MIANACH OR OF INIS AONARACH
[WISHING GOLD OF LONESOME ISLAND]
In old time long ago a King of Erinn went out on a walk with his
Queen along the strand to look at the waves and rocks.
At this time they spyed a boat sailing in from the old sea [thelarge distant sea the Atlantic] .
When it came ashore no one was on it but an old grey hair.
'Its a wonder to me', says the sailor,'that you never thought to go out on the water for amusement or pleasure.
'How could I go', says the king, 'when I have neither ship nor boat.'
'Walk into my boat', says the old man and they sailed about in the rig not far from the land until the old man drew the boat in and asked the king,
'Will you come out?'
The king started to come out but the old sailor said,
'Its a wonder to me that a king should come out before the Queen as she might fall between the boat and the rock', and so the Queen disembarked first.
As soon as she was on the rock the old man put his foot to the stern of the boat and gave it a shove that sent it out 9 leagues, 9 waves into the sea and that adrift boat with the king of Erinn finally came to Lonsome Island [solitary island ,Aonarach Inis].
He anchored his craft and went waliking till he came to a castle in the middle of the island.
The most beautiful Queen of the palace made a dinner and they ate and drank at the one table.
She made his breakfst next morning and walked to the strand but the boat was gone.
The king of Erinn remained there with the Queen of Inis Aonarach for a year and a day,and during this time she had a son.
When the babe was 3 months old the Queen said the King could go home if he chose.
Before he left his new love and the new young child a token of recognition was made in case he would see the child again and that being he cut of the little toe of the infants right foot as a permanent mark.
A beautiful ship was waiting for him and sailed under fair wind and good wishes till it came to Erinn and the Kings own harbor.
While the king has been away the news had gone out to the world that he was lost and finaly came to the Geal Ri Thuais,White King of Thuais the North [viking] who saw the oportunity to collect a fleet and take the land of Erinn for his own use.
This was at the time the Queen of Aonarach Inis' son was 7 years old and his mother had been trainign him and he was of great skill.
When the Geal Ri of the north was ready he sent a challenge to the king of Erinn to fight or pay tribute without any trouble.
The Erinn king said he would fight and die before he would lie under tribute to any man.
His own natural 3 sons by the Queen of Erinn went off to hide and in Lonsome Island the Queen told her young child Mianach Or that there was trouble on the childs father the king of Erinn.
She told the boy of the great fleet of the White king and how his father, the ERinn king, would have to go out unassisted by anyone to battle the invader and told the boy he must go and assist his father.
'Has he not 3 sons older than I?' asked Wishing Gold?
Wishing Gold made ready next day and hurried off across the sea to Erin on his steed.
The king of Erinn,as he prepared to go out to battle with his sword, saw the horseman coming across the waves and said.
'There are many enough against me. I will see if this one is also.'
Then the horseman came to the field the Geal Ri and made short work of these men like a hawk through a flock of small birds.
He slaughtered them all and spared no one but the White King, the
Geal Ri whom he led to his father.
'Are we to kill this man or let him lie under tribute forever?'
The king of Erinn said if he was willing to be under tribute he would not take his head without reason and the boy than showed the king his missing right toe and the king remembered that he had a son like him.
The old Queen of Erinn liked Mianach Or and would not let him out of her sight.
But the Queen was duplicitious and went to a Druid and asked him under pain of death how to put an end to Mianachu Or.
She was jelous that he and not her own sons would have th kingship of Erinn .
The Druid told her to take Mianachu Or to the wonderful banks and that he could leap over and spring back as her own sons did all the time and he will try this himself and leap to the bottom.
When he tried this and began to spring back up the wicked Queen pushed him and he fell into the sea.
He was dashed by the waves until he was thrown on an island.
Where he found a house in the middle of it and therin a white trout [breac ban ] on a spit.
He wanted to eat the trout but did not as it was not his and when he went back out of the house coming towards him was a gaint with 5 heads and 5 necks and this giant laughed [Arracht Guare].
An ugly beast you are said Mianach Or,
'Why are you laughing?'
'Cen fath ta tu gairiu?
The giant replied he was laughing as he was glad to get Mianach Or to eat that day.
But Mianach Or fought the 5 headed giant and cut off all 5 of the heads and went between the heads and the body of the giant that they could not be reattached.
He than went to the house to eat Breac Ban but he thought to look out again before he could consume the fish and saw another 5 headed gaint coming.
They had combat but Mianach Or was stronger than the giant and soon cut of the 5 heads with his sword and sprang between them to keep them from reattaching to the body.
At last Mianach Or sat down and ate the trout and just as he finished a 3rd giant came and he fought this one as well and soon cut of the 5 heads.
He now had 15 heads and 3 bodys before him and after that he thought that they must have mother nearby so he went out and a dreadful old hag was coming.
He fought her for 3 days and 3 nights and she was winning although no harm was coming to her.
He thought he was to die but just then his own mothers voice came to him.
She chastised him for fighting the old woamn and said she would not help him but as long as the old hag had a long net of hair on her she could not be harmed.
At this advise Wishing Gold put his sword to the hairnet and cut it to the top of her head.
And that made her weak and he killed her.
He than went home to his own mother on the isle in the western sea.
The reports went out over the land that Mian Or had been lost at sea
and the Geal Ri of the North said .
Now it is my time', and thus he set out to do battle with the king of Erinn and release himself from tribute.
The spotted [Goirinte] king joined him and this made a great fleet to go against Erinn.
The Goirinte king sent a message to the king of Erinn to give up his tribute from the king of the north, the Geal Ri or fight for his kingdom.
The king of Erinn replied he will fight to the death before he would give up his own or go under tribute to any man.
Next day the battle was held and the king of Erinns 3 sons could not be found.
'very comfortable are we this night', said the Queen of Inis Aonarach 'but it is not the same with your father in Erinn.'
He has great trouble on him.' And she told him that the spotted king and the White King had gone with great fleets to Erinn as they thought Mianach Or had been thrown down and lost at sea.
'Sure my father has 3 sons older than I', said Wishing Gold but the Queen of Aonarach Inis said she had caused all his trouble when she had broguht him to her island so he must help him.
'you know how they treated me before when I was in Erinn', and his mother gave hima belt around his body that would tighten and give him warning if any man or woman tried to harm him.
Next morning as the king of Erinn went with his sword to face his enemys, he saw a horsemen riding a steed on the sea.
when the horseman came he attacked the 2 armys and went through them like a hawk through small birds.
He made a heap of their heads, a heap of their bodies, and heap of their weapens until all were killed but 2 kings.
These the took to his father and asked,
'Am I to kill these men or put them under tribute?'
The king of Erinn said to double the trubute on the White king and a single tribute on the Spotted king and each agreed to pay with no trouble and went to their own place, glad to escape.
Mext day Mianach Or and his father had a great hunt and the Queen went again to the old Druid to be told how to kill Mianach Or.
The Druid told her to kill a cock. Take its blood in a bottle to bed with her.
say that she would soon die and put some blood in your mouth and spit it out and send for the king to come.
Send not one horseman but one after another.
This she did and when the king came to ask what was on her, she told him she could not live unelss he got a cure for her.
To this she told him she neeeded a bottle of water from the well of the castle of the Queen of the Roth Corraigeniu [ the moving wheel].
in the east of the world and that Mianach Or would bring it.
The king would tell her that cure you will never get and he refused to send Wishing Gold telling her she had 3 sons of her own she could send.
These 3 made ready to go to the eastern world and Mianach Or would not be left behind.
So the 4 of them went to find the Queen of the Moving Wheel ,Roth Corraigeniu].
After a long time they came to a house .
The lady of the house gave great welcome to Mianachu Or and she brought him food and drink.
Her father abed called to find out who the young amn was and was told it was his nefew the son of his sister the Queen of Lonsome island and the king of Erinn.
Mianach Or took his chair to the old mans bed and the old man asked him where he was going and what brought him this way to his house.
When Mianach Or told the search for the water the old man said it could not be gotten and to go back.
But Mianachu said he would get the water if he lost his life and never went back to Erinn.
When the older brother heard of the great danger before him he dropped dead and his body was put in a box of green leaves to keep it fresh.
The 3 brothers now traveled on to a distant house and the lady of the house again welcomed Mianach Or by the hand and made supper and an old man abed called out,
'How is it daughter that you have such a welcome for this man?'
He is the son of your sister and the king of Erinn and has news of your brother and then Or took his chair to the old mans bed.
'Where are you going asked the old man and Mianachu Or told him the whole story.
The old man said kings and sons of kings over half the earth had gone for the water but none ever returned and advised them to go home.
When the second son of the Queen of Erinn hear do the danger he dropped dead.
His body also was packed in green leaves to preserve it till Mianach Or could get the waters of life.
Next morning away went the 2 reamining princes till they came at night fall to a great house and a beautiful woman who welcomed Mianach Or greatly.
The old man explained to Mianachu Or all the dangers that were before them at the castle of the Roth Corraigeniu, of the 3 bridges guarded by 3 dogs with their mouths open to swallow the whole world.
He told how the Queen only slept once every 7 years for a day and a year and at that time she raised her castle to the sky.
All the servants she had slept with open eyes.
He told of the wall between the servants and the spearmen ond the well and 4 cats on each of the wall corners with a poison tail and poison teeth and to get to the water you needed to pass the cats.
He told Mianachu Or how to pick the 3 apples in the garden of the well and to throw the largest one into the sky to hit the castle and bring it 1/3 of the way back to earth.
With the second apple another 1/3 and with the smallest apple the rest of the way to earth.
He told Wishingt Gold to catch each apple as it retured to earth and put it in his pocket.
Then he had to leap and catch the wheel and keep it steady till the castle is settled.
Than Mianach Or was told to go to the kitchen door where was a pile of keys and one of these keys, a key to the hall door which it may take a day and a year to find.
When the 3rd son of Erinns Queen heard all this he dropped dead and Mianach or was all alone.
Next morning Mianchu Or washed his face and hands and traveled to the first bridge.
The dog was there and ready to spring.
He crossed the bridge because the dog was asleep and the 2nd and 3rd bridge the same way.
Than he bounded over the wall of the garden.
Watching the cats carefully he found they too were asleep, filled his 3 bottles, went to the middle of the garden took the 3 apples struck the castle in the sky with the largest and then threw up the second apple and the castle came down more and the 3rd apple and the castle came to the earth.
He grabbed the wheel and kept it still till the castle was firmly settled.
Than he went and got the pile of keys and he picked out the biggest key and tried it for the hall and the door opened.
He opened all the doors till he came to the room where the Queen was asleep.
He left her a note saying the son of the king of Erinn had visited her and left it in in her bossom.
He than locked all the castle doors behind him as he came out and the small apple and the castle rose some more into the air.
When he threw the last large apple, the castle went of into the clouds.
He caught all the apples and put them back on the tree in the center of the garden,
took his water bottles sailed over the wall ,crossd the 3 bridges came to his uncle, rubbeld the magic water on him and he became a young lad and the youngest son of the king of Erinn who came back to life.
He did the same at his second uncle's house and brought back the life of the king of Erinns second son and again at the 3rd uncle and the king of Erinns eldest son.
The 3 brothers conspired to kill Mianach Or and take the water but the magic belt gave him warning and tightened.
Wishing Gold made a bargain with these 3 and gave them the water and sent them home to Erinn going his own road to his mother at Inis Aonarach.
When they arrived without Mianachu Or the king of Errin asked for him and they lied and said Mianach Or had died and was no good.
That is not true said the king of Erinn.
When their mother the Queen was told that Mianachu Or was dead she did not need the water and sprang out of bed as good as new.
After a year and a day Mianachu Or's mother advised him he needed to go again to Erinn.
He said he would not go to Erinn he had his fill of that country.
But his mother said he must go as when the Queen of Roth Corraigeniu awoke there was with her a child of 3 months.
And, when she sprang from her bed the note Mianachu had written her fell and she was angry and thus went to Mianach Or's fathers castle king of Erinn to distroy the kingdom and behead the son of Erinn Himself.
These challenges she gave to all the sons of Erinn not knowing which one of the 4 entered her castle while she was sleeping and she wanted to distroy the 3 brothers and their father and the kindgdom unless Mainachu Or came before her.
His mother advised him she was a great champion and to go before her battle tent early in the morning before she rises and strike the first blow on the pole of combat before her tent and than to defend himself againt her 1st and 2nd blow and his mother would save him from the 3rd blow.
Next mornign Mianachu or went to Erinn with his best weopons and struck the first blow before the Queen of Roth Corraigenui's tent.
'Who is this', she cried 'who dared to strike a blow before my tent?'
'Your master', replied Mianach Or.
she, the queen of the Moving Wheel rose up in the air and came down on Mianachu Or who defended himself from his head to his soles and saved himself from the first blow.
She rose again and again Mianachu defended himself from her second blow.
She respected him than as a champion but went to deal him the 3rd blow and finish him.
'Wishing Gold!', cried out the Queen of Inis Aonarach,
'I would not spare the motherr of my child if the mother of my child wound not spare me.'
The Queen of the Roth Corraigenui questioned this diagnosis and revelation saying,
'How can Wishing Gold be the father of my child?'
'The paper says the son of the king of Erinn is the perpetrator and for him she had been saving herself.
The Queen of Londsome Island than tells her that Mianachu Or is the son of the king of Erinn and that is her fault as she had sent him wondering to her island where she was watching for him and she desired to have the good blood of the king of Erinn as being the ony good blood.
The Queen of Moving Wheel thus forgave Mianachu Or, embrassed him and all went of to the castle of Moving Wheel where the couple were married .
The queen of Erinn, wife of the king of Erinn, was given a gift of a ring and she put it on her finger but the ring began to tighten.
She asked Mianachu Or to take off the ring but it wouldnt come off.
Mianachu Or told her the ring would take off her finger and her head uneless she told the truth about who was the father of her oldest son.
She said the byy belonged to the king of Erinn but Wishing Gold said
there was not drop of the kings blood in his body.
He demanded the truth or he would not remove the crushing ring.
She cried, out of her fear of the loss of status, as she and the king had no children, she obliged the kings pig sticker and Wishing Gold said there was little good in the kings pig sticker.
He than demanded of the Queen of Erinn to know who was the father of her second son.
She explained the kings gardner was the father.
'I believe that.', said Mianachu Or, 'He is not much better than the other.'
He demaned to know the father of the 3rd son and youngest son.
The kings driver exclamed the Queen of Erinn.
When the king of Erinn heard the confessions of his wife, he was very angry and wanted to burn all three to ashes.
But Mianachu Or stopped him and told him to leave them.
The king of Erinn than married the Queen of Lonsome island and they went to live at her castle on Inis Aonarach.
Mianachu Or, with his Queen Roth Corraigeniu went to Moving Wheel kindgdom and lived there.
Thus were left in Erinn the son of the pig sticker, the son of the gardner and the son of the driver.
The peasant society of today with no king and no champion.
Classic Celtic Fairy Tales, John Matthews,
The classic story of a wonder tale where a hero is born from a contrived meeting of a mortal and a faery woman.
Battles with giants, titatic forces, and hag mothers and a recognition finaly, of the Hero child as king of Erinn although he does not live there with his mortal subjects.
The consept of hair holding power over a being is expressed in the hag mothers indistructablity and also in Sampson and Delila from the Jewish sagas.
Hair does present, with teeth, a genetic component that can be scientificly if miraculously related to DNA, inspiring the traditional custom to cut and preserve a lock of hair from a young child and also not to cut the hair of a young child.
The Hero himself is a prodegy of his assistance from his old uncles.
The three brothers of the fairy Queen of Lonsome Island.
Each one older and weaker than the other but still able to teach and address the young golden Heros wish to find and take hold of the waters of life.
The grail of the golden cup.
The castle in the air also depict a continious pattern of the dwelling, in the giants stories as well as in the Arthurian 4 cornered castle.
The french style of the 9th centurty long before the Norman castle came to Erinn and the Germanic style of Dui Crone, the Crown.
Stories where the Hero enters revolving castles and finds a woman or a revolving wheel which turns the dark into light [the sun] and back as the wheel turns.
Some of the pre Gallileo consept of the earth being the center and the sun being the inner part of the wheel as medieval man tried to come to terms with universal events and forces.
An early application of astronomy and physics from the pasture lands of Earth.
The Good Shepard.
The story deal with the secret and subtile movements of procreation and sex as well as a young mans dependence and learning from his mother more than the father who is often unknow to him except in time of great need.
The mother is the controlling force of this life and survival.
Owning the castle, instructing the son, holding magical powers and fearful rages.
A matralinial society where only a King and a Hero can intentionally master a woman except the reproduction sex, where the faery power can be intercepted by common mortal working men such as are repesented by the underlings; the swineheard, the gardner and the transport workers.
The faery woman and the mortal women knowing who they really are.
copyright 3 April 2011
sourse: Classic Celtic Fairy Tales, John Matthews , Blandford Books, 1997