The Saga of Odrum The Gutless
Here follows a legendary saga translated from the old Norse and probably written anonymously. Some say the sagas are but myth some tell of legend mixed with the truth. This saga tells of both and for the reader you make your own mind up whether truth or myth.
Oft hafa fagrar hnetur fúinn kjarna!!
A long time ago the Island of Canna was attacked by a band of pirates from the North. These pirates were ruthless in their attacks and caused great havoc. Among the pirates was one known as Odrum. Odrum was no ordinary pirate preferring not only plunder but also ways in which he could settle and enjoy the rich benefits of Canna.
One summer Odrum and his band raided again and decided to stay for a time on Canna. They made pacts with the local chieftain Colm who had extensive connections with the monks of the island of I. At the end of that summer most of Odrum’s band left leaving Odrum alone on the Island among the local people. Odrum was very devious and saw ways in which he could cleverly divide the Island people setting one against the other with his tactful gossip. Odrum soon got himself a local bride of the ruling family. This brought him much land on the Island. This pleased Odrum greatly and he soon began building an empire there.
Now Canna at this time came under the eye of the tribe of Garmoran. This clan were based on the mainland but visited Canna regularly. The monks of Columcille also had a monastery on the Island and Canna was very prosperous. This pleased Odrum even more and he soon wormed his way in so both the clan and the monks trusted him and gave him plenty jobs to do on the Island so Odrum had control of all the important tasks. However Odrum as well as being devious was also a double dealer and he soon worked out ways of fleecing the clan chiefs of Garmoran and the monks of I colomcille.
Odrum liked to fish and he supplied many fish to the local innkeeper Shitric. Now Shitric was also a gossip and soon Odrum and Shitric were working on pacts and ways to fleece the chief and monks. It was at this time that Gruoch the local seanachaidh and friend of the monks gave Odrum his name. The fish he caught were then smoked and locally known as the “kipper” and Odrum from that time onwards became known as the gutless, two faced just like the kipper. Many of Gruoch’s band on the Island did not trust Odrum and were pleased with this name.
Life on Canna was very good for Odrum, he had many horses and would gallop all over the island making sure the chiefs thought he was busy. Canna’s local clan were smitten by Odrum and soon his local bride Bea became Queen of Canna and the Queen Bea. Now Canna did not have a Queen in it's history but Bea soon used Odrum as her henchman to forge their own empire on the Island ensuring they controlled everything including all who lived there.
Odrum became an expert in causing divisions among the Island population and would set one against the other with his devious gossiping. Lurking in the shadows or in doorways Odrum captured whoever was willing to listen to him and soon many feuds broke out among the Islanders as factions and divisions developed. Odrum would also use innkeeper Shitric to fuel his gossip. This led to many people leaving Canna with much distress.
Now many would not believe the Saga of Odrum the gutless and many would think it was a Norse myth. But Canna has had many people leave the Island over many centuries and Canna once supported over 400 people. There have been many curses placed on Canna by people forced to leave. But people must be allowed to live and work in peace and it’s said the legend of Odrum the gutless still haunts Canna to this day.
Who knows perhaps this is very true.