1. Read this Celtic legend about the life of a boy called Setanta and how he became a man called Cú Culeinn. You must read through the story once without stopping. Enjoy the reading!

Why do this?
    To read for pleasure.
    To get a general idea of the story plot.

Seven-year-____1____ Setanta was determined to become a member of the famous Red Branch Knights of Ulster. His father, the King of Dundalk, had told him about the special school in Armagh, called the Macra, for the young boys who would one day join the ____2____ warriors.

Setanta pleaded with his parents to let him go there but they ____3____.

"You are much too young Setanta. Wait a little longer and then we will ____4____ you to go", they said.

Setanta decided he could not wait any longer and so one day he set off for Armagh. It was a ___5____ journey but Setanta had his hurley and sliotar to play with. He hit the sliotar far ahead and ran forward to catch it on his hurley stick before it hit the ground.

When Setanta ____6____ the castle of King Connor at Armagh he found the hundred and fifty boys of the Macra gathered on the great plain in front of the castle. Some of them were playing hurling and as this was his ____7_____ game he hurried over to join in.

Almost immediately he scored a brilliant goal.

The other boys were furious that this young boy had joined their game uninvited and they _____8____ him. Setanta fought bravely. The noise disturbed the king who was playing chess. He sent a servant outside to see what was happening. Setanta was brought before the king.

"I am Setanta, son of the King of Dundalk, your brother. I have come all this way to join the Macra because I want to become one of the Red Branch Knights _____9_____ I am old enough."

The king liked Setanta´s brave words and welcomed him to the Macra.

Time passed quickly for Setanta. He loved his new _____10____ at the Macra.

One day, Culann, the blacksmith who made spears and swords for Connor invited the king, his knights and Setanta to a feast. When it was time to set off for the feast, Setanta was playing a game of hurling. He told the king that he would follow as soon as the game was finished. The feast ____11_____ and Connor forgot to mention that Setanta would be joining the party later. Thinking all his guests had arrived, the blacksmith unchained his wolfhound which guarded his house each night.

As soon as the game was over Setanta set out. When he arrived at Culann's house he heard the deep growls of the wolfhound. Suddenly the hound leapt forward out of the dark to attack. Setanta saw the sharp teeth barred. With all his strength Setanta hurled his sliotar down the hound's throat. Then he caught the animal by its hind legs and dashed it against a ____12____. With a loud groan the wolfhound fell down, dead.

Inside, the feast party had heard the dog growling. "My nephew Setanta", Connor cried. "I forgot about ____13____."
He and the Red Branch Knights rushed out expecting to find the young boy torn to pieces.

Connor was amazed and _____14____ to find his nephew alive and he was proud of his great strength.

Culann was relieved that the boy was safe but he was sad that he had lost the _____15_____ he loved which had faithfully guarded his house every night.

"Let me take the place of your hound until I have trained one of its puppies" said Setanta. Culann agreed. From that day on Setanta was called Cú Chulainn which means the hound of Culainn.


Acknowledgement: -An Irish legend for children- retold by Yvonne Carrol.



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