Scéal na gCat

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  • Teideal (Title): Scéal na gCat.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): none.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): Irish.
  • Catagóir (Category): story.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Michael Tom Mac Con Iomaire.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Seán Ó Guairim.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 2001.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Coillín, Carna, County Galway, Ireland.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Two brothers live in the same village – one of them is very rich, the other very poor. Despite his riches, the wealthy brother envies his poor brother the lovely family that he has, and one day he attacks his brother, blinds him, and drops him down a deep hole next to a well to die.

As the poor brother lies in the well, he overhears a convention of cats. The King of Cats instructs the others to tell what they have seen in the past year. When one of the stories reveals that the well he is lying next to can cure any illness, he rubs some of the water on his eyes and is cured. Then – in accordance with what the cats’ conversation has revealed – he takes a bottle of water from the well to the palace of the king, whose daughter is very ill. When the daughter is duly cured, the king offers the poor brother his daughter’s hand, but the brother tells him that, as he has a wife already, some money would come in handy.

When the poor man goes home, his rich brother wants to know what happened, and where he got his riches. Hearing his poor brother’s story, the rich man goes to the well the following year to eavesdrop on the cats’ convention. But before they start talking, the king of the cats tells the others that, as the princess has been cured, there must have been someone listening their conversation the year before. The search the place, find the brother hiding behind the well, and tear him apart to the point where he dies shortly afterwards.


This story corresponds to an international tale-type, AT 613.