The king's druid ran a school teaching the arts of druidism. At
any given time he had no less than one hundred students learning at his school.
One day, several months after Setanta had taken up his post as the
Hound of Culann, Cathbad was asked what the omen for the day was. He replied that any
warrior who took up arms on that day would be famous forever but his life would be brief.
Overhearing this Cu Chulainn went to Conchobar and demanded weapons.
The king wanted to know who told the boy to take up arms and Cu
Chulainn replied that Cathbad had said so.
The king gave Cu Chulainn a shield and a sword, but the moment he used
them they broke, as did all the others kept for new warriors. Only the king's sword and
shield were sturdy enough for Cu Chulainn.
Cathbad arrived at this time and voiced his pity for Cu Chulainn, a
young lad, to be taking up weapons. So, confused, the king asked Cathbad if he had not
told Cu Chulainn to take up arms and the druid replied in the negative.
The king accused Cu Chulainn of lying to him, but Cu Chulainn told of
Cathbad's words of that morning. The druid conceded that the omen did seem intended for Cu
Once a chariot had been found, the king's was needed, Cu Chulainn went
to test his new weapons.
His first battle was against three brothers who had been killing Ulster
warriors. He defeated all three of them.
On the way back to the court Cu Chulainn wanted to catch a live deer so
he had his chariot driver stop near a herd. Cu Chulainn subdued it with the power of his
eyes and tied it to the back of his chariot. Next two swans were added to the trophies.
By now he was so filled with battle fury, that his face took on the
same frightening transformation as before. And he raced towards the court in his chariot.
Fearing for his people's safety if Cu Chulainn got to near, Conchobar
sent naked women to meet Cu Chulainn.
Cu Chulainn was so embarrassed that he hid his head in shame and the
warriors of Ulster grabbed him and plunged him three times into ice cold water and so his
battle fury was purged.
He was dressed in fine clothes and taken to the king.
He was still only seven years old.