Two Tales from Ireland
Retold by Jakob Streit
Translated by Nina Kuettel
These two tales, one believed to date from the 17th Century and the other from more recent times, were collected by Jakob Streit and a friend while in Ireland.
The first story, “The Star Rider,” is a legend about a young man who comes to learn of a dreadful destiny said to be laid upon him by the position of the stars at the moment of his birth. It is a story of uprightness and acceptance, of injustice that is turned to right through the honesty of both accused and judge. It is a truly beautiful story with a warm, heart-opening ending.
The second tale, “Anna McLoon,” tells the story of Ireland’s last travelling storyteller, her life and the tales she told. It also speaks of a deeper connectedness to the rhythms of the world and life and death themselves.
I very much appreciate the rich and gentle translation that Nina Kuettel has provided us – her words echo the beauty of these stories in a lovely way.
As a reader, this would be good around 6th grade or later. The stories could be told a bit earlier, but there is a depth to them that will be better appreciated by older students and adults.