Cud, Cad and Micad, Three Sons of the King of Urhu
THERE was a king once in Urhu, and he
had three sons. The eldest was three, the
second two, the youngest one year old. Their
names were Cud, Cad, and Micad. The three
brothers were playing one day near the castle,
which was hard by the seashore; and Cud ran in
to his father, and said,
I hope you will give me what I ask.
Anything you ask that I can give you will get, said the father.
'Tis all I ask, said Cud, that you will give me and my brothers one of your ships to sail in till evening.
I will give you that and welcome, but I think you and they are too weak to go on a ship.
Let us be as we are; we '11 never go younger, said Cud.
The king gave the ship. Cud hurried out, and, catching Cad and Micad, one under each of his arms, went with one spring to the best ship in the roadstead. They raised the sails then, and the three brothers did as good work as the best and largest crew. They left the harbor with the fairest wind a ship ever had. The wind blew in a way that not a cable was left without stretching, an oar without breaking, nor a helm without cracking with all the speed the ship had. The water rose in three terrible ridges, so that the rough gravel of the bottom was brought to the top, and the froth of the top was driven down to the bottom of the sea. The sight of the kingdom of the world soon sank from the eyes of the brothers ; and when they saw nothing but blue sea around them, a calm fell on the water.
Cud was going back and forth on the deck, sorry for what was done ; and a good right he had to be sorry, but he was not sorry long. He saw a small currachan (boat) a mile away, and went with one spring from his ship to the currachan. The finest woman in the world was sleeping in the bottom of the boat. He put a finger under her girdle, and went back with a spring to the ship. When he touched his own deck, she woke.
I put you under bonds and the misfortune of the world, cried she, to leave me where you saw me first, and to be going ever and always till you find me again.
What name am I to call you when I go in search of you ?
The Cat of Fermalye, or the Swan of Endless Tales, said the woman.
He took her with one spring to the little boat, and with another spring went back to his own ship. Whatever good wind they had coming, they had it twice better going home. In the evening the ship was anchored among the others again. The brothers went ashore in a boat. When Cud came in, his father put out a chair for him, and gave him great welcome. Cud sat down; but as he did, he broke three rungs in the chair, two ribs in himself, and a rafter in the roof of the castle.
You were put under bonds to-day, said the father.
I was, said Cud.