Cu Chulainn was the son of Dechtire, one of King Conchobar's
sisters, and purported to be the son of Lugh Long Arm of the Otherworld. He was known as
Setanta. By the time he was six physically he was the same as a twelve-year-old boy.
At the time there was a game called shinty that was played at the court
of Conchobar, by one hundred and fifty boys. The king himself took an interest in this
game because the boys were his future warriors.
Setanta begged his mother to let him go and join but she would not,
claiming that he was too young. But he tricked her into telling him how to get to the
place where they were being held.
He made himself a toy shield and a toy spear and set off.
Not knowing the rules of the game he walked onto the field and faced
the boys. Thinking that he was insulting them, the boys attacked with their spears and
shinty balls. He stopped all 150 spears and all 150 balls with his toy shield.
This apparently unprovoked attack angered Setanta and he underwent a
His hair stood on end and appeared to be lit. One eye grew as large as
a drinking cup and the other shrunk to a slit and his head was surround by a blood red
He attacked the boys and took down fifty before they managed to escape.
Conchobar heard the commotion and went to see what it was all about.
Setanta defended his actions. Conchobar explained the concept of protection to him and
Setanta asked for the king's protection. Once he had that he went off to offer the other
boys protections from himself.