Fate of the Lir-Brood III…


Depart from me as graceful swans

The waters be now your home

Your palace hall is a pearly cave

Its couch the crest of a crystal wave

Your mantle is milk-white foam.


…The four children grew up under Eva’s care, though they slept near their father.

Red-Bove loved them almost as much as Lir and brought them often to his palace where they proved a delight and joy to the Crafty-Ones.

When Eva saw that Lir’s children received such affection from their father, the king, and the whole host of the Crafty-Folk, she began to feel neglected on their account.

A venomous pang of envy entered her heart which festered and grew into a bitter enmity for her sister’s children.

Of a day Eva ordered her horses yoked to her chariot and set out for Red-Lake, taking the four children with her.

Eva’s plan was to kill the children outright but when she took out the sword to do so her maternal instinct overcame her and instead she sent them to bathe at the water’s edge.

As each child entered the clear water Eva, touched them on the shoulder with a fae-switch and, transformed them into swans swimming on the lake.


Then Eva repented of her deed and said, “Since I cannot afford you any other relief, I will allow you to keep your speech and reason. You shall not grieve for being in swan-shape.” So saying, she departed westward on her chariot.



to be continued…


6 thoughts on “Fate of the Lir-Brood III…

  1. Sooo cool Stuart.This is one of my favourite tales and I am enjoying your rendering immensely. In my novel Finn Mac Cool a modern recapture of Irish mythical themes..when Padraig of Keeva idly wonders if Erin is toying with the idea of converting to christianity, she spits out “I would rather spend a thousand years as a swan on the straits of Moyle!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Paul…
      I’d always loved this tale without necessarily fully understanding its provenance. This years workshop has prompted a more considered look, hence the re-telling…
      An admirable sentiment for ‘Roman Christianity’, perhaps.
      It’s hard not to concede that some form of assimilation eventually took place, as we shall see.
      ‘Celtic Christianity’, though, it seems, was a vastly different animal…

      Liked by 2 people

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