Finn and the Wild Goose

11.50

By Irish author and traditional musician

Sammy Horner

SKU: 978-19128-63600 - M Down £ 9.99 Categories: , , Tags: ,

Finn and the Wild Goose is a wonderful tale for children of all ages, penned by Sammy Horner, a writer and traditional musician, originally from Belfast.

The story starts as seven year old Finn arrives in Ireland on a family holiday. But even before they reach his Granda’s and Gran’s house in Co Wexford, something rather odd happens.

But Finn loves holidays, and he especially loves spending time with his grandparents. Granda is a master storyteller, weaving together tales and myths, and legends and magical creatures. However he often puzzles Finn when he tells him that not everything is what it seems. But the holidays get even better when Mum and Dad go off on a five-day break up to Dublin. Finn and his sister Evie, who is two-and-a-bit, don’t mind at all being left with Granda and Gran. Who else would give you ice cream for breakfast?

But it’s at breakfast the next morning that Evie starts to behave very strangely. She’s not herself at all. To Finn’s astonishment, Granda spots that the real Evie has been kidnapped. Soon Granda is packing all sorts of strange things into his old backpack, and off he and Finn go, on an amazing adventure to rescue his little sister. Here is an extract:

‘They drove for a long time until they hit thick dark woodland where Granda stopped the car. “We need to go on foot from here boyo, and try not to worry. I will take care of you, but I will need your help to get Evie back. Can I count on you to be brave?”’

Finn certainly does need to be brave as they encounter all sorts of dangers and strange creatures on their quest. He discovers that it is true that not everything is what it seems. Even the growling were-wolf turns out to be a faithful friend and defender. But the battle becomes fiercer still, until all seems lost. Only then does the Wild Goose show herself and rescue them and comfort them, so that they can complete their mission. She explains:

‘Sometimes I like to remain hidden, although I am never far away. Best of all, I love to surprise you by being the very thing that you least expect. I love to do things that you never thought would be of any help whatsoever, and I love to see your face when you realize I was doing what was best, even though you couldn’t see it.’

While Finn and the Wild Goose is truly a wonderful story for children, I believe that it is much more significant than that. Like most Irish people, I grew up with the tales of 'the little people'. But my memory is that those cunning little beings always outwitted the slightly gullible humans. I realise now that this had very subtly affected my mindset about the power of evil. So what I love about Sammy's tale is that he redeems our Celtic mythology. He reminds me that Jesus Christ has overcome every evil power, and that the Wild Goose, the Holy Spirit, is always near to help.

Finn and the Wild Goose is in a dyslexia friendly font.  Sammy Horner has named the main characters after his own grandchildren, Finn and Evie.

Sammy Horner has been a musician for many years, touring in Europe and America with his band.  He now lives near Gorey in Co Wexford with his wife Kylie, with whom he tours as a folk duo, The Sweet Sorrows.  For many years he has longed to see Celtic themes and traditional music married with modern worship.  A recent album, Worship like a Celt, is an outworking of this desire, and it is an aid to contemplation and prayer.  While for many years a song writer, he has now taken up his pen as an author, with this his first book set in the area of Co Wexford in which he lives.

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