An ancient Irish Legend.

Long ago there was a famous salmon. Its skin shone like silver. The fish was called the Salmon of Knowledge.

An ancient poet Finnegas said that the first person to taste it would see into the future.
Many people came to the River Boyne (Co.Meath) hoping that they would catch the salmon but all of them failed. One by one they would return to their homes sadly.
The old poet lived in a hut by the river bank. Each day he fished for the salmon of knowledge. He hoped he would be the first to taste it and to have the great powers. One day a fair haired boy came running towards him. "Who are you?" asked Finnegas, "why are you running?".
My name is Fionn Mac Cool said the boy. "My father has been killed in battle, now his enemies want to kill me too".
"Do not be afraid", said Finnegas kindly. "Stay with me and I will look after you".
Fionn lived happily with Finnegas, by day he cleaned the hut and cooked the meals at night. He loved to listen to the old man telling wonderful stories. One day Finnegas went out fishing as usual. After a short time he came rushing to the door of the hut. In his hands he carried a huge fish. "I have caught the Salmon of Knowledge," he cried happily.
"Now I will have great knowledge". Quickly Fionn lit a fire and soon the salmon was cooking. "Look after the fish, while I get some more firewood," ordered Finnegas, "but you are not to taste it", he warned Fionn.

Fionn sat watching the salmon cooking over the fire. He remembered the story of its wonderful powers.
He turned the fish over then he noticed a blister on the fish's skin rising slowly so he pressed it and he burnt his thumb. Without thinking, he put the thumb in his mouth.
Fionn had tasted the salmon of the knowledge. When Finnegas came back, he knew that Fionn had the power of the salmon, and he was very sad. "You will now be able to see into the future, you must now go and become leader of the Fianna," said Finnegas to Fionn.
And off he went to become Ireland's greatest legend.

Adapted from interpretation by Amy Killeney 3rd Class, Scoil Mhuire, Dublin, Ireland.

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