Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Two Tales about Finn (Author: Unknown)

story 2

How Finn obtained knowledge, and the Slaying of Cul Dub

Another time Finn was at the head of the Curragh. It is there he was wont to be. Every morning a man was told off to boil a pig for his day's food. Now once Oisine was told off to boil it. When he deemed it done, he passed it on the points of the fork over the litter into the hand of his comrade. Then something clutched at it. It passed out. He ran out after it across the Suir, to wit, at Ath Nemthenn8,


across Ord9, across Inmain10, across the Slope of the Ui Faelain up to the summit of the Fairy Knoll on Femen plain.11 The door was shut after it when it had gone into the fairy knoll, and Oisin was left outside.

When the fian awoke, then Oisin came (back). ‘Where is the pig?’ said Finn. ‘Some other braver than I has taken it’, said Oisine.

On the next day Cailte took it. It is carried from him in the same manner. However, he came (back). ‘Where is the pig?’ said Finn. ‘I am not braver than he from whom it was taken yesterday,’ said Cailte.

‘Who is to go now to boil it?’ said Finn. ‘The younger thorn is always the sharper.’ He went himself to boil it, his spear hafts in his left hand, his other hand turning the pig on the points of the fork. Something clutched at it. Finn gave it a blow, but the point of his lance only reached its back. However, it left its load outside. It went into Ely, into Cell Ichtair Lethet [...] Seven times it jumped across the Suir [...] He made a thrust at it as it was going into the fairy-knoll so that thereby he broke its back. Finn stretched out his hand at the doorpost of the síd, so that the door was closed on his thumb. He put it into his mouth, and heard their wail. ‘What is that?’ they all said. ‘Cul Dub has been killed!’ ‘Who killed him?’ said they. ‘Finn O'Baiscne.’ They all wail. Then said he ‘Sweet, sweet’ etc. [...] He then carries his pig in his bosom back to his people.