IV. HOW CIARAN TURNED WATER INTO HONEY
4. A certain day his mother upbraided him. “The little village lads,” said she, “bring with them honey out from the combs to their folks, but thou bringest it never to us.” When Ciaran heard that, he went to a certain spring, and he fills his vessel from it, and blesses it: so that it became choice honey, and he gives that honey to his mother; so she was thankful. That is the honey which was given to deacon Uis (= Iustus) as a fee for baptizing him.
V. HOW CIARAN WAS DELIVERED FROM A HOUND
5. A certain day evil men incited a savage hound against Ciaran, to tear him. When Ciaran saw the hound, he sang this verse: Ne tradas bestiis animam confitentem tibi. And when he said this the hound fell forthwith and did not rise again.
6. This was the labour that his parents used to lay upon him, namely, herding, after the likeness of David son of Jesse, and of Jacob, and of the elders thenceforth, for God knew that he would be a wise shepherd of great flocks, that is, the flocks of the Faithful. Thereafter a marvellous thing took place at Raith Cremthainn in Mag Ai: he was keeping the flocks of [his parents at Raith Cremthainn, and there was dwelling] his tutor, deacon Uis, at Fidharta, and there was a long space between them: yet he used to hear what his tutor was saying as though they were side by side.
VII. CIARAN AND THE FOX
7. Then there came a fox to Ciaran from out the wood, and behaved tamely with him. It would often visit him, so that he bade it do him a service, namely, to carry his book of Psalms between him and his teacher, deacon Uis. For when he would say in Fidharta, “Say this in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” Ciaran would hear in Raith Cremthainn, from that on to the end of the lesson; and the fox would be awaiting the lesson obediently till its writing on wax was completed, and thereafter he would carry it with him to Ciaran.
Once on a time his natural treacherousness broke forth in the fox, and he began to eat the book: for he was greedy for the leather that was bound around the book outside. While he was eating the book, there came Oengus son of Cremthann with kernes and with hounds, so that they chased him, and he found no sanctuary till he came under the cloak of Ciaran. The name of God and Ciaran’s were magnified by the rescue of the book from the fox and by the rescue of the fox from the hounds. The book is what is now called the “Tablet of Ciaran.”
Most consonant with these things is it for evil men who are near to the Church, and who profit by the advantages of the Church—communion, and baptism, and food, and teaching—and withal stay not from persecuting the Church, until there come upon themselves the persecution of some king, or mortality, or a disease unknown: and then they needs must flee under the protection of the Church, as the fox went under the cloak of Ciaran!