Pierre Michon – The Lightness of Suibhne

In the Annals of the Four Masters we are told how Suibhne, king of Kildare, has a taste for the things of this world. He is a simple man. His joys and pleasures are simple. He is heavy and coarse, with ugly blonde hair on his head like moss on a stone; and he lacks refinement of mind or spirit. He wages war, eats, laughs, and in every other particular resembles the brown bull of Cooley, which mounts fifty heifers a day. The abbot Fin Barr follows this brute closely and attempts to remind him that Heaven reckons even the weight of a hair. The weight of the soul is far greater.