6. The Island of the Great Birds


IN THE EARLY HOURS of the fourth day after they had fled the island of the ants, they again heard the murmur of waves on a distant beach.

As the day dawned, they saw a large island, with high terraces all around it, rising one behind another. On the terraces grew rows of tall trees, on which were perched great numbers of large brightly-coloured birds.

The crew were about to cast lots to decide who should visit the island and see whether the birds were dangerous, but Máel Dúin himself decided to go.

He went with a few companions, and they explored the island cautiously, remembering the ants, but they found nothing to hurt or alarm them.
So they trapped many of the birds, and brought them to their ship for food.

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