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Irish Mythology

The Tuatha de Danaan

pre-12th century—present. Old Irish | Modern Irish, folklore.

Golden apples on trees in the Gardens in the East of the World will heal any wound and cure any sickness.

Lugh of the Long Hand has imposed upon the three sons of Tuireann a list of tasks that will inevitably lead to their deaths. One of these tasks is to recover for him three apples from the Gardens in the East of the World. These golden apples are the size of melons and will heal any wound and cure any sickness.

With the aid of the god Manannan's magical boat, the sons of Tuireann arrive at the Gardens in the East of the World and ponder how to seize the apples. Waving a Druid rod, they turn themselves into hawks and fly high above the guards that are watching over the orchard. And when all the spears have been cast at them and there are none left to throw, they swoop down and each takes an apple up in his beak.

The daughters of the king who rules over these gardens turn themselves into ospreys and fly in pursuit. The sons of Tuireann turn themselves into swans and the ospreys are forced to give up the pursuit.

And in this way the apples are brought safely back to Manannan’s boat, and thence to Ireland and to the Tuatha de Danaan, who ruled there at this time.

Story fragment recounted from: Gregory, Lady A., 1904. Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, Arranged and put into English by Lady Gregory. John Murray, London. Reprinted, 1998. Irish Myths and Legends. Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, USA. Part One: The Gods. Book II: Lugh of the Long Hand. Chapter 2: The Sons of Tuireann, pp 45–67.

See for yourself

Tuatha de Danaan - Wikipedia

Fionn mac Cumhaill - Wikipedia

Gods and Fighting Men – ancient tales of Ireland put into English by Lady Augusta Gregory. 1904. Project Gutenberg.

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