A kern (mercenary soldier) and his horseboy stole a sheep and a cow,
slaughtered the sheep and cooked it, so it was fresh. The cat clearly is
demanding to be given the meat. The storyteller probably doesn't know Irish
and is roughly quoting. The kern gives her the sheep a quarter at a time,
then when the cow is three-quarters consumed by the cat, the kern and the
boy are scared she will eat them and leave on a horse. The cat follows them,
kills and eats the boy, and the kern barely escapes with his life. But when
he tells his wife at home what happened, the household kitten says, "Hast
thou killed Grimmalkin?" And kills the kern. Grimmalkin seems to be the
queen of cats.
This Irish tale is told to confirm the veracity of an event said to have
occurred in Staffordshire. A man meets a cat in the woods who tells him to
tell his household cat that Grimmalkin is dead. Hearing the news, the cat
leaves the house never to return. In similar tales, the cat says, "That
means I'm now the king of the cats," and leaves.
The book is Beware the Cat, first published in London in 1570, then later
editions (online), and is believed to be the first publication of this
widely known international folk tale.
"Sin feoil" - that's meat. That fits, since the cat is menacing enough that
a hint would be as effective as a command.
From: Brenda Ni Shuilleabhain
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2018 9:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SEANCHAS-L] "Irish" phrase
Or maybe "Sin feoil" - that's meat??
Beir bua agus beannacht
Brenda Ní Shúilleabháin
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Tá an ríomhphost seo agus aon iatán a ghabhann leis rúnda agus is leis an
duine sin amháin a bhfuil siad seolta chuige/chuici a bhaineann siad. Muna
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páirtí. Iarrtar ort teachtaireacht a sheoladh chuig an seoltóir , agus an
ríomhphost seo a scrios.
On 14 January 2018 at 21:22, Eoin C Bairéad <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Feoil is feminine, so "it's the meat" would be sí an fheoil - "sheen yole"
> Shane - séan???
> Refuse meat???
> On 14 January 2018 at 21:06, Richard Marsh <[log in to unmask]>
> > In a story published in the 16th century, someone comes to a man who is
> > cooking meat "and said in Irish, Shane foel, which is give me some
> > meat."
> > "Foel" is presumably "feoil" -- meat -- but what could be the Irish of
> > "shane"? All I can think of is "Is é an feoil," meaning "It's the meat
> > (that I want)."
> > Richard Marsh
> > Dublin
> > ---
> > This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> > https://www.avast.com/antivirus
> Eoin C. Bairéad
> Dublin, Ireland
> Áth Cliath, Éire