Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are? (Part III)

Family is a wonderful thing.  But sometimes I wonder about mine. 

On my dad’s side (the MacLellans), I’m descended from sheep rustlers (but, in their defence, it was either an act of political protest or they were starving and desperate for food, after being forced off their farmland in the Highland Clearances).  The MacLellan family motto is “Think On”, which isn’t, as you might be inclined to think, a reference to our noted intellectualism.  No, it’s from a 12th or 13th century MacLellan chieftain who rode up to his enemy’s castle with the enemy’s emissary’s lopped-off head spiked on a sword, and yelled out to him to “Think on’t” (Think about it) before crossing him again. 

On Mom’s side (the O’Neill half), I’m descended from former High Kings of Ireland, but with slightly unsavoury reputations. The Red Hand of Ulster —now on the Northern Irish flag, and co-opted by the Ulster Volunteer Force as part of their insignia in “the Troubles” —was originally an O’Neill emblem.  Legend has it that the O’Neill chief of a raiding party, in an effort to inspire his warriors, decreed that the land of Ulster would belong to the first man to lay his right hand on the ground.  One bright spark cut off his right hand and lobbed it off the boat on to shore, in his determination to win the prize.


So if genetics have anything to do with it, I`m prone to violence, thievery, and so ruthless in my ambition that I will, without batting an eyelash, kill anyone who gets in my way or even maim myself to achieve my goals. 

Are you sure you want to admit to knowing me?

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