Fin Mac Coll was hunting with his Fenians south of Ballyshannon.
Three strange men approached the company.
“Let no one speak before they get to me,” said Fin.
The three interlopers said nothing until they stood before Fin.
“Our names are Brown, Black and Grey,” said they, “we have come to take service with you.”
Fin so liked the look of the three men that he brought them back to Tara with him and called them his ‘sons’.
As night approached he took them to one side.
“Every man who takes my service must watch the first night for me but since you have come together you must each watch a third of the night.”
Fin had a tree felled, its trunk fetched, three equal parts made of it, and one part given to each man.
“When you each begin your watch you must set a light to the brand,” said Fin, “and so long as the brand burns, so long is your watch.”
Brown drew first watch, set fire to his brand and went around the outskirts of Tara taking Fin’s dog Bran with him. …