Thoroughly disgusted with Cathbad, Concubar could not bear to sit on his throne and think. He did not wish to wait for Cathbad and the Brehon to return and berate him anew, so he rose from his throne and walked out to the hurley pitch to have another look at the Little Fellow, Son.
He saw Fergus standing above the pitch and chuckling to himself. “What is so amusing Fergus? Please tell me, I could do with some good humor after that horrible wizard Cathbad.” said the king.
“Well,” said Fergus, “Having beaten the boys and sending them away with their tails between their legs, the Little Fellow is playing with the hounds. They’re not much for the rules, but they are very entertaining.”
“Playing the hounds? I thought I told you to make sure the boy came to no harm?” Concubar looked down on the field and saw nothing but a mass of writhing dog flesh in a scrum in the middle of the pitch, “Are you mad? I don’t even see him in all that. Have they eaten him?”
“No, the lad is too good with that cam. Add to that the dogs seem to love him.”
“Are you sure? I don’t even see him.”
“See there? He’s the red haired hound in the middle.”
“Cu Ruada you say?” The king tugged his whiskers in thought, “Now that’s a fine name for the boy.”
“CuRuada?” Fergus nodded, “aye, I think it would serve.”
“The lad is good with the cam. Let’s see what he can do with the sword. Take him to the field and see how he is with shield and spear and . . . Well, you know the training of the boys. I think you may need to train him to be careful of his mates, so at first would you see to him alone Fergus? I don’t need a lot of angry Red Branch Warriors bellowing about Cu Ruada’s mistreatment of their sons and too we must consider Fand and Muirthemne. The boy must come to no harm.”
“Well, if they’d complain about that, they should know they were better served to take a switch to any boy who would complain about being bested by that little hound.”
All the same, you see to the boy. Let me know what you learn of CuRuada’s skill.