DECEMBER 31, 2017

Lugh Comes to Tara

Hill of Tara Aerial Wide Angle

It was fierce cold for sure out there, away from the light and heat of the feast.  Eoghan hated gatekeeping duty, but it was his turn and that was that, so there he sat.

Young Fionnuala had slipped him a wineskin full of the best from inside in the kitchens, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been at least.  He could hear the occasional strain of the harp though, and the odd waft of roasted meat drifted up to him even there, causing his mouth to water and his belly to rumble, and his mood to darken even further.  He’d told Fionnuala there was no need for guard duty this night – the walls at Tara were the soundest in the land, and sure everyone who would be coming was inside already.  Nobody missed a feast of the Tuatha De Danaan.

Sudden thumping from outside the gates jolted him out of a doze and made a liar of him,  for there was most definitely someone there who wasn’t inside already, and didn’t want to miss the feast at Tara, judging by the clatter they were causing.  Owen made his way down to the small gate and pulled back the hatch so he could see the head of whoever was outside.

The warrior, for he was undoubtedly a warrior, was alone, and he looked pleasant enough.  There was a fierce brightness about him, even in the gloom of the evening, which Eoghan couldn’t account for, so he left that thought alone and reverted to his customary gate query – who was this stranger disturbing the peace at Tara, and what did he want.  He was called Lugh, this bright warrior, and he wanted to join the feast within.  But sure the seats were all full, and everyone who was supposed to be coming was inside already; what did they need another for?

Well, it turns out this young man could lay claim as a master Builder, one of the best in all of Eireann, and surely that would gain him a place at the King’s table?  But no, Eoghan said, for the Tuatha De Danaan already had the best of Builders, and sure what would they be needing another for?  Well, it turns out this young man was also a master Brazier, one of the best in all of Eireann, and could keep the fires in all of Tara lit and tended no matter what came.  Surely that would gain him a place at the King’s table?  But no, Eoghan said, for the Tuatha De Danaan already had the best of Braziers, and sure what would they be needing another for?  Well, it turns out this young man was also a master Harper, one of the best in all of Eireann, and his music would soothe the very soul of any who heard it.  Surely that would gain him a place at the King’s table?  But no, Eoghan said, for the Tuatha De Danaan already had the best of Harpers, and sure what would they be needing another for?  They progressed through a range of skills:  Lugh was a Smith who could craft with any metal, a Champion of all games and arts, a Poet who could charm or curse with equal skill, an Historian who would recite the families and battles of all Eireann through the ages, a Cup-bearer who would never spill a drop, a Magician who could control the very world around them, and even a Physician who could cure all ills, excepting if a head be cut clean off.  But no, Eoghan said, for the Tuatha De Danaan had all of these people skilled in such things, and sure what would they be needing another for?

Ah now, says Lugh, and tell me Gatekeeper – but do you have any man or woman within the walls of Tara who can do ALL of these things?  Eoghan was forced to admit that no, they did not, and the stranger was welcomed on the back of that.  Lugh was announced as the Ildánach – the many skilled one – and that was the first they’d heard of him, though not the last.

But sure, they are all stories for another day.

 


Get a fresh Tale of Old Ireland delivered to you each month, when you sign up for the $3 Patreon Reward.

 

Your Irish Connection

Cat stone uisneach

Do You Want Authentic Connection to Ireland?

Join our Mailing List Community to get your weekly resource emails direct from Ireland. Topics include:

Irish Mythology, History, Society, Spirituality, Storytelling & Travel.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply