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The Legend of the Salmon of Knowledge: Fionn Mac Cumhaill’s Taste of Wisdom

Once upon a time in Ireland, there was a wise old druid named Finnegas. He lived by the River Boyne, which was believed to be the dwelling place of a mystical creature – the Salmon of Knowledge. This was no ordinary fish, for it had consumed the nuts from the nine hazel trees that surrounded the Well of Wisdom, and it was said that whoever ate the salmon would inherit its vast knowledge.

For seven long years, Finnegas tried to catch this elusive fish, and finally, his perseverance paid off. He caught the Salmon of Knowledge and gave it to his young apprentice, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, to prepare. Finnegas, however, warned Fionn not to taste even a morsel of the fish as he cooked it.

Fionn carefully began to roast the salmon over the fire. As it cooked, a blister formed on the fish’s skin. Fionn, attempting to smooth it down, accidentally burned his thumb. Instinctively, he put his thumb in his mouth to ease the burn, and in doing so, he tasted the salmon’s skin.

When Finnegas returned and saw the look in Fionn’s eyes, he knew something had changed. The old druid asked Fionn if he had eaten any of the salmon. Fionn replied truthfully about what had happened, and Finnegas, realizing that it was Fionn’s destiny to gain the wisdom of the salmon, instructed him to eat the rest of the fish.

And so, Fionn Mac Cumhaill consumed the Salmon of Knowledge, gaining not only the wisdom of the world but also the ability to access this wisdom by simply biting his thumb. From that day forward, Fionn grew to become one of the greatest heroes in Irish mythology, leading his warrior band, the Fianna, with wisdom and strength.

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