91. An Mada Rua agus an León Breac.

Bhíodh an león breac coitianta ag maíomh as an gcroiceann breá breac a bhí air. Bhí a leithéid sin de mheas aige air féin mar gheall ar a chroiceann gurbh ar éigin a labhradh sé le héinne eile de sna hainmhithibh.

“Is breátha an croiceann atá orm,” adeireadh sé, “ná mar atá ar an león mbuí féin!”

Bhíodar go léir bodhar aige. Fé dheireadh do bhuail an mada rua chuige suas agus do labhair sé leis, go dána.

“Féach,” ar seisean, “a fhir bhric, tá a bhfuil d’ainmhithibh san áit bodhar agat.”

“Conas?” arsan fear breac.

“Ní stadann do bhéal ach ag maíomh as an gcroiceann san ort,” arsan mada rua.

“Agus nách croiceann breá é?” arsan fear breac. “Cá bhfuil an t-ainmhí eile ’na bhfuil croiceann chómh breá leis air?”

“Bíodh go bhfuil sé breá,” arsa mada rua, “ar nóin ní tusa a dhein breá é. Agus cad é an mhaith an bhreáthacht ná téann thar chroiceann isteach? Dá mbeadh do chroí agus t’aigne chómh breá leis an gcroicreann ba rud éigin duit bheith ag maíomh as. Ach dá mbeidís, níor ghá dhuit aon mhaíomh a dhéanamh ansan, mar bheimís go léir ad mholadh. Bíodh ciall agat agus cuir uait an maíomh.”

An Múineadh.

Bíonn aigne ghránna, uaireanta, laistigh de chroiceann álainn.

Ná mol an croiceann go bhfeicir cad ’tá laistigh de.

Foclóirín

ar: “on”. Used with body parts that are considered to be “on” (as opposed to “under”) the body: an croiceann atá ar an león, “the lion’s coat”; an eireaball atá ar an mada rua, “the fox’s tail”. Compare na cosa atá fén ngiorrae, “the legs of the hare”.
ar nóin: “of course, no doubt”, or dar ndóigh in the CO. Ar ndóigh and dar ndóigh are both found, and dóin (whence nóin) is given by Dinneen as a corruption of dóigh. Ar neóin is also found in PUL’s works with the same meaning.
león breac: “cheetah, leopard”. Most versions of Aesop’s Fables in English include The Fox and the Leopard, and so “leopard” may be the correct translation here, but this Irish phrase does not make a detailed distinction among the great cats, merely referring to all great cats with speckled coats. Cheetah would be siotá in the CO and leopard liopard.
león buí: “lion”.

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