Pìob Bhreagha – A Beautiful Pipe

Informant: Joe Neil Mac Neil, August, 1986

Recording, Transcription and Translation: Hector Mac Neil

Fhuair mi eòlas air feadhainn de mhuinntir Dhòmhnaill A’ Chùìl agus fear dhiubh, Mìcheal Dhòmhnaill A’ Chùil . Mar is minig chanadh iad, “Migi Dhòmhnaill A’ Chùil”. Bha esan uamhasach cuideachdail agus dhèanadh e naidheachdan suas airson dìreach a chur seachad na h-ùine. O, cha dèanadh e naidheachd idir, idir mu dhéidhinn neach – cho fad ‘s a ‘s fhiosrach mise – cha dèanadh e idir naidheachd mu dhéidhinn neach ‘ga chàineadh no sìon idir ach gun dèanadh e naidheachdan èibhinn ag innse na rudan a thachair. Agus bha e ‘g innse na naidheachdan mu dhéidhinn cù a bh’aige agus mu dhéidhinn each a bh’aige agus mu dhéidhinn làir a bh’aige na àm.

Bha naidheachd ghàbhaidh ann a rinn e mu dhéidhinn pìob. Fhuair e pìob. Chuir cuideiginn thuige pìob an àm na Nollaig mar phreasant. Oh, ‘se pìob àraid mhath a bh’ann. Bha i air leth air móran dhe na pìoban.

Bha e ‘cantail gu robh e latha shios air an deigh leis an each òg agus gu robh e sios – dh’fhaoite gu robh e sios – gun deach e sios faisg air Ceann An Ear a’ Bhàigh. Bha e ‘cantail gu robh an sneachd air fàs car tais. Is bha e ‘smòcadh na pìobadh agus a nuas an rathad an àiteiginn, an àit’ a bh’ann – bhuail e àite ‘s a robh an sneachd car tais is lean an sneachd ri casan an eich is bha e mar bhall-sneachda ás gach crudha agus bha an t-each a’ falbh cho luatha is dh’fhalbh an cnap deigh a bha seo ás a chrudha agus an dol seachad, thug e leis a’ phìob ás a bheul. Dh’fhalbh a’ phìob agus cha robh feum an coimhead air a son co-dhiù.

Ach, co-dhiù, bha e a’ cantail gu robh e ‘staigh a Shudnaidh uaireigin ré an t-samhraidh, no ….. uair as a dheaghaidh sin. Agus thachair e ri cuideigin a dh’aithnich e no a bha seanachas ris, co dhiù. Agus math a dh’fhaoite nach b’aithne dha idir. Ach, chunnaic e a’ phìob a bha an duine a bha seo a’ smòcadh . Thuirt e gun deach e suas a bhruidhinn ris an duine mar seo …… ‘sann aige a bha a’ phìob laghach, a’ phìob bhreagha.

Agus ‘s ann á muinntir thall an taobh eile a bha a’ fear seo – á muinntir Beinn Eòin.

“Oh, tha,” ars esan. Agus tha naidheachd timcheall air a’ phìob seo a tha neònach.”
“Seadh.”
“Bha mi” ars esan “Feasgar ‘null sa’ gheamhradh – feasgar ciùin ‘s mi ‘gearadh maidean fadaidh, no “kindlings” mar a bheir iad ris . Agus,” ars esan, “Thuit rudeigin anuas ‘s mi ‘g obair. Agus choimhead mi agus” ars esan “Bha a’ phìob a tha seo, bha i air a’ làr rim thaobh. Is thog mi a’ phìob” ars esan “Agus bha i slàn” ars esan mar a tha thu ‘ga faicinn ann a’ sin.”

“Oh” ars esan (Migi) “Cha do leig mise sìon orm” ars esan “Cha tuirt mi guth ris mu dhéidhinn na pìobadh” ars esan “Ach dh’aithnich mi gur e a’ phìob a dh’fhalbh ás mo bheul-fhéin a bh’ann.”


I got to know some of the people belonging to Donald of the backlands and one of them, Michael (son of Donald of the backlands). Most often, they’d call him, “Migi Dhòmhnaill A’ Chùil”. He was extremely sociable and he would make up stories just to pass the time. Oh, he wouldn’t make up stories about a person at all, at all. As far as I know he’d never make up a story about a person to hurt them or anything. But, he would make up stories about things that happened. And he would be telling stories about a dog that he had and about a horse that he had and about a mare that he had at the time.

There was a great story that he made about a (smoking) pipe. He got a pipe. Someone sent him a pipe as a present at Christmastime. Oh, it was a particularly good pipe. It was exceptional compared to other pipes.

He was saying that he was down on the ice with the young horse and he was down – he might have been down close to East Bay. He was saying that the snow was getting kind of wet. And he was smoking the pipe and down a ways he hit a place where the snow was wet and the snow was sticking to the horse’s hooves and it was like snowballs coming off every horseshoe and the horse was going so fast that this clump of ice came off the horseshoe and going by him, it took the pipe right out of his mouth. Off went the pipe and there was no use in going looking for it at all.

But anyway, he was saying that he was in to Sydney one time during the summer no sometime after that. And he met up with someone he knew or he was talking to him anyway, and maybe he didn’t know him at all. But he saw the pipe that the man was smoking. He said that he went up to the man and spoke to him saying that he had a nice pipe, a beautiful pipe. And it turned out that this man was from the other side of the lake, from Beinn Eòin.

“Oh, yes.” said the man “And there’s an odd little story to this pipe.”

“Oh, yes.”

“I was” he said “Outside one afternoon in the winter – a fine afternoon and me splitting kindlings. And” he said “Something fell down where I was working. And I looked and this pipe here, it was on the ground beside me. And I picked up the pipe” he said “And it was whole and unharmed just as you see it there.”

“Oh’ said Migi “I didn’t let on anything at all” he said “I didn’t say a word about my pipe” he said “but I recognized that it was the very pipe that went from my own mouth that day.”