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The Salmon of Knowledge

Salmon of Knowledge 01

Picture by Ciara L.

Our class listened to the story of the salmon of knowledge.Heres what it was about.Fionn Mac Cumhail was only a young boy when his father was killed in battle. His mother sent him to be reared by 2 wise women who lived in the woods in the Slieve  Bloom Mountains in county Laois. The wise women taught him how to hunt wild animals in the forest.They also taught him to protect himself with a shield and how to use a spear and sword.They taught him most of the things he needed to know in order to become leader of the  fianna. Fionn grew strong and brave and he was good at many sports. He could run quicker than a hare. He could strike a wild duck with a stone from a sling. However he also needed to know twelve books of poetry by heart. So the wise women  decided to send Fionn to a famous poet called Finnegus to learn poetry. Fionn left his home in the mountains and went to live with Finnegus. The poet lived beside the River Boyne in County Meath.Here Fionn learned much wisdom and was taught many poems and stories. He also learned how to write poems. Finnegus had spent seven years trying to catch the salmon of knowledge in the River Boyne. It was said that the first person to taste this fish would have the gift of knowledge  and would be wiser than any other person. Early 1 morning Finnegus caught a large salmon. It was beautiful and shone like silver.He knew it must be the Salmon of Knowledge.

Salmon of Knowledge 02

Picture by Caoimhe O.

He brought the fish to Fionn and asked him to cook it.Finnegus told Fionn to light a fire and to roast the salmon over it. He warned Fionn not to eat any of the fish because he knew that the first person to taste the magic fish would be given the gift of great knowledge. As the fish was cooking , Fionn noticed a big blister on it’s skin.He burst the blister with his thumb. The fish was very hot and some of it’s skin stuck to Fionn’s thumb. The hot skin burned his thumb.Fionn then put his thumb in his mouth to stop it from hurting. He forgot about  the warning of Finnegus. Fionn brought the salmon to Finnegus when it was fully cooked. When Finnegus looked into Fionn’s eyes he immediately he knew that Fionn had received the gift of wisdom and knowledge from the fish. “You have tasted my Salmon of Knowledge”, said Finnegus, “I can see it in your eyes. I have waited for years to catch this salmon and be the first person to taste it”. “I only put my thumb in my mouth because I burned it and I wanted to take the pain away2, said Fionn. “I am very sorry”. Finnegus was sad but he forgave Fionn because he knew that Fionn had not disobeyed him on purpose. “You now have the gift of knowledge and you will be able to foretell the future every time you put your thumb in your mouth”, he said to Fionn. Fionn was now a wise, brave warrior. Soon afterwards, he left Finnegus and was chosen as leader of the Fianna. We enjoyed this story.

By Leah and Joshua (Rang III)


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