|Wouldn't you buy an ale if this were tied to the bottle?|
Brigid the Goddess invented keening -- a shrill lamentation that was so essential to Irish funerals that women were hired as professional keeners. Of course, the goddess had a reason to wail in grief -- an intra-family war resulted in her eldest son's death. But the Church did not like this ancient grieving practice; successive synods (councils of bishops) in 1641, 1748, and 1800 suppressed the practice.
|Saint Brigit's well in Kildare.|
Brigid heard about a woodcutter who was condemned to death by the king for having killed the king's pet wolf. Brigid jumped into her carriage, rushing to the king to plead for the hapless woodcutter's life. As she drove, a wolf leapt onto the carriage and settled at her feet. (She was good with animals.) She walked into the king's court, wolf at her heels, and pleaded for the condemned man's life, offering the newly tamed wolf as a substitute for the dead one. The king consented.
Another time, the cattle herd in her monastery was rustled. Cattle rustling is in fact a time-honored Celtic tradition, but it would be costly, maybe fatal, to a monastery. As the thieves drove the cattle away, a river rose and crested its banks. Arriving there, the thieves stripped their clothes off and tied them to the cows' horns before attempting to drive the beasts across the flooded river. As soon as the cows began moving, they turned and stampeded back to the monastery. The thieves chased them all the way back, arriving exhausted and naked, humbly begging Saint Brigit to give their clothes back.