Venomous sheep

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Tue Apr 8 05:37:36 EDT 2003


Roger West (Firedrake R) sent this to the alt.books.tom-holt newsgroup, and
I felt that DWJ might have read this legend- and even if she didn't, we
should :)

>I have been reading the classics. This is from James Stephens' _Irish
>Fairy Tales_, available free on-line from Project Gutenberg at
>ftp.mirror.ac.uk:/sites/metalab.unc.edu/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext01/rs
hft10.zip


>This is from Mongan's Frenzy, chapter 6:

   In the first battle three hundred of the men of Lochlann were
   killed, but in the next battle Eolgarg Mor did not fight fair,
   for he let some venomous sheep out of a tent, and these attacked
   the men of Ulster and killed nine hundred of them.
   
   So vast was the slaughter made by these sheep and so great the
   terror they caused, that no one could stand before them, but by
   great good luck there was a wood at hand, and the men of Ulster,
   warriors and princes and charioteers, were forced to climb up the
   trees, and they roosted among the branches like great birds,
   while the venomous sheep ranged below bleating terribly and
   tearing up the ground.
   [...]
   
   "It is very lucky," said the man in the branch below, "that a
   sheep cannot climb a tree."
 
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