Joe Moore's Story of Finn Maccooilley and the Buggane

by 19th May 2022

Finn MacCooilley was an Irish giant, and the Buggane was a Manx giant.

Finn came across from the Mountains of Mourne to see what was the Isle of Mann like, for he was seeing land. He liked the island  so he stopped in it, living out Cregneash way.

The Buggane was hearing great talk about the giant Finn MacCooilley that was in the Sound, so he came down from the top of Barrule to put a sight on him. Finn knew that he was coming to have a fight with him, to see who was best man, and Finn did not want to fight. "Lave him to me,' says the wife; 'an' I'll put the augh-augh on him!"

Before long they caught sight of the Buggane, and he was a walking terror. He was coming from Barrule to them, in a mighty pursue.

"Slip in the criddle, Finn," says she. "It's me that'll spake to him."

Up comes the Buggane to the door, hot-foot.

"Where's Himself?" says he.

"This man is gone from home this bit," says she. "What is it you are wantin' with him?"

"Aw, there is no hurry on me. I'll put my fut inside and wait till he comes back," says he.

"Plaze yourself," says she, "an' you'll plaze me; but I must get on with my bakin."

"Who have you got in the criddle? says he.

"That's our baby," says she.

"An' in the name of the Unknown Powers, what sort of a man is he Himself if his baby is that big?"

"He's very big an' powerful," says she. "An' the child is favourin' the father."

She was baking barley bread, and when the baking was done at her, she took the griddle and put it between two cakes of bread, and gave it to the Buggane to eat, with a quart of buttermilk. He went to try and eat, and he couldn'.

"Aw, man-alive! But this is the hard bread," says he. "What sort have you given me at all, at all?"

"That 's the sort I m giving Finn," says she.

"An' will Finn's teeth go through this?

"Aw, yes, Finn thought nothing at all of 'atin' that - that 's the sort of bread he was wantin'," says Thrinn.

Finn got up out of the cradle, and began to roar for a piece. She fetched him a clout on the lug.

"Stop your noisin'," says she. "An' stand straight and don't be puttin' the drone on yer back like that" And givin' him a buttercake, she says:

"Ate, ate, lash into ye, an' let's have no lavins."

"You'll have the chile's teeth broke in his head, woman. He can naver ate bread as hard as that!" says the Buggane.

"Aw, he can do that with life," says she.

But that done the Buggane; he sleeched out and claned away again. He thought if Finn was that strong and the baby that big, he had best catch home again.

But it was not long until the Buggane and Finn did meet, and then they had the battle! One day Finn met the Buggane over at Kirk Christ Rushen, and they went at each other early in the day till the sunset. Finn had one foot in the Big Sound, an' so he made the Channel between the Calf and Kitteriand, and the other in the Little Sound, an' so he made the narrow Channel between Kitterland and the islan'.

The Buggane was standin' at Port Erin. He came off victorious and slashed Finn awful, so he had to run to Ireland. Finn could walk on the sea, but the Buggane couldn' .. and when Finn got off and he couldn' get more revenge on him, he tore out a tooth and hove it whizzing through the air after Finn.

It hit him on the back of the head, and then it fell into the sea and became what we are now calling the Chickens' Rock. Finn turned round with a roar and a mighty curse:

"My seven swearings of a curse on it! says he. "Let it lie there for a vexation to the sons of men while water runs and grass grows I"

And a vexation and a curse has it been to seamen from that day to this.

Source:  Sophia Morrison - Manx Fairy Tales, London 1911



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Posted by Yabsta
19th May 2022 10:08 pm.
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