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  • Balgam Mr

    Ma tha thu ag ionnsachadh na Gidhlig, tha seo seanchas gl mhath a chleachdadh do leughadh.

    (If you are learning Gaelic, this is a very good story to practice your reading.)

    http://www.contemporarypoetry.com/br...sreading5.html
    "Pure religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)

    www.personal.psu.edu/bmd175

  • #2
    Hello. For all the people at this site who don't speak Gaelic I have translated the first half of Balgam Mor. It's a great stroy in any language. Enjoy! I'll translate the second half soon.

    Balgam Mor (Big Gulp)

    King Eilean of Ban had a daughter who was exceedingly beautiful, and like all the fair maidens she had tons of suiters. However, she wouldn't marry until one of them built a ship that could sail on land and water. Try as they might, none of them could accomplish this task.

    Nearby there lived a poor widow who had three sons. One day her oldest son came to her and said "Listen, Mother, and bake me an oat cake. I'm going to leave, and I'm going to try to build a ship that can sail on land and water, so that I might marry the daughter of the King."

    The Mother listened, and she made two cakes, a small one and a big one. She brought them to her son and said "Which would you prefer-- the big cake with my curse or the small cake with my blessing?"

    "Blessing or curse, it matters not. Give me the big cake" he said. With that, he took the cake and left.

    He began to build the ship, but he was not long at his work before a grey haired old man came down the road. The man saw him and called out "You are certainly busy, son of the widow!"

    "I am that" he replied.

    "If you give me part of your big oat cake, I'll help you with your work."

    "No way am I giving you part of my cake. It's barely big enough for me. Besides, I can build this ship myself."

    And so the boy continued alone. But it wasn't long before he gave up his work and returned home.

    "Well," said the second son, "I will also go and try to build this ship." He made the same mistakes as his brother and also failed.

    However, one day the widow's youngest son came to her and told her to make him an oat cake, because he was going to leave and try to build the ship.

    The mother made two cakes. "Now," she said, "Take your pick, the big one with your mother's curse or the small one with her blessing."

    "Give me your blessing, Mother, and big cake or small, I am happy," and so she did.

    The young son got the small cake and a blessing to follow, and he left his home town and went to the place where he would build the ship.

    He began the work, and after a few days the grey haired old man came to him and said, "you are certainly busy, son of the widow!"

    "I am," he replied.

    "If you will give me part of your oat cake, I will help you with your work."

    "Aulch! I'll give it to you, although it isn't very big," he said.

    He gave him part of the cake, and they began working on the ship together. It wasn't long before the ship was finished. And, regardless of whether it was on land or sea, the ship sailed beautifuly.

    The boy and the old man went sailing, and as they went they searched for a crew. They sailed next to a forest, and out of the forest deer came running at full speed. The deer didn't get very far, when a champion came at full speed and overtook them.

    "You run well," said the skipper (the boy who built the ship). "Yes," replied the champion.

    "You should take service with me on this ship"

    "Sure, I will." he said.

    "What's your name?"

    "My name is Quick Shin."

    They didn't go much farther, when they saw another man. He was leaning with his face to the ground and listening to something.

    The boy asked him what he was doing.

    "I," he said, "am listening to the grass come through the soil."

    "You should come with me on this ship."

    "Sure, I will," he said.

    "What's your name?"

    "My name is Good Hearing."

    They didn't go much further, when they saw yet another man. He was smashing rocks with his butt. "What are you doing?" the boy asked him.

    "I'm just passing time," he replied.

    "You should come with me on this ship."

    "Sure, I will."

    "What's your name?"

    "My name is Hard Butt."

    They didn't go far before they saw still another man. He was aiming a rifle. "What are you looking at?"

    "I am aiming at a guy over yonder in Ireland."

    "You should come with me on this ship."

    "Sure, I will."

    "What's your name?"

    My name is Straight Aim.

    They didn't go far before they saw their final crew member. He was sucking up a lake and spitting it out again.

    "You should quit your spitting and come with me on this ship."

    "Sure, I will."

    "What's your name?"

    "My name is Big Gulp."
    "Pure religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)

    www.personal.psu.edu/bmd175

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    • #3
      and now, the exciting conclusion

      They went onward, until they came to the King's Castle. When the King saw the ship coming he became apprehensive, because he wasn't willing to give his daughter to the widow's son.

      And so the King gathered together all the nobles of the city, in order that they would hold council and decide what to do about the princess. No man at the council could shut his yappng mouth. However, the son of the widow had rightfully gained the princess' hand in marriage, since he had built the ship that she was asking for.

      The mischevious witch came and said that she would try to, in some manner, frustrate the son of the widow. And so she created a seemingly impossible task that he would have to accomplish before gaining the princess' hand. He would have to find someone who could fetch a botal of water from the green well on the hill at the edge of the world, and do so faster than the dark girl of the ragged cloth.

      "I can hear something" said Good Hearing.

      "What do you hear?"

      "That if you don't fetch a botal of water from the green well on the hill at the edge of the world, before the dark girl of the ragged cloth does so, you won't get the King's daughter."

      "Let me go," said Quick Shin, "I'll run this race."

      And away they went. The dark girl of the ragged cloth was a good runner in her own right, but she was no match for Quick Shin.

      Quick Shin arrived at the well, and he filled a vessel with water. On the way back, he happened upon his opponent on the road. She thought that she would try to get the vessel from him with her tongue, since it was useless to try to outrun him. "Take a seat, catch your breath, and let me stroke your hair." He did this, and it wasn't long before he fell into a deep sleep. The dark girl got a horse skull which was next to her, and gently put it under Quick Shin's head. Then she took the vessel of water and ran back down the road.

      "I can hear something," said Good Hearing.

      "What do you hear?"

      "I can hear Quick Shin snoring. He has fallen asleep, and the dark girl of the ragged cloth has taken the vessel of water and is running back to the King."

      "I'll take care of this," said Straight Aim. And he fired a bullet, which struck the horse skull under Quick Shin's head.

      Quick Shin woke up, and it wasn't long before he caught up with the dark girl. He plucked the vessel of water out of her hands, and quickly ran back to the King's house. When he arrived, he gave the vesel to the princess.

      Now the boy wanted to marry the King's daughter. However, the mischevious witch said "We will not give the princess away yet."

      And so, on the advice of the mischevious witch, the King created another task. The boy would have to find the poison boar, that was in the apple forest, and ride it uninjured to the door of the King's palace. "He doesn't have someone who can accomplish this task for him," assured the witch.

      "I can hear something," said Good Hearing.

      "What do you hear?"

      "That you have to ride the poison boar that is in the apple forest, uninjured, to the King's palce, before you will get his daughter."

      Away went Quick Shin and Hard Butt: Quick Shin seizing the boar, and Hard Butt riding it all the way to the King's Castle.

      Now the boy really wanted to marry the King's daughter.

      The mischevious witch said to the King that she would try another tactic. "Give the son of the widow an invitation to dinner today, and tell him to sit down on the big chair, upon which I will have placed a poison spike. Good Hearing heard this, and relayed the information to the group. "I'll take care of this," said Hard Butt. He went to the Castle's dining room, pretending to be the boy's servant. The King welcomed him and bade him sit down.

      Hard Butt said that it was his custom to test the chair that his master would sit in, to make sure the chair was strong enough. He sat in the chair and broke all the poison spikes into fragments.

      After dinner, the widow's son hoped to marry the princess, but the witch said that that wasn't going to happen.

      "We will try another tactic."

      And so they created yet another seemingly impossible task. He would have to find the lake at the summit of the mountain, and use it's waters to fill the pretty dell that was in front of the Castle's door.

      Good Hearing heard this, and relayed the information to the group.

      "Let me take care of this," said Big Gulp. If they wanted water, they were going to get LOTS of water. Big Gulp climbed the mountain, drunk in the lake, and came back down spitting water.

      He spit so much that he flooded the castle. Everything inside was floating in the water. It seemed that if the flood didn't stop, everyting in the castle would be utterly destroyed. And so the King relented. He asked the son of the widow to order Big Gulp to stop pouring water, and told him that he would get to marry the princess that night.

      The mischevious witch was burned at the stake, because it was her fault that the castle was flooded and everything inside was destroyed.

      The princess and the widow's son were married, and the King held a great, joyous celebration. Then they left the castle together.


      The end. What do you think?

      [Edited by Fear_nam_Beanntan on 8th December 2002 at 04:57]
      "Pure religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)

      www.personal.psu.edu/bmd175

      Comment

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