In association with Dúchas.ie, items from the Schools Collection are published. This week we have family mischief from Connemara
There was a man long ago and his name was Mac Dá. He was married and had a son whom Solomon called, for he was very wise. The man also had many other children. Her mother was ill and had been put up by the King of Greece to pretend that she was lost and when her husband believed that he himself would send his men over to bring her to Greece.
She sent word to the King of Greece that she would be buried tonight and watch so that he would know where she would be buried and bring her with him to Greece.
When the mother was lost they were all sad. They were all crying but Solomon.
“Well, you’d think you’d be crying, Solomon,” said the father.
“Oh, aren’t you all crying,” said Solomon, “and why should I weep?”
Solomon knew that the King of Greece and his soldiers would come, and when night came he went out to the tomb. There were many woods and he hid in them. He brought three birds with him – a blackbird, a waxwing and a thrush. It was not long before the King and his men arrived. They uncovered the grave and took the woman out of it. They looked around.
“Now,” said the woman, “I have a son – Solomon – and he is very wise and perhaps he is in those tombs and search them.”
They began to search the tombs and as they approached, Solomon released the wax.
When they returned they said it was just wax.
“People are very close to that,” says the woman, “go again and go.”
The same thing was done. Solomon released the thrush. When they arrived they said the same thing.
“If he’s alive he’s close to that,” said the woman, “Go with you again twice.”
They did as she told them. When Solomon felt them coming, he let them go. When they arrived they said it was a blackbird.
“If so,” said the woman, “you are, there is no one near that.”
They took the woman to Greece. When Solomon came home in the morning his father was weeping before him.
“Oh, aren’t you foolish to mourn the woman over in Greece about this,” said Solomon. “Are you serious?” said the father.
“Yes,” said Solomon.
A few days later Solomon dressed himself in a fool’s robe and went to Greece. As he was walking down the street, he saw his mother upstairs looking out the window. He went into the house and said, “Tell the woman to come down to me.”
As soon as he saw her he recognized her and she recognized himself. She began shouting and shouting and saying to kill Solomon.
“Well, give me a space for a week or you’ll see if I can ask your angel,” said Solomon.
“That will do,” said the king, “you will get that.”
Solomon sent a letter home and told his father to dress his soldiers in black and white cloth. The father did as he was told and went to Greece.
The King of Greece saw the soldiers coming and announced to his wife.
The soldiers killed the King and took the woman home.
They were perfectly happy then.
One day the man went out hunting and Solomon stayed at home. When it was dinner time his mother called Solomon in.
She gave him his dinner and put poison in it. When Solomon was dying, she asked him where he had found out.
“Go out now,” Solomon said to her, “and sit on that green stone outside and wait there until you feel the cold rising in your heart.”
She went out and did it and when she felt the cold going up in her heart she came in.
“Now,” said Solomon, “you are as lost as I am.”
The two were lost together.
There is a proverb – as wise as Solomon Mac Dá.
– This story was collected at Scoil an Chnoic in Lettermallan but the pupil’s name has not been added