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Main > Irish folktales > Fairy tale "The Golden Spears"

The Golden Spears

They looked at each other for a moment in surprise, and then Connla said:

“Oh, Nora, how tall and beautiful you are!”

“Oh, not so tall and handsome as you are, Connla,” said Nora, as she flung her white arms round his neck and kissed her brother’s lips.

Then they drew back to get a better look of each other, and who should step between them but the fairy queen.

“Oh, Nora, Nora,” said she, “I am not as high as your knee, and as for you, Connla, you look as straight and as tall as one of the round towers of Erin.”

“And how did we grow so tall in one night?” said Connla.

“In one night!” said the fairy queen. “One night, indeed! Why, you have been fast asleep, the two of you, for the last seven years!”

“And where was the little mother all that time?” said Connla and Nora together.

“Oh, the little mother was all right. She knew where you were; but she is expecting you to-day, and so you must go off to see her, although I would like to keep you––if I had my way––all to myself here in the fairyland under the sea. And you will see her to-day; but before you go here is a necklace for you, Nora; it is formed out of the drops of the ocean spray, sparkling in the sunshine. They were caught by my fairy nymph, for you, as they skimmed the sunlit billows under the shape of sea-birds, and no queen or princess in the world can match their lustre with the diamonds won with toil from the caves of earth. As for you, Connla, see here’s a helmet of shining gold fit for a king of Erin––and a king of Erin you will be yet; and here’s a spear that will pierce any shield, and here’s a shield that no spear can pierce and no sword can cleave as long as you fasten your warrior cloak with this brooch of gold.”

And as she spoke she flung round Connla’s shoulders a flowing mantle of yellow silk, and pinned it at his neck with a red gold brooch.

“And now, my children, you must go away from me. You, Nora, will be a warrior’s bride in Erin of the Streams. And you, Connla, will be king yet over the loveliest province in all the land of Erin; but you will have to fight for your crown, and days of battle are before you.

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