was no better, said Lugaid son of Curoi, than to leave the great Lot son of Fergus son of Summer in Echbel son of Deda in Temair Lochra.

- What kind of man do you think he is? said Celtchair son of Uthechar; I killed Conganchness son of Deda, and I cut off his head. " 

Finally, it happened to them that one man forced the men of Ireland to withdraw before him; it was Cêt, son of Maga. He raised his arms above the arms of the army; he took a knife in his hand and sat down next to the pig. Let there be, he said, among the men of Ireland someone to support the fight against me or let me share the pig! " 

He silenced the Ulates. You see, Loégairé, said Conor.

- It will not be said, said Loégairé, that Cêt shares the pig in our noses.

"Wait a bit, O Loégairé, until I talk to you," said Cêt. It is the custom with you, in your Ulster, says Cêt, for each son who comes to you to take up arms; it is with us that his first goal is. You came to the border, we met there; you left the wheel, the chariot and the Horses; you escaped with a javelin by the body; - you won't get the pig that way. Loégairé then sat down.

 "It won't be true," said a tall, handsome warrior who had risen from his bed, "that Cet divides the pig at our noses.

- Who is it ? said Cêt.

“He's a better warrior than you,” everyone said, “Oengus son of Danger Hand of Ulster.

- Why do we call your father Danger Hand? said Cêt. Why is that ? I know, Cet said. I went east once. They shout at me, everyone arrives; your father arrives. He threw me a big javelin throw. I then threw the same javelin at him, so that he cut off his hand, which remained on the ground. What would make her son wrestle with me? Oengus went to sit down.

 »Support the fight yet? said Cêt, or that I share the pig? "It won't be true that you cut it up first," said a tall, handsome Ulster warrior.

- Who is it ? said Cêt. - It is Eogan, son of Durthacht, said each one, the king of Fernmag.

- I've seen you already, said Cêt.

- Where did you see me? Said Eogan.

- At the door of your house, when I was raiding your cows. People shouted at me in the country. You arrived at the cry. You threw a javelin at me which was stopped by my shield. I throw you the same javelin; it goes through your head and takes your eye out of the socket. The men of Ireland see you with one eye. It was I who took the other off your head. " 

Eogan then sat down.

 So serve, Ulates, the struggle again! said Cêt.

- You will not do the shares now, said Munremur, son of Gergend.

- Is this Munremur? said Cêt. It was I who last cleaned my javelin, O Munremur, said Cêt. It is not three days since I brought back from your country the heads of three warriors around the head of your eldest son. Munremur then sat down.

 The struggle again! said Cêt.

- You will have it, said Mend, son of Salcholcan.

- Who is it ? said Cêt.

- Mend, everyone said.

- What ? said Cêt, a son of rustic nicknames struggling with me! but it is to me that your father owes this name: it is I who, with my sword, cut off his heel, so that he brought back only one foot. What would put the son of a cripple in front of me? " 

 The struggle again! said Cêt.

"You'll get it," said a tall, graying, ugly warrior.

- Who is it? said Cêt. "Celtchair, son of Uthechar," everyone said.

"One moment, O Celtchair," said Cêt, "if you are not in a hurry to hit me." I have come, O Celtchair, to the door of your house. People were shouting at me. Everyone arrived. You have arrived too. You went to a parade where you met me. You threw a javelin at me. I threw you another one that pierced your thigh and upper testicles. You have had bladder disease since that time, and subsequently you have not fathered a son or daughter. What would put you in front of me? Celtchair sat down.

 The struggle again! said Cêt.

"You will have it," said Cuscraid, the stutterer of Macha, son of Conor.

- Who is it ? said Cêt.

- Cuscraid, each said; he has the makings of a king because of his beauty.

- He doesn't thank you, said the boy.

- That's good, said Cêt. It was with us first that you came for your first feat, oh boy; we met at the border; you left a third of yours there and that's how you came back without being able to correctly utter a word from the top of your head, because the javelin had injured your neck vein, so that you are called Cuscraid the has been stuttering ever since. And so he cast shame on the whole province.

But just as he was busy with the pig, knife in hand, Conall Cernach was seen entering, and suddenly he was in the middle of the house. The Ulates gave Conall a warm welcome.

Conor took his helmet off his head and waved it. We want to do our parts, said Conall; who shares it with you?

- It was granted to the man who made the shares, said Conor, that is to say to Cêt, son of Maga.

- Is it true, O Cet, said Conall, that it is you who divide the pig? So Cêt said:

Hi Conall, heart of stone,
fiery and lively flame, shard of ice;
heart red with anger, in a hero's breast;
covered in scars, victor in battle,
such I see Findchôem's son.

And Conall says

Hello, this is the first son of Maga, heroes' rendezvous,
heart of ice, end of danger,
valiant leader of the battle, warlike flood,
beautiful quarrelsome bull, Cêt son of Maga!
Illustrious will be our meeting, illustrious, our separation;
they will be told in Fer-Brot;
we will testify to this in Fer-Manach.
The heroes will see a fierce battle of lions;
man on man, in the house, tonight!

 "Get away from the pig! said Conall.

- What can lead you there? said Cêt.

“You're right,” Conall said, “to ask to fight with me. I will give you a single fight, O Cêt, he said. I swear the oath of my tribe; since I took a javelin in my hand, it has not often happened to me to sleep without a Connacian's head under mine and without having injured a man every day and every night.

- It's true, said Cêt, you're a better warrior than me. If Anluan was in the house, he would give you fight after fight. It's a shame he's not in the house! "There it is," said Conall, pulling Anluan's head from his belt, and he threw it on Cet's chest, so that a flood of blood rose to his lips. He pulled away from the pig and Conall sat down next to it.

 »Come and fight this time! Said Conall. No warrior was found among the Connacians who stood before him. They made a rampart of hump shields in a circle around it, for there were bad disputes in the house and bad blows by bad people. Then Conall went to divide the pig, but he put the end of the tail in his mouth until he had managed to divide; he sucked that cock which was the burden of nine men and left nothing. He only gave the Connacians both legs below their throats. The Connacians found their share small. They get up, the Ulates also get up, and each pounces on the other.

There were knocks on the ear, so that the heap that rose on the ground was as high as the gable of the house and streams of blood flowed through the doors. The troops burst through the gates and threw up a great shout, so that much blood flowed in the middle of the courtyard, each slaughtering the other. This is where Fergus uprooted a large oak tree that was in the yard. The fighters burst out of the yard. The fight is book at the courtyard gate.

MacDatho then went out, with his dog in hand, and he let him go among them to see which side would choose his doggy intelligence. The dog chose the Ulates and began to slaughter the Connacians and routed the Connacians. It is said that in the fields of Ailbé the dog seizes the tiller of the chariot under Ailill and under Mève. Then Ferloga, Ailill's and Mève's coachman, reached him; his body fell to one side; his head remained on the drawbar of the chariot. It is said that this is where the name Plaine d'Ailbé comes from (Ailbé was the name of the dog).

The rout passed to the south by the Breche de Mugna Senrôiré, by the ford of Midibiné in Mastin, along the crest of Criach which we call today Kildare; from the fort of Imgain in the wood of G weakened to the ford of Mac Lugna, along the crest of Damaigé, by the bridge of Cairpré. At the ford of the Head of the Dog, in Bilé, the head of the dog fell from the chariot. Crossing Mide Moor to the west, Ferloga, Ailill's coachman threw himself into the heather and he jumped into the chariot behind Conor and pulled his head back: "Thank you for standing up, O Conor," said -he.

"Choose at will," said Conor.

"It won't be much," said Ferloga. Take me with you to Emain Macha and that every evening the women to be married and the marriageable daughters of Ulster sing a chorus around me saying: “Ferloga, my beloved! It had to be done, for they dared not refuse on account of Conor, and Ferloga, at the end of a year, was left at Athlone with, from Conor, two horses with golden bridles.