We will ask where it comes from The Kidnapping of the Cooley Cows. It is not difficult to answer. The first cause of this kidnapping is the Generation of the Two Pigmen, or the Dispute of the Two Pigmen, subject and title of the piece which will follow.
I. THE TWO PORCHERS
Friuch was a swineherd of Bodb, Rucht a swineherd of Ochall Ochne. Between Bodb and Ochall Ochne there had been a quarrel. Between them peace was made, between Ochall Ochné, king of geniuses [Nous risquons de traduire ainsi le mot Irish side qu’on pourrait aussi rendre par dieu, ou aussi par fée si le mot français n’était pas féminin.] of Connaught, and Bodb, king of the spirits of Munster. Thereupon Bodb went to his palace of geniuses, the sid of Femen, and Ochall Ochné in his, the sid of Crûachan. Bodb and Ochall being friends, their pigmen Friuch and Rucht were also friends.
This is the mark of friendship the two pigmen gave each other. When there was an abundance of acorns in the south, that is to say in Munster, Rucht, the swineherd of the north, that is to say of Connaught, led his pigs to eat acorns in Munster; when there were acorns in the north, that is to say in connaught, Friuch, the swineherd of the south, that is to say of Munster, led his lean pigs to eat acorns in the north in Connaught, and in the back they were fat. But then a quarrel arose between the two pigmen. When the pigs of Connaught had gone to fatten up in Munster, the geniuses of Munster, subjects of Bodb, said that Friuch, their swineherd, was stronger than Rucht, swineherd of Connaught and Ochall. When the pigs from Munster went to fatten up in Connaught, the geniuses of Connaught claimed that Rucht, their swineherd, was stronger than that of Munster.
One year there was an abundance of acorns in Munster, Rucht, the swineherd from Connaught and Ochall led his pigs to eat acorns in Munster with those of his colleague Friuch, swineherd of Munster and Bodb.
After welcoming Rucht, Friuch continued: “Since you have come here, there will be a quarrel between us. The people of Munster say that you are stronger than me, that your skill is superior to mine.
"I am no less clever than you," replied Rucht, the swineherd from Connaught.
- We will verify, replied Friuch, I will prevent your pigs from fattening even though they eat acorns, and mine will grow fat. "
The magical prohibition pronounced by Friuch came true, Rucht returned to Connaught with his skinny pigs, they were in such a pitiful state that they could hardly walk; Connaught's geniuses laughed at him. "You didn't choose the time of your trip to Munster," they all told him, "your colleague is stronger than you."
'That's not true,' Rucht replied, 'a year will come when there will be acorns in Connaught, and I will play Friuch the trick he played on me. "
He did as he said.
Indeed, after a year, Friuch, the pigman of Munster, went north with his skinny pigs to feed them acorns, and Rucht, the swineherd of Connaught, cast on the pigs of Munster the curse that the the previous year Friuch had thrown on those from Connaught, and the Munster pigs withered away this year as the year before had withered those from Connaught. Everyone says that the two pigmen were as strong as each other.
II. THE TWO RAVENS
Friuch returned to Munster with his skinny pigs, they were barely alive. Bodb, king of the spirits of Munster, took away his pigs; Ochall, king of the geniuses of Connaught, withdrew from Rucht the custody of his family, Friuch and Rucht lived in the form of crows two whole years. They spent the first year in the north, in Connaught, above the fortress of Crûachan, the second year in the south, in Munster, near the palace of geniuses called Sîd de Femen. This year was over when the inhabitants of Munster met one day in assembly; they said to each other: “The noise the birds make in front of you is not small; They have been fighting for a whole year, this year ends today. "
They had just spoken thus, when in front of them, on the hill where the assembly was held, they saw appear the steward of Ochall, king of the spirits of Connaught, his name was Fuidel, he was the son of Fiadmir. The inhabitants of Munster welcomed him: "It is great," he said, "the noise which the birds make in front of you. They are, it seems, those who last year with us in Connaught, they made the same noise until the end of that year. "
Then the inhabitants of Munster saw a marvelous thing: the two crows had resumed human form, we recognized the two pigmen. The assembly welcomed them. “You are wrong to welcome us,” said Friuch, the swineherd of Bodb, “our struggle will result in the deaths of many dear men, and many groans will result.
- What happened to you? Bodb asked.
- It is not good that has happened to us, replied Friuch, since the two of us left, we have lived in the form of crows for two whole years which have ended today. You saw what we did an entire year in the form of crows near the palace of the geniuses of Crûachan in Connaught, then for another year in the same form near the palace of the geniuses of Femen in Munster, so that the inhabitants of Connaught to the north, those from Munster to the south, saw us fighting each other. We will now be metamorphosed into aquatic animals. We will live under the sea and under the water until the end of two years. "
III. THE TWO SEALS OR WHALES
Then the two swineherds set out from the hill where the assembly was standing, and each went to a different side: one went to the Shannon, the other to the Suir. They were two whole years at the bottom of the sea and under water. For a whole year they were seen biting each other in the Suir; for another full year they were seen fighting each other in the Shannon.
One day, the people of Connaught held an assembly on the banks of the Eany, a tributary of the Shannon. They saw on the Shannon two animals as big as a mountain; as high as the top of a mountain rose their enclosures; they were fighting against each other; from their mouths issued glaives of fire which reached the clouds of the sky. From all sides the crowd came around them. The two animals coming out of the river, arrived on the bank: there they took human form under the eyes of the crowd. The assistants recognized the two pigmen. Ochall, king of the geniuses of Connaught, welcomed them. "What have been your adventures? he asked.
- Our adventures have been very tiring, they replied. You have seen what we have done before your eyes. Two whole years we have been in the form of aquatic animals at the bottom of seas and waters; we need a new metamorphosis so that each of us can still feel the strength of our colleague. "
IV. THE TWO CHAMPIONS
Then they left, each going to a different side. Each of them became a champion. One was among the people of Bodb, king of the spirits of Munster, the other in the service of Fergna, also known as Carpre Cromm, king of the spirits of Nento-sous-eau in Connaught. Anything done by the people of Bodb was actually the work of the champion. It was the same at the palace of the geniuses of Nento. The glory of the two champions spread throughout Ireland. We did not know who their family was.
Bodb leaving Munster went to Connaught. The people of Connaught then had a large assembly near Loch Riach. The procession accompanying Bodb was as beautiful as this brilliant assembly. Bodb brought with him seven times twenty chariots and seven times twenty horsemen. All the horses were the same color; these horses were spotted, and at their bridles we saw silver bits. Among the warriors mounted on chariots there was not one who was not the son of kings and queens. All wore green coats, adorned with four purple fringes and tied with silver brooches. They had tunics adorned with red trim with gold threads all around. Their gaiters were trimmed with gold thread and their shoes edged with bronze. Headdresses with crystal and brass ornaments covered their heads. Brilliant bands of gold surrounded the neck of each man; each of their gems was worth a dairy cow who has just had her first calf. The bracelets each man wore on his arm were each worth thirty ounces. On the bosses of all their shields could be seen ornaments of gold. They all held in their hands five-pointed spears with ribs of gold, silver, and bronze all around, and with necklaces of gold at the junction of the haste and the iron. The hilts of their swords were gold, and on them were figures of gold and carbuncle snakes. The glare of this equipment illuminated the entire camp.
No more beautiful troop had come before that day, nor will it come until the Last Judgment. Seven times twenty people, both women and children, died of fear at the sight of these warriors. They jumped out of their chariots onto the lawn, and left their horses and chariots there with no one to guard them.
When they had all stopped, Ochall came to meet them. “Here is a proud troop,” said the people of Connaught, “they are prouder than all the others. The newcomers walked up to the hill where the meeting was being held, and sat down, taking the men who were there as their seats, so that all these men died. For three days and three nights the people of Connaught surrounded them without being able to do anything against them. Seven times twenty queens were to flee with them when they returned to Munster.
In the meantime, Ochall spoke to them: "Welcome, O Bodb," he said.
"You might as well give me a bad welcome," Bodb replied, "you are forced to have my visit.
- Why did you come? asked Ochall
"To speak to the king, the queen and the good warriors," replied Bodb.
'They are all here,' said Ochall.
"We don't see a lot of them among you," said Bodb.
"They obey the order they receive," replied Ochall. Young warriors are advancing towards you.
- That we are given protection on the basis of reciprocity. "
Ochall promised this protection. “Come here, Rinn,” cried Bodb, and Rinn (Friuch) the champion of Munster, stepped into the assembly, “Let one of you come forward to fight me,” he said.
The warriors of the three Connaught provinces gathered in a group and deliberated. But among them there was no one who dared to offer to fight Rinn. “It's a shame,” said Ochall, “honor is lost. "
At that, something was seen: a troop was coming from the northern region of Connaught. There were three times twenty bridled horses and three times twenty chariots; the horses harnessed to these chariots were black, they seemed to have crossed the sea; the bits of their bridles were gold. The warriors wore dark blue coats surrounded by purple cords, each one had a gold wheel on his chest, white tunics striped with purple enveloped their bodies; on the tops of their heads one saw hair so dark black that one would have thought that a cow had licked their head. They carried on the back shields on which emblems were engraved, and surrounded by pretty bronze borders; under their coats they had swords, the handles of which were of ivory and adorned with figures of copper; each man held a lance with a rounded end and silver rivets; a gold thread, purified by fire, circled each of them fifty times; they had neither sandals nor headgear. Only one excepted, no one among them stood out from the others. They entered the camp. Three times twenty of them arrived, some in chariot, others on horseback, as many came on foot.
Then the Conmacne rose before them on the hill; this is why the Conmacne are subjected to servitude until the Last Judgment. They are responsible for feeding the sons of kings and queens and hunting dogs in perpetuity.
[protest by a copyist]
This is not true at all, for then the Conmacne were not in the world. They are descendants of Fergus mac Roig, who then was not yet born. These are the people who predated the Conmacne on the ground that the Conmacne have since occupied. It was these predecessors of the Conmacne who stood up to the newcomers.
Then the assembly sat down and welcomed the warriors of northern Connaught. "Welcome," said Ochall.
“We have confidence,” Fergna added.
"Unhappy," cried Mainchenn, druid of Great Britain. “From today to forever,” he continued, “as soon as you and your descendants see a king, you will be his subjects. Heretofore Fergna stood erect, from now on Fergna will be bowed down and her might will bear the weight of tributes. Where did you leave your horses?
"In the plain," Fergna replied.
'The land in front of you was yours,' Mainchenn went on, 'it was chosen as a domain by another who came before you.
- Who is it? Fergna asked. This is Bodb, replied Mainchenn, it is the king of the geniuses of Munster. "
As soon as Bodb was seen in the assembly, the shock and mortal fear killed twenty men. There was not in the three Connaught a warrior to fight Rinn, the champion of Munster. “At your command,” cried Fâebar (Rucht), the champion of Connaught, “I will attack him. Thereupon, the two champions rushed against each other, the fight lasted three days and three nights, they gave each other such blows that one could see their lungs. Then we separated them.
V. THE TWO GHOSTS (or DEMONS)
By an obvious error Friuch and Rucht turned from champions to ghosts. A third of the people died of fear. The next day, the survivors were held in bed by the disease ***
VI. THE TWO WORMS
They then left and took the form of water beasts, that is to say, they became two worms. One (Rucht) went to the source of Uaran Garad, province of Connaught, the other (Friuch) to that of Glass Cruind, in Cooley, province of Ulster.
Now, once Queen Medb of Cruachan went to the source of Uaran Garad to wash her face, she held in her hand a whitish bronze vase where she wanted to wash her hands. She plunged the vase into the water and the worm rushed into it. It was spotted and of all colors. She looked at him for a long time; the colors of this worm seemed pretty to him. Then the water disappeared, the worm remained alone in the vase. “It is unfortunate, you beast,” said Medb, “that you do not speak, and that you do not tell me something of what must happen to me since I took possession of the kingdom of Connaught.
- What is, answered the worm, the thing you want to ask me the most?
- I would like first, replied Medb, to know how you are in your state of beast?
- I am an unhappy beast, replied the worm, I have been unhappy in all the forms that I have had. "
And he told Medb what her existence had been in each of its successive forms, then here is the good advice he gave her: "It is," he said, "a pity that being such a beautiful woman, you are not married to her. a young and illustrious warrior to whom you would share your authority.
- I did not want, replied Medb, to marry any of the inhabitants of Connaughl, I feared that he would pretend to be my master.
- We know, continued the worm, someone who would suit you well, it is the most brilliant, the most beautiful, the most illustrious man that exists, it is Ailill, son of Ross-Rûad, king of Leinster ; his mother is Mata Muresc, daughter of Maga, King of Connaught. He is a gentle young man, without spot, without blemish, without jealousy, without pride. Take him for a husband, he will not dominate you. He is handsome, fiery and strong. And you, every day without failing, you will give me to eat in this source. Cruinniuc (meaning rounded) is my name. This is what he said to Medb. Then Medb returned home and the worm in the spring.
On the same day, singularly enough, Fiachna, son of Daire, went to the source of Glass Cruinn (that is to say blue green and round) in Cooley, and washing his hands he saw an object which attracted his beware: there was a worm on the stone in front of him, and this worm was so speckled that it had no color that you could not see on it. "Good for you, Fiachna," said the worm. Fiachna was afraid of the animal he saw in front of him, and he stepped back a little. "Do not run away," said the worm, "do not be afraid, you will do better, you will chat with me.
- What will we tell each other? asked Fiachna.
- First, replied the worm, it will happen to you full of happiness.
- And after? asked Fiachna.
- You will find at the end of your earth, replied the worm, a boat that brings you treasures.
- And after ? repeated Fiachna.
- You will give me hospitality, resumed the worm, and you will do me good.
- What good will I do to you? asked Fiachna.
- You will give me to eat, answered you worm.
- Why am I going to feed you? asked Fiachna.
- Because I am at the end of your earth, said the worm, and I have nothing to eat.
"And that, although you are only an animal," replied Fiachna ironically.
- But I am a man, said the worm; I am Bodb's swineherd.
- What is your name ? asked Fiachna.
- Tummuc (meaning diver), replied the worm.
"We've heard from you," Fiachna said.
- It is not necessary, said the Tummuc worm, that I tell you our story: my colleague is at Uaran Garad in Connaught, and Medb de Cruachan is doing him good, but I am weak because I have no nothing to eat.
"At your orders," replied Fiachna; since you asked me to eat, you will have to eat.
- Get up and go, said the worm, the boat that I announced to you has arrived, you will send me something to eat tomorrow morning. "
Fiachna took the boat with him and the worm entered the source of Glass Cruinn in Gooley. Fiachna gave him food every day for a year and a day, and every day it was Fiachna himself who would bring him the food. Likewise, it was Medb who every day, until the end of the year, would bring food to the worm of the west (that is, of Connaught).
VII. THE TWO BULLS
So one day (the year had just ended), Fiachna went to the source of Glass Cruinn: "Come and talk with me," he said to the worm. "Immediately the worm arrived:" Very well, said Fiachna to the worm.
- It will be all profit for you, continued the worm, there will come to you from land and sea an abundance of wheat, a true blessing. You have been very good to me from your first visit until today. Soon there will be a famous encounter in Connaught between me and the animal I told you about a year ago.
- What meeting? asked Fiachna.
— Il est facile de le répondre, répliqua le ver: une de tes vaches me boira demain matin, et une des vaches de Medb boira mon collègue ; de là résultera une grande bataille en Ireland entre nous. Nous combattrons l’un contre l’autre, toi tu seras sain et sauf. »
Then this whole prediction came true. The next morning Tummuc was drunk by Fiachna's cow; the same day his colleague Grunniuc was drunk by Medb's cow.
Here are the names of the animals in each of their forms: 1 ° Rucht (pig), Ruccne when they were swineherds; 2 ° Ingen (claw), Ette (wing), when they were crows; 3 ° Bled (whale) and Blod, when, in the form of cetaceans, they lived at the bottom of the sea; 4 ° Rinn (point) and Fâebar (cutting edge) when they were champions; 5 ° Scîath (shield) and Scâth (shadow) when they were phantoms; 6 ° Cruinniuc (rounded) and Tummuc (diver) when they were around; 7 ° Find (white) and Dub (black) when they were bulls.
Findbennach (horned white) and Donn (brown) de Cooley are the two most beautiful horned beasts there has ever been in Ireland: their horns were adorned with gold and silver by the two provinces of Connaught and 'Ulster. There was no horned beast in Connaught that dared to bellow the Findbennach, the bull of this western province. Likewise, there was not in Ulster any horned beast bold enough to bellow the bull of this eastern province, the Donn de Cooley.