3. Máel Dúin Grows Up

MÁEL DÚIN was raised with the three sons of the king and queen of Aran, as if he was one of their own.

He slept in the same room with them, and was fed from the same breast and the same plate, and drank from the same cup. He had the same tutors, and played the same games.

And he was a lovely child; everyone who saw him had no doubt that there could be no other child in the world who as beautiful in body and spirit as the young Máel Dúin was.

He was high-spirited and generous, and he loved all sorts of manly exercises. In ball-playing, in running and leaping, in throwing, in chess-playing, in rowing, and in horse-racing, he surpassed all the youths that came to the king’s palace, and he won every contest.

As he grew up to be a young man, the noble qualities of his mind gradually unfolded, and he became expert in stories, and histories, and poetry, so that he knew all the stories of his people.

There was no other young man so admired as Máel Dúin, in all the lands of the Eoganacht.

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