When he was still young the Irish warrior Cuchulain met the maiden
Emer whom he wished to marry but Emer's father Forgall a mighty warrior
in his own right forbade her to wed before her older sister Fial and when
she was to marry she must marry one who has proven himself in battle so
Cuchulain sought to become a student of Skatha who lived in the land of
the shadows which we now know as the Isle of Skye.
Cuchulain had to face many perils in his quest to the land of Skatha
thick forests and empty plains then he came upon the Plain of Misfortune
a thick swamp where he met a young man gave him a wheel and told him to
roll it an follow it as it went.Cuchulain did so and the wheel lit up with
fire and beams of light shot from it's spokes and it blazed a trail for
him to follow out of the swamp.Cuchulain then had to battle the beasts
of the Perilous Glen and after defeating them he came upon the Bridge of
the Leaps beyond which was Skatha.Here at this bridge he came across many
Irishmen who also sought to learn from Skatha Cuchulain recognized two
of them Ferdia and Daman.He asked Ferdia how the bridge might be crossed
but Ferdia replied that only Skatha knew for this was no ordinary bridge
it was very high and at it's bottom there was a boiling sea filled with
horrid sea creatures and if you attempted to cross the bridge it would
rise up to throw you off, the bridge was also very thin so Cuchulain rested
a bit to gather his strength.
After feeling himself ready Cuchulain set out to cross the bridge
and after three tries leapt to the center then before the bridge could
rise again he leapt to the end and made it across to the door of Skatha's
fortress.Skatha was impressed and took Cuchulain as her pupil and taught
him the art of war and the use of the Gae Bolg a weapon thrown from the
foot that would kill by inserting barbs all across a man's body.Cuchulain
stayed with Skatha as did Ferdia Cuchulain's best and truest friend.
Now there came a time when Skatha had to engage in war with the
people of the Princess Aifa who was Skatha's rival in combat.Skatha wanted
to keep Cuchulain away from the battle so she mixed a herb that would cause
him to sleep for one full day yet it only worked for one hour Cuchulain
grabbed his weapons and rode out to do battle against the forces of Aifa
until the time came when Aifa announced she wished to face Skatha in mortal
combat.Cuchulain instead asked to face her and Skatha reluctantly agreed
so it was that Cuchulain asked Skatha what Aifa valued most and Skatha
told him that Aifa valued her Chariot,horses and charioteer above all else.
Cuchulain and Aifa fought to a stand still until Aifa shattered
Cuchulain's sword to the hilt and as she was about to deliver the final
blow to him Cuchulain called out "Aye,look Aifa's chariot and horses have
fallen into the glen.".Aifa turned around to look and Cuchulain disarmed
her and threw her over his shoulder carrying her to Skatha.Cuchulain set
Aifa before Skatha and demanded she make eternal peace with Skatha or he
would cut her throat.Aifa agreed and soon she became friends with Cuchulain
and even later the two became lovers for he was the only man to have beaten
her in combat.
This is but one of the many tales of Cuchulain to find out more
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