But, in spite of all these good things,
Midac was always mean and sulky.
He hated Finn for killing his father.
Finn and Midac
The Fianna had many
adventures and fought many battles. But the hardest battle they
fought was against the Kings of the Torrents. It happened like
After Finn became the leader of the Fianna, there came word that
enemies were attacking the eastern part of Ireland. They were
led by Colga of the Hard Weapons. Colga was not planning on
meeting the Fianna. But when Finn and Colga met, there was a
long and fierce fight between the two armies. At the end of the
battle, all of Colga's men were dead, except for his youngest
son, named Midac.
Finn felt sorry for the boy, for that was all he was - just a
young lad. Midac was taken to Almu and raised as Finn's own son.
He was given the best of everything - the finest clothing,
education, and training in hunting and fighting. But, in spite
of all these good things, Midac was always mean and sulky. He
hated Finn for killing his father.
As Midac grew to manhood, the other members of the Fianna
worried that Midac might learn too many of their secrets; they
wanted Finn to send Midac away. So Finn called Midac to him.
He said, "Midac, you are now of an age to make a home of your
own. Choose any place in Ireland and I will give you land there.
I will give you cattle and everything you will need to begin a
Midac chose a place called Kenri, which was on the River
Shannon. He was happy with Kenri, for it had safe harbors and
lonely islands nearby. When the Fianna also built Midac a fine
castle there, he was secretly pleased. Midac planned to have a
terrible revenge on Finn and the Fianna!
For fourteen years, Midac grew richer and more powerful, but the
Fianna scarcely knew it, for they preferred to stay away from
Midac. But, one day, Finn and his men were out hunting in the
area where Midac lived.
Evening was approaching, and Finn and his men were about to cook
a deer for supper. Then, one of the Fianna motioned to Finn, for
a man on a magnificent horse dressed in red was riding towards
them. The man wore a shiny helmet, and had a beautiful sword at
his side. The stranger approached with a riddle. "Who," he
asked, "is the queen who lies upon a bed of crystal and wears a
robe of green? Her babies are thin, though they be many, and you
can see them through her skin?"
"Ah," said Finn, "that is easy. The queen is the River Shannon,
with her trees and bushes adorning her. Her children are the
fish who swim in her clear water."
"Then," said the stranger, "if you are so quick with riddles,
why do you not recognize that it is I, Midac, the boy who grew
to manhood in your home."
Replied Finn," The larger riddle is, why have you not offered us
your hospitality? You well know that is the Irish custom."
"That is exactly why I am here," said Midac. "I saw you from
afar, so I have ordered a grand feast to be prepared in your
honor. Look! There is my castle in the distance. Please join
"Let us first feed the horses, and then we will be glad to come
to your feast," said Finn, as Midac rode away.
After Midac left, Finn and the men gathered to speak about the
strange event. Few of the men trusted Midac, but there was
something else that bothered the men.
"Have you noticed that this place where we have made our camp is
very beautiful, yet there are no birds singing? Something is not
right here," said one.
So Finn left half the group at the camp. They would be on the
lookout for trouble and come to the rescue if needed. Finn and
the rest of the men headed for the feast at Midac's castle.
As they neared his castle, they were impressed by its size and
grandness. Midac had made it bigger and set many gems into the
walls.This was a very different place from the one the Fianna
had built for Midac fourteen years before!
The men arrived at the castle door, but no-one met them or came
to act as an escort. The smell of food was in the air, so they
went in. Before them was an enormous hall with a fireplace that
could roast an entire cow. The fire burned brightly, but no
smoke came from it, only a wondrous scent of flowers. At the
table were couches for each of the men, covered in the softest
satin of green and blue. The walls were covered in rubies,
emeralds, and sapphires, and there were seven great doors which
opened onto a wonderful garden.
When the Fianna had seated themselves at the table, Midac
entered the room. He gazed at each of the men, said nothing, and
left. Finn and his companions waited for food to be brought, but
no-one appeared. Finn said, "This seems very strange, that no
one comes to serve us the feast which we have been promised."
One of the Fianna said, "I see something stranger than that. The
fire which before smelled of flowers, now smells of smoke. The
couches, which once were so comfortable, are now gone and we sit
on the earth. The walls, which were full of gems are now nothing
but rotten planks. And the seven doors which opened onto freedom
are now all shut and locked."
At this, all the men tried to jump to their feet. But they could
not move! They were stuck to the ground. "Finn," said one, "it
appears that we are in trouble. Use your thumb that you might
see the danger which besets us." Finn gripped his thumb and the
wisdom that he had been given from touching the Salmon of
Knowledge allowed him to see a terrible danger.
"My friends," he said, "Midac has brought the three kings of the
Isle of the Torrents to kill us. They fight like dragons, and we
can do nothing, for we are bewitched. Only their blood sprinkled
on this earth can save us."
Back at the camp, the rest of Finn's mern were wondering why
there was no noise of music or feasting coming from the castle.
"Something is not right there," said one. "We must go and see
what mischief Midac has caused."
As they came close to the castle, they spotted Midac and the
kings. Luckily, neither the kings nor Midac had seen them.
Finn's men stayed well hidden and they over heard Midac boasting
about his plan to kill all the Fianna and the revenge that would
be his. They also heard him tell of the enchantment that was on
Finn and the men at the castle. Until that moment, the Fianna
did not know that the three kings of the Isle of Torrents must
be killed and their blood sprinkled on the castle's grounds to
break the spell. Knowing what they must, do, the second band of
Fianna quickly and quietly made their plans.
The Fianna attacked and a terrible battle began. The kings and
Midac fought fiercely, but the Fianna fought harder! The kings
and MIdac fought long, but the Fianna fought longer! Finally,
the enemy could fight no more, and the Fianna slew them all.
They quickly sprinkled the blood on Midac's lands and castle. At
last, Finn and his men could rise from the ground. They quickly
ran to join the rest of the Fianna. The enchantment was broken!
At the camp, Finn and the Fianna feasted on the deer they had
prepared before Midac had appeared. And their feasting was all
the merrier, for the men were hungry after the battle. They were
glad to have their lives and the friendship of one another. And,
they were all relieved that Midac would never be a danger to
1. How did Finn treat
Midac after he killed Midac's father?
2. Who was the man on a
magnificent horse dressed in red?
3. What happened after the
Fianna entered the castle?
4. If you were Finn, what
would you do with Midac?