Murchag A’s Mionachag

Today's classic tale was from Popular Tales of the Western Highlands, a collection of Scottish folklore collected by JF Campbell through many years of oral history research, and published in 1890.

Moorachug and Meenachug went to gather fruit, and as Moorachug would gather Meenachug would eat. Moorachug went to seek a rod to lay on Meenachug, and she eating his share of fruit.

"What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" said the rod. " 'Tis my own news, that I am seeking a rod to lay on Meenachug, and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me until thou gettest an axe that will reap me." He reached the axe. "What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" " 'Tis my own news that I am seeking an axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachug and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me until thou gettest a stone to smooth me." He reached a stone; "What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" said the stone. " 'Tis my own news that I am seeking stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me," said the stone, "till thou gettest water will wet me." He reached the water. "What's thy news to day, oh Voorachai?" said the water. " 'Tis my own news that I am seeking - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me," said the water, "till thou gettest a deer to swim me." He reached the deer. "What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" said the deer. `Tis my own news, that I am seeking - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me," said the deer, "until thou gettest a dog to run me." He reached the dog. "What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" said the dog. " 'Tis my own news that I am seeking dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig  and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me," said the dog, "till thou gettest butter to be rubbed to my feet." He reached the butter. "What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" said the butter. " 'Tis my own news, that I am seeking butter to feet of dog - dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me," said the butter, "till thou gettest a mouse will scrape me." He reached the mouse. "What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" said the mouse. " 'Tis my own news, that I am seeking mouse to scrape butter - butter to feet of dog - dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me," said the mouse, "till thou gettest a cat to hunt me." He reached the cat. "What's thy news to-day, oh Voorachai?" said the cat. " 'Tis my own news, that I am seeking cat to hunt mouse - mouse to scrape butter - butter to feet of dog - dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig  and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get me," said the cat, "until thou gettest milk for me." He reached the cow. "What's thy news to-day, oh! Voorachai?" said the cow. " 'Tis my own news, that I am seeking milk for the cat - cat to hunt mouse - mouse to scrape butter - butter to feet of dog  - dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get milk from me till thou gettest a whisp from the barn gillie." He reached the barn gillie. "What's thy news to-day, oh, Voorachai?" said the barn gillie. " 'Tis my own news that I am seeking a whisp for the cow - a cow will shed milk for the cat  - cat to hunt mouse - mouse to scrape butter - butter to feet of dog - dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaigand she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get a whisp from me," said the barn gillie, "till thou gettest a bonnach for me from the kneading wife." He reached the kneading wife. "What's thy news to-day, oh, Voorachai!" said the kneading wife. "Tis my own news, that I am seeking – bonnach to the barn gillie - whisp to the cow from the barn gillie - milk from the cow to the cat - cat will hunt mouse - mouse will scrape butter - butter to feet of dog - dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig  and she eating my share of fruit."

"Thou wilt not get bonnach from me till thou bringest in water will knead it."

"How will I bring in the water? There is no vessel but that sowen's sieve."

Moorachug took with him the sowen's sieve. He reached the water, and every drop he would put in the sowen's sieve it would go through. A hoodie came over his head, and she cried, "Gawr rag, gawr rag, little silly, little silly." "Thou art right, oh hoodie," said Moorachug. "Crèah rooah s' còinneach, crèah rooah s' còinneach," said the hoodie.

Moorachug set crèah rooah s' còinneach, brown clay and moss to it, and he brought in the water to the kneading wife  - and he got bonnach from the kneading wife to barn gillie -  whisp from the barn gillie to the cow - milk from the cow to the cat - cat to hunt mouse -  mouse to scrape butter - butter to feet of dog - dog to run deer - deer to swim water - water to stone - stone to smooth axe - axe to reap rod - rod to lay on Meenachaig and she eating his share of fruit. And when Moorachug returned Meenachag had just BURST.

From Ann Darroch, James Wilson, Hector MacLean, Islay, and many others in other parts of the Highlands. This is the best known of all Gaelic tales. It is the infant ladder to learning a chain of cause and effect, and fully as sensible as any of its kind. It used to be commonly taught to children of five or six years of age, and repeated by school boys, and it is still remembered by grown up people in all parts of the Highlands. 


Would you like a FREE collection of classic fairytales to keep?

Download your FREE copy of Once Upon A Time, a collection of fairytales, folktales and legends from all over the world, from Ancient Rome to the present day. Be warned: these are the original tales, before they were censored to be suitable for children. 
Tagged with: , , , , ,