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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Children's Story for Lughnasadh

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
"Grandfather, Grandfather, you promised to tell us the story of the First Harvest. Will you tell us now?" asked the little girl as she tugged on his pant leg. The Grandfather with his feet propped before the fire, opened one eye and looked down for a long moment at his granddaughter. Then he smiled and opened his other eye and looked around at the other children gathered around him. All sitting in a circle.
"Of course, I will tell you the story. But I must warn you that this story is not a completely happy one like the others. Are you sure you want me to start?" When he saw nods all around, he nodded himself and with a breath he began.
"Now if you remember in the last story the Gods had went on a holiday after they were married. Joined together in love they felt as if nothing could happen to them. Well at least the God did for the Goddess, Mother of us All, knew something that no one else knew.
"So in sadness she in came to her husband and told him her secret. 'My Love I carry within me a child. The child will be your doom for he comes to rule over the autumn and the winter that is coming upon us. There is nothing that you can do. I just felt that I must warn you.
"'As the Grain rises so do you rise. And as the Grain is cut and falls so do you fall and go to Summerland. For such was the nature of the magick that we worked in the Spring.'

"The God then smiled and told his love that then they must enjoy the bounty that, while they could, had come to them so far. They would gather together and feast and play at games of skill.
So they gathered people for days walk in each direction. And called the faeries from their hidden homes. And the games were played in honor of Tailte the aspect of the Goddess that governed fertility. For that is what they were celebrating with these games.
"They played and challenged each other to increasingly more difficult tests of skill for two weeks. While the Perseid meteor showers played in the sky above them. But when the first of August came upon them the Goddess entered into birth.
"The birth was difficult, for you see the Holly King was coming and he was nearly completely formed and grown. But finally as the dusk fell the Holly King came forth armored and ready to rule his half of the year. For He had been told this after his death at Yule, by the Goddess herself.
Unwilling to fight the Oak King smiled and bowed his head in defeat and laid down his sword and walked away into the dark.
"Then the Holly King turned to his mother and weeped for he saw that he had aged her. Her hair was now streaked with white and her beauty was now regal and more mature. He called for attendants to take care of Her and find a place for her to rest. And he went to what was now his throne and sat with his drinking horn and though about how to make amends for how much hurt he had already brought to the Earth.
"So you see children this why we have the Tailtean games at this Sabbat. Of course we only have one day, for who can last as long as the Gods and the faeries.
"Now, hey you there little one, don't cry. Why? Well don't you remember the story of Yule when the Oak King comes back to take his turn to banish the Holly King back into Summerland?
"See now that is better, no tears because with the God's sacrifice we have grain to eat and all the bounty of the Earth.
"Now go play dear little children and let me rest from all this storytelling"
And as the children ran off to think and, some, to give thanks for what they had received, the Grandfather returned to his nap, with his feet propped up and his hands folded in his lap.

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