The Raid of Ragamna

Here is the story of the Raid of Ragamna, of the red branch of the mythology Irish.

the Raid of Ragamna

The Raid of Ragamna

Cuchulainn [the great epic hero Irish] was deep in sleep at Dûn Imrid, when he heard a cry coming from the north directly towards him. This cry seemed to him ugly and very frightening, so that waking up, he fell from his bed like a mass on the ground, in the part of the house which was at the east. He went out without arms [nor clothes], then, when he was on the lawn, his wife, coming behind him from the house, brought him his arms and his clothes.

Then he saw Lôeg [his coachman] coming from Ferta Laig to the north in his chariot, to which [his two horses] were harnessed. "What 'cause brings you? Cuchulainn asked.
"A cry which crossed the plain and which I heard," Lôeg replied.
- Which way did this cry come from? Cuchulainn continued.
"From the north-west," replied Loeg; he was following the main road which leads to Caill Cùan.
“Let's go,” Cuchulainn said.

They went as far as Ath dâ Ferta. When they got there, they heard the sound of a tank standing next to Grellcha Culgairi. Then they saw in front of them a chariot to which was harnessed only a red horse. This horse had only one foot, the drawbar of the chariot passed through its body, the point of the drawbar protruding from the top of the horse's forehead and this forehead served as a support for the drawbar.

On the chariot was a red woman with two red eyebrows, a red coat, a red tunic. His coat hung between the two wheels behind the chariot and swept the earth. Near the chariot walked a tall man, a red tunic enveloped his body, he carried a gray spear and a massive hazel fork, he was chasing a cow in front of him.
"The cow is not happy to be taken by you," said Cuchulainn.
- She does not belong to you, replied the woman, she is not the cow of one of your friends, nor of one of your companions.
“All the Ulster cows are mine,” Cuchulainn said.
- You thus decide who owns the cow, replied the woman, you stretch out your hand too far, Cuchulainn.
- Why, asked Cuchulainn, why is it the woman speaking to me? Why is it not the man?
"You didn't speak to the man yourself," replied the woman.
- It is true, said Cuchulainn, but if I did it, it is because you speak for him.
"This man," she continued, "is called Húar-gáeth-sceo Lûachair-sceo. [Cold wind a lot, Roseau a lot.]
- Alas, cried Cuchulainn, that is a surprisingly long name.
- So let it be you who talks with me, since the man does not speak. What is your name? "

Then the man spoke up: “The woman you are talking to,” he said, “is called Fáebor, Beg-béoil, Cuimduir-folt, Scenb-gairit, Sceo-úath. [Sharp, Small lips. Also small hair, Short splinter, Much terrible]
"You're driving me crazy," Cuchulainn replied.

Thereupon he jumps into the woman's chariot, puts his two feet on the woman's shoulders and places the point of his spear on the top of her head. “Don't play point on me,” she said.
- So say your real name? replied Cuchulainn.
- I am a witch, she replied. The cow that I brought belonged to Daire, son of Fiachna de Cooley, I received it in payment for a poem.
- I would like, said Cuchulainn, to hear this poem.
- I only ask you to go away, replied the woman, there is no advantage in waving yourself like you do on my head. "
He stepped back, still standing between the two wheels of the chariot, and she sang her poem.

When she had finished, Cuchulainn rushed forward, wanting to jump into this woman's chariot, but then he saw no more horse, woman, chariot, man, or cow. What he saw was that the woman was changed into a black bird perched on a branch near him. “You are a terrible woman,” he said.
- Grellach [ie mud], she replied [name of the locality where we are] will henceforth be called "Grellach Doluid" [ie unbearable mud]. Since then we have always said: Grellach Doluid.

“If I had known it was you, [Badb, goddess of murder] resumed GCuchulainn, this wouldn't be how we would have separated.
- What you did, she said, you will be badly.
"You can't do anything against me," Cuchulainn replied.
"I can do everything, it's inevitable," replied the woman. I am and I will be the protector of death by which you will succumb, I brought this cow from the palace of the geniuses of Cruachan [the Sid] to have it covered by the Black of Cooley, that is to say by the bull of Daire, son of Fiachna. You will be alive until the calf in that cow's womb is one year old. It will be him who will cause the kidnapping of Cooley's cows.
"I will become more famous because of this kidnapping," Cuchulainn said. I will kill their warriors. I will be victorious in their great battles. I will survive the kidnapping of Cooley's cows.
- How can you do it? replied the woman. On the occasion of the kidnapping of the Cooley cows you will have to fight against a man as strong [Loch mac Emonis], as victorious, as skillful, as terrible, as indefatigable, as noble, as brave, as great as you. I will be an eel, I will wrap myself around your feet in the ford, it will be a great pity for you.
- I swear, replied Cuchulainn, I swear by the god by whom the inhabitants of Ulster swear, I will crush you against the green stones of the ford, and you will never obtain from me your healing, if you will not let me calm.
- I will be, she continued, a gray wolf who will come to attack you, I will seize your right hand and I will devour you up to the left arm. - When you approach, answered Cuchulainn, I will strike you with my spear, I will strike you in the head and will puncture your eye, either the left or the right; and you won't get your healing from me if you don't leave me alone.
- I will be, she said, a white cow with red ears; I will go into the water near the ford, when you are busy fighting the man who is as skilful as you; and a hundred white cows with red ears will follow me. We will rush behind you into the ford and on that day the truth about the warriors will be manifested: your head will be taken from you.
- I will throw you, replied Cuchulainn, a bullet from my slingshot, your left heel or your right heel will be broken and you will not help me unless you leave me alone.

Then Badb [also known as Morrigan, the goddess of murder] left and Cûchulainn returned to his house.