A Salmon Leaping a Dam
November 8, 2009
On Oct. 10, 09, we stood gazing at salmon trying to leap over the dam at Ludington State Park. A few fishermen were trying their luck and we saw some salmon being caught. These anadramous fish return to the place where they were hatched in tributaries to the Great Lakes. Pacific salmon were planted to keep an invasive species, the alewife in check.
Salmon of Wisdom
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Salmon figures prominently in The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn, which recounts the early adventures of Fionn mac Cumhaill. According to the story, it was an ordinary salmon that ate the nine hazel nuts that fell into the Well of Wisdom (aka Tobar Segais) from nine hazel trees that surrounded the well. In doing so, the salmon gained all the knowledge in the world. Moreover, the first person to eat of its flesh would, in turn, gain this knowledge.
The poet Finn Eces spent seven years fishing for the salmon. When he finally caught it, he instructed his apprentice, Fionn, to prepare it for him. Fionn burned his thumb when spattered with a drop of the hot fat from the cooking salmon and immediately sucked on it to ease the pain. Unbeknownst to Fionn, all the wisdom had been concentrated into that one drop, and Fionn had just imbibed it all.
When he brought the cooked meal to Finegas, his master saw a fire in the boy’s eyes that had not been there before. When asked by Finegas, Fionn first denied that he had eaten of the fish. But when pressed, Fionn admitted his accidental taste. Throughout the rest of his life, Fionn could access this font of knowledge merely by biting his thumb.
It was this incredible knowledge and wisdom gained from the Salmon of Knowledge that allowed Fionn to become the leader of the Fianna, the famed heroes of Irish myth.