One night in early winter,( many,many years ago) my grandfather's great uncle Finbar
McGrail was walking briskly through the mountains near the village of Drumkeerin, hoping to be home before nightfall. The sun was rapidly setting, and the shadows in the mountain forest grew longer as he trudged through the light coating of snow that now had blanketed the wooded path.
At one point in his journey, he happened upon two sets of small animal tracks and what
appeared to be streaks of blood mixed with pieces of dark fur, leading up the path to a slight rise before him. Clutching his blackthorn stick tightly, and with all his senses alerted to the possibility of a wounded animal blocking his way, he cautiously mounted the small crest of the hill.
As his eyes strained against the encroaching darkness, he could make out the forms of
two large cats dragging the dead, tattered, and bloodied body of a third. Raising his arm, and
with a shout, he lashed out with the knobbed end of his blackthorn in an attempt to chase the
ferral felines away.
The two cats dropped their burden, turned to face him, and glaring, defiantly stood their ground,
One of the pair opened it's jaws wide and said.."They'll be none of that, Finbar McGrail!
For we fear ye not!" Finbar's blood ran cold from the sight of this singular horror (which , indeed, would have killed a frailer man).
The second cat now walked a few steps toward him and said, in a tinny, hissing voice...
"Ye'll be giving good Prince Owen this message....ye tell him that Cormack has been killed, and that the kingdom is his once again" "Now let us pass in peace"
"I've never in all me days met the man, nor have I heard tell of him!" Finbar stammered.
The two large cats ignored his protestation, and returned to the torn and ravaged carcass.
They didn't look back , nor did they utter another word as they silently dragged their loathsome charge off the path and into the now darkened woods.
Running, falling, swaring, praying, Finbar tore blindly through the mountains and down into
the valley where his farm lay. His screams as he approached the house alerted his wife and children, who, in a panic approaching his own, ran out to meet him.
Near collapse from exhaustion, and with his racing mind a maelstrom of horrific images,
he was helped by his small family up the path to the front porch, where he limply dropped to the steps.
As his wife comforted him, the children ran to the parlor and returned with a large tin cup of "poteen" (moonshine), to settle his nerves.
Gradually he regained a degree of composure, and, struggling to control himself, blurted
out to them the details of the nightmare he had just experienced. When he related the
message of the second cat..........
"ye tell him that Cormack has been killed, and that the kingdom is his once again",
a unearthly screech came from inside the house. The family's aged housecat then bounded
out of the cottage, down the steps, and into the winter's night, never to be seen again.
....that's part of our family folklore, boys and girls; make of it what you will....(and Happy
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. - Norman Cousins
Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:12 PM
Oh my gosh.. . How did those cats not get eaten?
I took my cats out in my back yard. . .I live on a waterway, so there's always at least little fish and baby shrimp swimming out there. I caught a baby shrimp to show it to my cats.. .they freaked out. You would have thought it was a 200 pound cat mangling dog. I can only imagine what would have happened if an alligator would have come up.
"To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge." ~ Benjamin Disraeli