Monday, 5 August 2013

Glas-Guineach: The remarkable cow that could give an unending supply of milk

Glas-Guineach.—This cow was remarkable for giving a large quantity of milk. She belonged to the monks then residing at Kilmalckedor, was well fed and grazed upon the best patches of sweet pasture in the district. A thief attempted to steal her, but was captured in the act. To make an example of him, his finger prints and the impression of the cow’s hoofs for future reference and to warn the people of the district to be aware of him were cut or set into the stones by some natural art touching finger prints then known to these monks. The stories of the Glas-Guineach are numerous and interesting. Children inclined to steal were reminded of what happened to the thief who stole the monk’s cow.

Foley, Patrick (1916), Irish Historical Allusions, Curious Customs and Superstitions, County of Kerry, Corkaguiny.

This is a slightly different version of the story of the Glas Gablin/Glas Ghoibhneann, related in Island of the Setting Sun. That cow was stolen by Balor, and the story has astronomical implications, which are explored in the book.

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