An Irish Tale of Blarney Mac Cool by Finn McCool the Magic Leprechaun Cat

Well, my friends, today is St. Patrick’s Day. Though famous for converting the pagan Irish to Christianity, making the shamrock the symbol of Ireland, and ridding Ireland of the snakes she never had; St. Patrick, in reality, is more famous, for green beer, the wearing of the green, parades and most everyone in the world thinking they are Irish for a day.

However, St. Patrick is not the only symbol of Ireland. A less celebrated symbol, but no less known, is the Blarney Stone. An ancient bluestone, with a storied history that dates back to Moses, as it was the stone, some say, he supposedly struck to produce water for the Israelites during their flight from Egypt. And until this very day, it is said to possess the power to instill in those who kiss it the gift of Eloquent Speech. So, you’ll never be guilty of a loss for words.

As you probably know, we leprechauns are famous for our “Eloquent Speech”, so much so, that it has been claimed we are responsible for talking normally sane people out of the pots of gold we are guarding and they are finding at the end of rainbows. Now, I say to you, that in itself takes some eloquence, it does, indeed.

But if the truth be known, the real legend of the Blarney Stone begins with my great, great, great Uncle Blarney MacCool, a first generation Magic Leprechaun Cat.

Now, it is widely known, that leprechauns, though mostly known for their appearance as wizen, little brown men in shoemaker attire, can and do change their form to suit their needs.

And so it was, the MacCool Clan came to see the advantages of appearing to be clever, friendly, eloquent cats, who only chose to live in the lap of luxury. Handsome in appearance, they charmed all the humans they met into providing the best of everything in return for their witty conversations and magical charms.

It came to be, that my Uncle Blarney was on his way to a magical place called Rock Close. A place where nature’s own art exceeds anything man could devise, and wherein lived the MacCarthy Clan of fairies, close relatives of the MacCool Clan, though still in traditional fairy form. He was making the journey from our home in Tara for an important meeting of the minds – fairy minds, that is.

As Uncle Blarney was making his way down some stone steps, known today as the Wishing Steps, he was wishing someone would show up with some lunch, as he was mighty hungry.

Low and behold, there at the bottom of the steps, sitting on a rustic couch of rocks, covered in moss and ivy, was none other than the famous Irish Fianna warrior and hunter, and my very own namesake, Fionn (Finn) Mac Cumhaill (McCool).

Finn was about to partake of a lunch made of what later came to be known as the Salmon of Knowledge. The story goes that there was this hazelnut tree over this pond in which the salmon swam. If the salmon swallowed one of the hazelnuts as it was falling from the tree, and a Druid (an ancient Celtic priest) caught the salmon before he got back into the water, then the first to eat of the flesh of the salmon would acquire great wisdom and knowledge.

Working his usual charm, my Uncle Blarney, convinced Finn to share his lunch. As the luck of the Irish would have it, my Uncle Blarney and Finn tasted the salmon at the same time.

To his surprise, my Uncle Blarney now felt full of wisdom and inspiration. He thanked Finn for the lunch and went about his business.

Soon, my Uncle Blarney came across the likes of the great Irish warrior and King of Munster, Cormac MacCarthy.

MacCarthy was turning an old hunting lodge into one of the most awesome castles in all of Ireland. So entranced with my Uncle Blarney’s newfound wisdom and inspiration was he, that he invited Uncle Blarney to come and live in the new castle and to be his trusted advisor.

MacCarthy Clan members came and went, but Uncle Blarney, being a Magic Leprechaun Cat and being immortal, and all, lived on.

In time, the MacCarthy holdings came to be owed by Dermot MacCarthy. It was his sad fate to have upset the British Queen, Elizabeth the First, who then commanded the Earl of Leicester to take possession of the castle.

Each time the Earl would appear to take possession, Dermot would send Uncle Blarney to negotiate the matter. Having had the gifts of wisdom and inspiration and all the knowledge of the world at his paw tips, Uncle Blarney was always able to employ logical delaying tactics to fend off the threatened taking of the castle.

Good Queen Bess was so irritated by the reports and excuses that she got from the Earl that she cried out, “It’s Blarney, Blarney, all Blarney!”

Eventually the matter was dropped, and the Earl was called back to England.

In gratitude for saving the castle, Dermot MacCarthy renamed the castle for Uncle Blarney. And so, my friends, Blarney Castle was born.

But that’s not the whole of the story, for Dermot was so taken with Uncle Blarney’s “Gift of Gab” that he asked my uncle to kiss the piece of bluestone Cormac MacCarthy received from King Robert the Bruce of Scotland in the year 1314 A.D. at the battle of Bannockburn, so as to pass the gift of Blarney on to generations to come, thus it became the Blarney Stone.

I hasten to say, that though this is a fine tale, indeed, should you be falling for my Blarney, then I am thinking you’ve fallen victim to too much “Green Beer,” as well.

Best you all be wearing of the green, for today I am wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Finn McCool, the Magic Leprechaun Cat – Copyright 2009