I hope you’re excited for more pig related high jinks, or even maybe swinjinks? Because ya boy Angus Og is back on his bullshit.
This one time Angus threw a big party for Finn (read more about him in an upcoming post but for now suffice to say he is sort of the Hercules of Irish mythology) and his army of up for anything mates (the Fianna). Ten hundred of them. Angus might have been conventionally hot, but Finn was the life of the party.
Angus and Finn, sitting at the head table, get good and drunk. Because he loves talking shit, Angus turns to Finn and says “It is a better life this, than to be hunting.” To which Finn, who is all about hunting, basically throws back that life ain’t shit without armies and battles, or at least a good hound at your side.
But Finn, Angus replies, why even bring up hounds when yours couldn’t even kill a single pig?
The ever living ones themselves couldn’t have a pig my girls couldn’t kill, Finn argues, taking the bait.
I’ve got a pig, says Angus, that will kill both of your dumb dogs.
A year later Angus sends a messenger to Finn to ask if he is ready to make good on his challenge. and of course Finn is 100% up for any and everything 24/7 365. He and his best buddies gather their hounds and stand waiting on a hill, generally back slapping and feeling pretty good, when suddenly they see at the edge of the plain to the east a herd of truly monstrous pigs coming towards them. They’re the size of deer, and each more black and bristly than the last except for the one at the front which is the biggest, blackest and bristliest of them all. The fight is a huge mess of pigs and men and dogs and honestly it’s not going that great until Finn’s best hound Bran manages to get the biggest one by the throat. It a compelling image, a normal sized hunting dog hanging off the neck of a boar the size of a deer, it’s hard to image the pig even knew she was there, but she brings it down and Finn wins the challenge. Angus, meanwhile, shows up and is losing his damn mind. It turns out that the pigs were the sons of all the kings of the Tuatha de Danaan (the immortals, highest of the folk) with Angus’s son being the big one Bran killed, which means he is in way over his head.
When all is said and done there are 110 pigs still living, but Finn has lost ten hundred men. I hope that’s a transcription error because that is how many he had to begin with. Finn and his men decide to burn the dead pigs so they can’t come back to life, but they can’t get a single pig to catch alight. Bran, being the super-smart extra good girl that she is disappears off somewhere and comes back with three magic logs and those pigs burn up just fine.
Finn decides to go and confront Angus for justice over the dead men, but Angus and Finn can’t stop the same dumb one up-manship that got them into this trouble in the first place. Angus offers any one single thing that he could give Finn to spare his people from Finn’s revenge but Finn says all he wants is to destroy Angus’s lands. Angus says well if you do that, I’ll curse your dog, because all those pigs were princes and their dads are really mad at me now.
Finn is like don’t curse my dog or I’ll burn down your house.
And Angus is like if you burn down my house I’ll curse you so that everywhere you walk trees and big rocks are always in your way, and I have a magic ring so I’ll always be able to tell how many men are in your armies so there.
At this point Oisin, who is Finn’s son and one of his best men, has to step in so everyone can move on with their lives. Finn and Angus exchange foster children as a show of good faith but they’re not friends any more.