Full portions of the story of Mis are pulled from: Legends of Love Volume II by Claire Delaney; A Hole in the World by Amanda Held Opelt
Mis was the attractive daughter of a great warrior and powerful chieftain in Europe called Daire Doidgheal.
Daire Doidgheal rallied a huge army of warriors in Europe as he wished to invade Ireland. The mighty chieftain, Daire Doidghea, and his army sailed to Ireland and landed on the shores of Ventry in County Kerry.
Daire Doidgheal brought his only daughter, Mis, with him on his expeditions, including to the battlefield.
The legendary Irish hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill, and his warriors met Daire Doidgheal and his forces in Ventry. A terrible battle took place between the two chieftains. Fionn mac Cumhaill and Irish warriors defeated Daire Doidgheal and his army. Daire Doidgheal was killed during the fierce fighting on the battlefield of Ventry.
Mis waited for her father to return from the battle on the shores of Ventry. She became anxious when her father did not return. Mis searched for her father’s body among the dead on the battlefield as was the custom in ancient Ireland. Mis became distraught when she found the mutilated and bloodied body of her father, Daire Doidgheal, among the dead warriors on the shores of Ventry.
The beautiful maiden, Mis, tried in vain to heal and revive her dead father by licking and sucking the blood from his wounds. Sadly Mis lost her mind from grief and sorrow when she realized her beloved father, Daire Doidgheal, was gone forever.
Her spirit broke and her mind slipped into a world of madness. She howled and screamed, rising up into the air like a crazed bird. She flew away from the beach and into a desolate mountain range that would be known s the Slieve Mish Mountains, in County Kerry.
She lived in the mountains in the manner of a wild beast for many years. The poor, beautiful maiden, Mis, became a wild-woman. She grew fur and feathers and long sharp claws. She would tear apart any animal or human she met and could run as fast as the wind. Many of the local people left the area because of Mis’s reputation as a wild woman.
Feidhlimidh mac Criomthann was the King of Munster and was aware of the numerous stories about Mis. He issued a proclamation that the wild-woman known as Mis was not be killed or harmed by the people of Ireland. King Feidhlimidh offered a huge sum of money as a reward for capturing the wild-woman alive.
Many people tried to capture Mis so they could claim the reward but most died at her hands. Mis was left to roam free among the mountains of County Kerry for years as no one dared go near her.
One day Mis heard a lovely song echoing through the hills and valleys where she lived. She ran over to the place where the beautiful music was coming from.
A handsome young man Dubh Ruis was playing a harp and singing the most enchanting song. Mis crept near the young harper as she rarely saw people stop on the lonely mountainside.
He built her a shelter of branches and moss. He played his harp for her and offered her bread. He took her to a pool of clear water to wash her clean.
Overtime, she lost the fur and the feathers. The claw returned to regular nails. Mis became once again a beautiful woman, although she was changed by her grief and her time. Dubh Ruis called the humanity out of her with kindness, gentleness, compassion, presence, and patience, despite how inhuman her grief had made her. Mis was remade by love and was loved back to life.
I wonder who Naomi would have been if she hadn’t at she hadn’t had Ruth.
I wonder what that long walk back to Bethlehem would have been like if she hadn’t had Ruth at her side. Did she remember the trip her family had made together, husband and wife and 2 sons? Did she remember all the hope they had and the promises for a better future that had been made? Did she get lost in all the grief? Did she even notice if there was danger on the road? Would she have cared? When Naomi makes it Bethlehem, and the women who had been her neighbors saw her, when they wondered about the years that had been etched on her face, she told them not to call her Naomi—which means pleasant but to call her Mara—bitter. So, I wonder what her name would have been if she had walked that road alone.
Ruth will make sure that she and Naomi will have enough to eat. And in time, Naomi will come up with a plan to guarantee their safety. Naomi is made bitter in grief and remade in love, in the presence, compassion, patience, kindness, and gentleness of Ruth.
We do not walk this road alone. We have each other, to walk with, to walk beside, to love us to life when we have lost our sense of belovedness.