…and Red. Stuart France

*

… When the Fenians had risen and come out the following morning, Fin approached Brown, Black and Grey and said, “Do you have anything to relate from the watch last night.”

So, the three newcomers told their respective stories and at the end of their tale Brown and Black handed Fin the knife and cup which they had retrieved.

“You have done great work,” said Fin, “we are sure to have the best eating and drinking from now on,” then turning to Grey he said, “the fate of the old hag, though, nags at me, that third young giant may well return and visit trouble on us all.”

For twelve months after Fin Mac Coll and the Fenians of Erin hunted for sport alone and at the end of that time, Brown, Black and Grey went their way.

On a day, soon after, a large Red Man approached the hunt and requested of Fin twelve months service.

“And what wages do you ask?” said Fin to the Red Man.

“No wages but this,” said the Red Man, “if I die before that time is out I shall be buried on the Isle of Light.”

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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8 Responses to …and Red. Stuart France

  1. Sue, I started reading this when I saw the word ‘fenian’, then realised it was not the 19th century Irish Republican movement you were writing about but the ancient warrior class, Na Fianna that were led by Fionn McCumhail or Finn McCool, if you like to give him a more phonetic sound. The Fenians styled themselves after Na Fianna (Na Fee – Ana) which, in Gaelic, means warriors.

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      Hi Dermott, this one is reblogged from Stuart France… a retelling of an old tale.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh dear, it’s the phonetic retelling that creates the confusion although if you ever want to read a satirical rendering of those old stories, have a look at At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien.

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        • Sue Vincent says:

          I’ll mention it to Stu, though his rendering looks at the underlying symbolism of the old tales.

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          • Not that the underlying symbolism of how ‘The Fenians’ (forerunners of the IRA) adopted that name to draw a thread for themselves to ancient Irish mythology.

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            • I try to avoid politics wherever possible. The old tales were not, in my view, originally told to inspire acts of terrorism but to inculcate an appreciation of what it is to be human. The surgeon’s scalpel though can always be used to maim by those with less altruistic scruples than the physician… ‘Fenian’ was taken from the source text, ‘Myths and Folktales of Ireland’ by Jeremiah Curtin which was originally published in 1890…

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              • At a time of Gaelic revivalism in Ireland and the anglicised phrase, ‘fenian’, was a derivation from the old Gaelic, Na Fianna. Of course the old tales are not told to inspire acts of terrorism but the Gaelic literary revival of the late 19th century was inspired to revive a nationalism or sense of nation hitherto discouraged by an oppressive and very deliberate policy to ban the teaching of Irish language or history in the school system. There are subtleties here, Stuart, that are very political but are often lost by brandishing the label of ‘terrorism’.

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  2. I agree that there are inevitably political subtleties at play, Dermott, for the politically minded. Perhaps Mr Curtin was a ‘political activist’ of sorts rather than a keen recorder and re-teller of Folk Tales. I just liked the story, and felt that it touched on a very old strata of culture and belief that was appealing and might be interesting to others. It does seem unnecessary and unfortunate for the history and language of a nation to have been banned in its schools which I was not aware of…

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