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",
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
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
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.