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p. 361



From Angus MacKinnon, South Uist.

WHAT but that the, King of Lochlann should come to the King of Eirinn to be a while along with him.

The King of Lochlann and Fionn went on a day to fish, and they had a little boat, and they had no man but themselves.

They spent the greatest part of the day fishing, and they did not get a thing.

Then there laid a beast on (the hook of) Fionn, and he fell to fishing, so that he put the hook into him. 1 He took in the fish; and what fish was it but a dog-fish. The hook of the King of Lochlann was in her maw, under the hook of Fioinn, and the hook of Fionn was in the outer mouth. Then the King of Lochlann fell to at taking out the dog-fish, since it was his hook that was farthest down in her. They fell to arguing with each other, and Fionn would not yield a bit till they should go to law.

Then they went to land with the boat, and they went

p. 362

to law, and the law made (over) the fish to Fionn; and that there should be a fine laid upon the King of Lochlann, since he had not felt the fish when first it struck him.

With the rage that the King of Lochlann took he went home to Lochlann, and he told to his muime and his oide (his foster parents) how it had happened.

The Muilearteach was his muime, and the Smith of Songs, who was married to her, was his foster-father.

She said that it was she who would bring out the recompense for that.

Then she came till she reached Eirinn, and the King of Lochlann with her, and the Smith of Songs.

The Dallag was never said after that but the king's fish. 1


361:1 This is peculiarly descriptive of handline fishing, when a "beast" takes, it feels as if a weight had laid quietly on the line, and a green hand often loses a fish by neglecting to strike, not knowing that the fish is there.

362:1 A creature something like a king-fish, which is a sort of diminutive shark, is figured on the Sculptured Stones of Scotland. A version of this is already referred to, page 159. It is a kind of introduction to the Muilearteach, and explains who that personage was.

The Smith of Songs is probably the same as Loan Mac Libhinn, the maker of Fionn's sword, about whom there is a long poem, and. I suspect them to be mythological, perhaps Thor and his wife. Thor and a giant once rowed out together in a small boat to fish, and Thor hooked, and lost the sea-serpent. Perhaps the giant was Fionn.

The coming of the Muilearteach to Islay with the smith and the smithy on her back, is told in another story. See No. 85.

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