Monday, April 3, 2017

B182.1.1. Magic dog vomits any liquor required of him (WTF - Weird Things in Folktales)

Welcome to my A to Z Challenge blog series titled WTF - Weird Things in Folktales! Find the introduction post (explaining the theme) here. Find all other participating blogs in the comments of each day's post on the main blog! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The B list of the Motif Index is the realm of Animals, both mundane and magical. Some are fairly common ("B11 - Dragon"), while other are a little... out there. Case in point, straight from Ireland:

B182.1.1. Magic dog vomits any liquor required of him

This lovely moment comes from the Acallam na Senórach, a 12th century Irish collection of legends and tales. It starts with three mysterious men and their female hound who join Fionn Mac Cumaill's band of warriors - but they insist that they will sleep apart from the rest of them, and no one is allowed to spy on them at night. To ensure privacy, a great wall of fire springs up around them every evening.

Well, the two sons of the King of Ulster, standing guard one night, decide that they want to see what is going on inside the circle of flames. Crossing the fire with their weapons inconspicuously hidden behind their backs, they come across an... um, unexpected scene: One of the warriors is holding the hound (now no larger than a lap dog), while another is holding a silver cup at the dog's mouth. They take turns asking for different kinds of drinks, which the little dog dutifully vomits up into the cup.

Talk about a "This is not what it looks like!" situation...

The moment they notice they are being spied on, the dog lifts her tail, and lets out a "magical wind of druidry" that knocks the weapons out of the two princes' hands. Then the pup goes on to breathe fire, and burn both of them to ashes. And that's the end of the story.

Barf, barf.

Read the original text here.
(Who wouldn't want a useful pup like that?)

NOTE: I'm angry at Stith Thomspon again. Obviously, the correct name of this motif is "Magic dog vomits any liquor required of HER."

B16.1.1.1. Monster cat born of a pig
B16.1.1.2. Cat leaps through man like arrow of fire and burns him to ashes
B16.5.3. Devastating shell-fish
B19.4.1. Burrowing swine heat ground
B81.8. Mermaid cannot pass through ice
B95. Vegetable lamb
B109.2. Centipede plays at night with pearl
B182.1.2. Magic hostile bitches issue from elf-mound
B191.5. Hedgehog builds castle
B214.1.11. Singing hippopotamus
B286.1. Wedding of garlic and onion
B297.1.2. Toad and chameleon play drum and xylophone
B712. Barnacle goose. Goose born from barnacles
B731.14. Hyena with three hundred sixty-five different colors
B765.24.1. Dragon fly acts as doctor to injured snakes
B788. Bats keep fireflies to light their houses


  1. I can just imagine the kind of wind coming out from under that tail...

  2. I could do with a barfing hound myself. Could do with some B95 also, if it counted as salad.

    From Madly-in-Verse

  3. Err, sorry, I'll pass. If only the dog would produce the fluids out of thin air, I'd be okay with it. But puke? Sorry, not for me.
    It is amazing to think of the sheer range and creativity that folktales are imbued with. I wonder who came up with this one. Was it wishful thinking?

    Cynthia at Boketto and Bohni

  4. And I thought modern fiction had some out there concepts :) I should know not to be surprised by now! Very handy dog.
    I like the sound of hedgehog builds castle :)
    Great post!
    Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

  5. What a fantastic story! But HOW exactly did they find out this was possible? I wouldn't have wanted to be the first one to volunteer to drink the dog vomit and find out!

    Also very curious about what was so devastating about the shell-fish?

    Believe In Fairy Stories : Theme - Folklore & Fairy Tales

  6. As soon as I read "vomits any liquid" I assumed it would be liquor. As soon as I read "Irish" legends I KNEW it would be liquor.

    Was expecting the super farts, but that only added to the allure of the tale.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go look up "Devastating Shell-Fish," which will either be a monster in my next book or the name of my metal band, I'm not sure which.

    B is for Battle of Beaumont Hamel

    1. *was NOT expecting the super farts. Why would you?

    2. I was actually tweeting a bunch of these under #FolktaleMotifBands :D

  7. Okay made me laugh :) I love the pug by the way.

  8. Think I would stick to water :) Made me laugh!

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador

  9. holy moly. that is a definite wtf there. i feel sorry for the poor dog. what people came up with back then. so strange and cool at the same time.

  10. You have to wonder what these storytellers were drinking or smoking. Oh the things I have learned from your blog.

  11. What a story! As a clowder-mom myself, I'd love to hear about the flame-arrow cat, because I'm sure it had a good reason, meow. ;)
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons Blog | AtoZ 2017 - Dragons in Our Fandoms

    1. That one's in the Voyage of Maeldun. I looked it up :D

  12. Dogs' mouths are supposedly cleaner than people's, though I'm not sure I'd want any liquid coming from a dog's mouth!

  13. So fun! I love it!! Looking forward to more. Have added you to my blogroll at Chronicle of a Cranky Horsewoman

  14. Sounds like a great dog to have on hand! Too often, the wind isn't useful at all.

  15. OMG - I love it. A dog that vomits any drink you want!! This is one of those folklores where you think there must be some truth in it - perhaps someone was a bit drunk and did end up drinking/eating what came out of a dog?? Love your post.
    Pamela @ Highlands Days of Fun

  16. ou are satisfying two of my great loves: Folklore and Sorting and Cataloging. I liberally use folklore to inspire my own writing so I will definitely be back here during this a to z challenge and beyond. from the Wolf of Words.

  17. That is quite the tale! o.O

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  18. I am at a loss for words... except for eeeewwww and gross!!!!

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Butter

  19. That is certainly one of the strangest stories I have read. What a fun theme!

  20. That is the most unusual story I've ever heard!

    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

  21. This is awesome! Tho I'd love to learn more about:
    B182.1.2. Magic hostile bitches issue from elf-mound


    B16.1.1.2. Cat leaps through man like arrow of fire and burns him to ashes

    So fun!

    @dSavannahCreate from
    (not writing for #AtoZ this year)

  22. Haha this is amazing! Oh those Irish, eh? 😁

  23. Farts of fire AND alcoholic vomit...what's not to love? XD lol! (I'm drinking Bailey's tonight and now wondering where it came from...)