Caillína: Süleyman of the Fáelána Clan

Celtic1Caillína sat erect and strong upon judgement seat to right the wrong of two women amid throng of peoples waiting to be heard, to receive word of adjudication from their príomh-aoire, their chief-shepherdess, to relieve their distress. Thankfully not all fell upon Caillína, as Fáelána and Suíbhnæ, both just and still quite robust, were very astute and muted many disputes before they could pollute the Clan of Fáelána (so called in her honor as the mháthair-fireanna — mother-father — of the people.)

“The weaned child rightly belongs to me, for see: Here is my husband,” she pointed to a clean man standing tall to be seen by all. “He is father of this babe; why prolong, then, what is wrong? I beg of you, Aoire Caillína, restore this daughter to father, and to this woman who would be her mother!”

“No!” shrieked the other woman, bleek and weak, shaking at having to speak before Caillína and throng of kindred clansmen. “She has been at my breast since birth and is little more than an adorable little wren even now… No, my most honorable aoire; I am the hen, so then, do not send away my precious chick!” Her speech was thick with passion, while the other woman only kicked at a pebble, huffed and rolled her eyes … which Caillína most certainly spied.

The real mother, with such moving appeal, was meek and her situation obviously bleak. She was homely, yet lovely as well, and now she could only seek justice and mercy from Caillína. “Mother of such tame child, what is your name?” Trembling and struggling, she answered, “Gácuidiú, my Aoire Caillína.”

“And what is your claim to fame?” Caillína insultingly asked through bared teeth as she glared at the other woman. “What is your name?”

“Olcana, most just Caillína,” she slightly bowed, making pretense of reverence. “And beware, Gácuidiú cannot properly care for such mild child, but is only the devil’s snare for its very life. Why did the father bother with her as long as he did? I do not know; perhaps for show of mercy. Ah! Gácuidiú does not deserve to be preserved any longer! She has no verve; her face shows her disgrace, and she has no place to call her own. Gácuidiú wastes the space of distant kin with kind hearts, but for their part she is an extra expense and an offense to their good name!”

Anger stirred in Caillína and burned in her soul like red-hot bowl of fiery coal. “No charge has been brought against this mother! Justice is not being sought for crime committed!” Olcana looked stunned. “And do you dare to stare at me as I speak? Lower your eyes or I’ll pry them from their sockets!” Olcana did as she was told, barely able to hold herself up now, and certainly no longer bold! “Gácuidiú may have been cut off by her husband — wretched man — and he may be accustomed to receiving what he wants, even believing he deserves so to be served; however, Gácuidiú has not been severed from the Chlann-mór, and we do not desert our own, no matter how sore the situation! From all I’ve heard, castration seems an appropriate punishment for all the frustration you’ve caused this poor woman in your senseless litigation! Ah! I’d force you to make way for the rest of your days with this unmanned man, and what measure of pleasure would you then enjoy?”

Blooming_FlowerCaillína look round the room at fear-bound clansmen; not even soft sound could be heard. “I think you are so full of venom and hate that you’d rather me use the lever of justice to sever the babe in half, thus taking something with you, though dead, and all to leave nothing to Gácuidiú…”

“No!” Gácuidiú screamed and seemed about to faint, and Caillína looked at her without restraint of love and compassion in graceful fashion, and was suddenly filled with both admiration and titillation quickly rising to heat of exhilaration. Gácuidiú was not so weak and mild where her child was concerned, as Caillína could see she would fight with all her might, though oh-so slight, for the little life she held in her arms to protect from all harm. And Gácuidiú was, indeed, fair and lovely, even comely despite ashen, tear-streaked face that might otherwise be quite a bright delight.

“Have no fear, my dear,” Caillína gently intoned, intently looking into her eyes. “Your husband chose to live his life with another wife, and now I believe his life will be rife with pain, not gain.” Most assuredly the man looked worriedly around the room for some bloom of kind pity to lift his gloom. Olcana merely fumed at her doom, knowing no life would ever issue from her own womb. “But you, angelic girl and mother so true, will again have a home of your own, and we’ll not postpone. You and your dear child will come to live with us here, and so near to our hearts you will be part of Aontas den Anam — unity of our souls in one family — and Fáelána and Suíbhnæ will love you and your child as their own offspring, and weave and sing you both into another, completely other, better life you have never known.” Caillína smiled full-blown. “Only wait; you’ll be shown, and so far as Dyēus gives us strength and Sélená her blessings, you’ll never groan again.”


Aontas den Anam — Union of Souls

Chlannmór — Large Family (or Clan)

Dyēus — Deus; God

Fáelána and Suíbhnæ  — Mother-Father (Mháthair-Fireanna) and Mother of Caillína

Olcana — Alt. Sp. in Nom. Form Meaning “Wicked”

Príomh-aoire — Lit. Main Shepherd

Sélená — Goddess of Light, Moon; One of the Tri-Mater


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