Thursday, August 4, 2016

Greed or Sacrifice....?

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Race for sovereignty
He who is caught red-handed
Wins the race, but loses -
Loses hand to gain the land
Crushes might with mind
Thirst for the crown it is -
Or a mark of bravery?
Wisdom or foolery?

Or manifestation of ultimate sacrifice?

The prompt 'caught red-handed' has its probable origins in a Celtic legend. It had nothing to do with being caught in the act. It was used just literally - with blood on the hand. A king (some say he was Niall of the Nine Hostages, but it is debated) wanted to choose his heir. But he was unable to decide between his two sons. A race was held. Whoever touched the shore of Ulster would be crowned. The prince who was lagging behind, cut his hand and threw it on the shore before his brother could reach the finish line and hence was declared the king. 

The story made me think about sacrifice as well as greed. The prince who cut his hand must have been motivated by some strong urge or emotion. What was that emotion? Was it the love for his kingdom? Was it his princely duty? Or was it an overpowering desire? Who knows? 

Linking to Blog-a-Rhythm's Day 4 of #BarAthon Blogging Challenge


  1. OMG! This was something! What kind of a depraved craving for the throne the prince must have had to go to such extremes! A unique take to the prompt Sunaina.

  2. Nice info Sunaina about the phrase 'caught red-handed'. Who knows the enotion behind the act of Prince? Greed or an ambition to be a great king.

  3. I had no clue this was the story behind the saying. How grisly is this! But the love for power makes people do strange things.

  4. :) I liked reading the origin of the expression, Sunaina. I knew it before, and it is interesting that it has a literal meaning. Very nice!

  5. I never knew of this story behind the phrase caught red-handed. The story sounds interesting.