The Storyteller And The Gypsy King
The Storyteller And The Gypsy King
by Paul McCann
Sean McKay was a gifted story teller and it was said people who heard him fell into a trance with the stories he told . Sean was able to transport his audience into another world with strange creatures in unseen places in lands of mystic and wonder .
Sean had no home of his own and roamed alone from place to place .
With no fixed abode and no family ties he was free to travel when and where ever he liked , on the road bringing his stories and songs to those he met on his journey.
Most of the time Sean was able to get shelter in the towns he came to but if for some reason he couldn’t Sean would sleep with the moon in a field or in a cave on the side of a mountain or in a back of a barn or in a farm shed because Sean McKay was a man you don’t meet every day and could always make his way through the struggles of life . He had a gift that was given to him, and he chose to share that gift with as many people as he could and devoted his life to that cause .
One cold winters day Sean made his way through the Oisin woods to the Castle of Caravan where Conor the Gypsy King lived with all his family .
Uninvited as he always was Sean had decided to pay a visit to King Conor .
He came out of the woods and walked in the twilight of the evening leaving his footprints behind him in the snow . The road to Castle was an upward journey along a winding road with no shelter from the winter wind . As Sean arrives at the Castle Gate , the guard on duty approached and asked
“What’s your business here at this time of the day ?
Sean spoke in a soft tone ,
“Before I can tell you that let me bring you to a place where the mists of time fall around and the sounds of enchantment ring through your ears with lullabies to sent you off a ship of dreams in sea far beyond the sky .”
With those words said the guard fell unconscious to the ground in a deep sleep .
Sean went inside the Castle’s walls and wandered around until he found the Gypsy King inside the great hall with many guests in attendance .
As Sean approached King Conor burst out with a loud voice ,
“Who on earth do you think you are to come walking into the hall of the King ?
Instantly Sean went over and whispered into his ear with a language never heard before . Sean was speaking to the spirit of the King and after Sean had finished talking, King Conor laughed and clapped both his hands in the air and then returned to his throne and sat down .
The Storyteller then thanked the audience for and began to share a story .
At the end of winter , the snow disappeared from the fields and ice had melted away from the rivers and streams and springtime flowers were being gathered by unmarried women to present to their favoured men folk .
As was the custom of that time upon the Hill of Tara a new High King was crowned but as soon as he sat on the throne a strange purple mist surrounded him .
Sean stopped for a moment and pointed his finger to King Conor where everyone saw a purple mist surround him . The audience gasped .
Someone in the crowd in the great hall shouted out ,
“Kill him he is a wizard from the dark side “
Sean spoke directly the Celtic warrior there .
“Well, it’s nice to meet you Ronan , Do you remember Nona, your Wolfhound .
When you were young both of you would go chasing off wolves ?”
“Yes, but how did you know that ”
Ronan replied .
“Do you remember the day you fell into a deep pothole on the mountain.”
“I remember it well storyteller ”
They both laughed and Sean continued ,
“That great Wolfhound of yours went to get help from the village and they managed to pull you out of the pothole where you had been stuck for two days .“
“How do you know all that ?”
The man asked Sean who said ,
I know things because I see them through your eyes . I have a gift to interpret the past , present and future . That is why I have come to share this gift with you all , not to harm you in anyway , Now let me continue .
The Storyteller reassured everyone not to fear and to enjoy the rest of his story and he continued .
Now where was I oh yes , a purple mist had come down around the throne on the Hill of Tara . Suddenly there was a rumble of thunder in the sky and the wind howled and then around the hill the purple mist had disappeared and when it was clear the King had also disappeared . No one knew what had happened but a few of the Clansmen went to collect some twigs and branches and lit a to ward off any dark force that might have been around ‘.
The Storyteller pointed to the Throne where King Conor was and suddenly there was a clap of thunder all around the great hall and the purple mist disappeared and to everyone’s shock King Conor was gone .
All around the great hall some of the guests shouted out
“The King is gone. “
Sean went and lifted one of the butter lamps and gathered some kindling from the fireplace and went to the middle of the great hall and started a fire . The flames leapt
Into the air and out of the shadows a dark figure emerged and started screaming at the Storyteller .
“We don’t want you here storyteller . So, move on somewhere else .“
There was a rage in his eyes and anger in his voice .
The Storyteller replied ,
“You are the reason I have come.”
Sean lifted the dark hood of the intruder to reveal one of King Conor’s biggest enemies , King Macruel from the Cragged Valley beyond the Dark Forest .
“The reason why he has come good people of Conors Hill is to kill King Conor because with Conor dead he would be the next in line to be crowned the High King of all Ireland .
The dark intruder produced a knife from a pouch in his belt and rushed towards the Storyteller but his advance was brought to a quick end as he was brought to the ground by a two of the warriors in the great hall .They tied up his hands and feet like they would with swine .
The sound of a strong wind howled outside and suddenly the huge oak doors of the great hall opened then in walked King Conor as if nothing had happened .
The sound of cheering and applause filled the great hall .
After everyone greeted him the King was told what had happened and how the storyteller had saved the King from being killed . The Gypsy king was very grateful to have the Storyteller present among them .
Then he asked Sean how he would like to see the dark intruder killed ., Burnt over hot coals , drowned in the pool of eels , hung drawn and quartered or fed to the hungry Wolfhounds .
Sean asked the King for a favour
“There is ship up North they call The Foyles Swan . The Captain is known as Brendan and in a month they are setting off for the Island Of Women . I would like this you to take King Macruel to that ship and put him on board that ship .
The Gypsy King seemed intrigued and asked what good would it do putting his enemy on board this ship .The Storyteller explained ,
The voyage to the Island of Women is one that will never end as the Islanmd Of Women in a place between two world where no mortal man had ever set foot .
In other words you will never see your enemy ever again . He will be doomed to sail the seven seas for an eternity .
Everyone in the Great Hall screamed for joy and so King Conor accepted this as a better way to deal with his biggest enemy .
With that the Storyteller said his farewell and returned back on the road to the next place he was to go .