logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Short Stories Site

BellaOnline's Short Stories Editor

g

The Story of Tuan Mac Cairill by James Stephens

Guest Author - Nicole Pickens

This is an Irish tale retold by James Stephens and published in 1920 as part of his collection entitled ďIrish Fairy Tales.Ē It is a blend of Irish history, wildlife imagery and early Catholicism.

It began with the awareness of a pagan recluse by the Abbott of Moville named Finnian. The Abbott was told the reclusive gentleman was the last of the Partholon race, which arrived in Ireland after the days of Noah and the flood. The locals of the immediate area regarded him as a very powerful magician.

Finnian was a Christian Missionary with a strong desire to convert every pagan made known to him but he was met with some opposition.

The ďold fellow who followed ancient waysĒ refused to let Finnian in and they engaged in a sort of wrestling of wits. Finnian, who was later canonized into sainthood, decided to fast while sitting on the old manís doorstep.

The man held out for a few days in hopes that Finnianís hunger would overcome him but it didnít. He eventually gave in so he would not have to witness his death and eliminate all guilt associated with it.

Finnian was given some time to recuperate from his tactical fast and while still in the gentlemanís house, asked him about his genealogy.

He replied, "I am known as Tuan, son of Cairill, son of Muredac Red-neck, and these are the hereditary lands of my father."

Tuan proceeded to tell Finnian his history as one of twenty-four couples who landed on the shores of Ireland. They created a city but they died of illness and Tuan was left alone for approximately twenty-two years.

They were very difficult years for Tuan. He lost his sense of humanity. He saw his reflection in a pool of water he bent to drink and he wept at the change in himself.

A storm brewed around him. He sought shelter from it but only found a cave in the cliffs on the edge of the sea. In his exhaustion, he fell asleep. In his sleep, he dreamed of changing into a stag and woke up as one.

He found joy in his new body and new life. He lived as a stag, in hooves and antlers, knowing the language of other animals. He was hunted regularly by wolves. He lived well but in time he grew old.

The wolves chased him into his familiar cave and there he fell asleep and dreamed of becoming a wild boar.

He embraced and enjoyed that new life, until he aged well past his prime and returned to the cave to fall asleep and dreamed of becoming a hawk.

When he aged as a hawk, he returned to the cave to dream of becoming a salmon. He lived a life in the sea, among the fish great and small.

Each time he entered a new life, he witnessed a new invasion unique to Irelandís history.

I donít know much about Irelandís history beyond the American classroom. What fascinated me the most about this story was the detailed journey and existence of each animal he changed into. The readerís invitation was nearly acute.

There was a tread of consciousness into their minds, a perception of what the animals experienced. It was a glimpse of their world.

At the end of the story, Finnian convert Tuan to the church and he was baptized.

The legend of Tuan Mac Cairill remains with St. Finnianís historical list of accomplishments to this very day.

This story was beautifully written but it was also deceiving in the book title it resided in. There are no fairies or fairy princesses in the tale. That doesn't mean it was not magical.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to Twitter Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to Facebook Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to MySpace Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to Del.icio.us Digg The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to Yahoo My Web Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to Google Bookmarks Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to Stumbleupon Add The+Story+of+Tuan+Mac+Cairill+by+James+Stephens to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Short Stories Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Nicole Pickens. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nicole Pickens. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
The Teaching Story

Short Stories with a Historical Backdrop

Creative Backgrounds for Short Stories

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor