Read Folk Tales of Scotland Online

Authors: William Montgomerie

Folk Tales of Scotland

BOOK: Folk Tales of Scotland
2.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
THE FOLK TALES OF SCOTLAND

 

 

This eBook edition published in 2013 by
Birlinn Limited
West Newington House
Newington Road
Edinburgh
EH9 1QS
www.birlinn.co.uk

First published by the Bodley Head in 1975
This edition (with illustrations by Norah Montgomerie from the 1956 Hogarth Press edition) published in 2005 by Mercat Press,
reprinted in 2008 and 2013 by Birlinn Ltd

© Dian Montgomerie Elvin, representing the Montgomerie Literary Estate

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without the express written permission of the publisher.

ISBN: 978-1-84158-694-6
eBook ISBN: 978-0-85790-595-6

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

‘I have told you all the tales I can
remember, and I am glad that they have
been written. I hope they shorten the
night for those who read them or hear
them being read, and let them not forget
me in their prayers, nor the old people
from whom I myself learned them.’
Sean O Conaill, the great storyteller, to J. H. Delargy

A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS TO THE
1975 E
DITION

All modern collections of folk tales rely on the work of a small band of nineteenth-century folklorists who, without typewriters, tape recorders or any other modern aids,
listened to traditional storytellers and patiently wrote down, word for word, the stories they told and the songs they sang, with no thought of personal fame or reward. In Scotland, we all owe a
special debt to such enthusiasts as J. F. Campbell, Lord Archibald Campbell and the Reverend J. Macdougall, who collected and translated folk tales from the Gaelic into English, and also to Robert
Chambers who collected rhymes as well as stories in Lowland Scots. Their work might have been confined to the archives of the Scottish National Library, were it not for the farsighted publishers of
the day, like Alexander Gardner of Paisley, David Nutt of London and Robert Chambers of Edinburgh. We are indebted to them all. We would have liked to thank by name all the kind folk and children
who have encouraged us in one way and another. The first friend to reassure us was the poet, Edwin Muir, and the most recent encouragement has come from our friend, Kathleen Lines, who has edited
so many fine children’s books. Again, we too have been lucky enough to find discerning and helpful publishers, The Hogarth Press (who issued the earlier edition of
The Well at the
World’s End
in 1956) and now The Bodley Head. We thank them all.

C
ONTENTS

Introduction

T
HE
W
ELL AT THE
W
ORLD

S
E
ND
(Islay)

R
ASHIE
C
OAT
(Dumfriesshire)

P
RINCE
I
AIN
(Argyllshire)

T
HE
F
LEA AND THE
L
OUSE
(Shetland)

W
HUPPITY
S
TOORIE
(Dumfriesshire)

T
HE
F
AIRY
-W
IFE AND THE
C
OOKING
-P
OT
(Barra)

T
HE
M
AIDEN
F
AIR AND THE
F
OUNTAIN
F
AIRY
(Dumfriesshire)

T
HE
T
ALE OF THE
S
OLDIER
(Inveraray)

T
HE
F
ECKLESS
O
NES
(Ross-shire)

P
IPPETY
P
EW
(Lowlands)

T
HE
B
LACK
B
ULL OF
N
ORROWAY
(Lowlands)

R
OBIN
R
EIDBREIST AND THE
W
RAN
(Ayrshire)

T
HE
B
ATTLE OF THE
B
IRDS
(Argyllshire)

T
HE
G
OOD
H
OUSEWIFE
(Argyllshire)

T
HE
K
ING OF
L
OCHLIN

S
T
HREE
D
AUGHTERS
(Inveraray)

T
HE
W
IFE AND
H
ER
B
USH OF
B
ERRIES
(Lowlands)

B
ROWNIE THE
C
OW
(Aberdeenshire)

H
OW THE
C
OCK GOT THE
B
ETTER OF THE
F
OX
(Barra)

T
HE
S
MITH AND THE
F
AIRIES
(Islay)

T
HE
G
AEL AND THE
L
ONDON
B
AILLIE

S
D
AUGHTER
(Benbecula)

T
HE
W
EE
B
ANNOCK
(Ayrshire)

T
HE
B
ROWN
B
EAR OF THE
G
REEN
G
LEN
(West
Highlands)

F
ATHER
W
REN AND
H
IS
T
WELVE
S
ONS
(Argyllshire)

M
ALLY
W
HUPPIE
(Aberdeenshire)

T
HE
W
HITE
P
ET
(Islay)

B
IG
F
OX AND
L
ITTLE
F
OX
(Wester Ross)

T
HE
T
ALE OF THE
H
OODIE
(Islay)

T
HE
S
TOOR
W
ORM
(Orkney)

T
HE
M
ERMAID
(Argyllshire)

T
HE
W
INNING OF
H
YN
-H
ALLOW
(Orkney)

T
HE
G
OODMAN OF
W
ASTNESS
(Orkney)

T
AM
S
COTT AND THE
F
IN
-M
AN
(Orkney)

F
ARQUHAR THE
H
EALER
(Sutherland and Banffshire)

J
OHNNIE
C
ROY AND THE
M
ERMAID
(Orkney)

T
HE
W
IDOW

S
S
ON
(South Uist, Outer Hebrides)

O
SCAR AND THE
G
IANT
(Sutherland)

F
INN AND THE
Y
OUNG
H
ERO

S
C
HILDREN
(Argyllshire)

F
INN AND THE
G
REY
D
OG
(Argyllshire)

F
INN IN THE
H
OUSE OF THE
Y
ELLOW
F
IELD
(Argyllshire)

G
REEN
K
IRTLE
(Barra)

T
HE
L
AST OF THE
P
ICTS
(Lowlands)

M
URCHAG AND
M
IONACHAG
(West Highlands)

P
EERIE
F
OOL
(Orkney)

T
HE
H
EN
(Barra)

T
HE
Y
OUNG
K
ING
(Islay)

T
HE
R
ED
E
TIN
(Fife)

T
HE
E
AGLE AND THE
W
REN
(Argyllshire)

I
AIN
THE
S
OLDIER

S
S
ON
(Islay)

T
HE
L
EGEND OF
L
OCH
M
AREE
(Wester Ross)

D
IARMID AND
G
RAINNE
(Barra)

C
HILDE
R
OWLAND TO THE
D
ARK
T
OWER
C
AME
(Morayshire)

C
UCHULAINN AND THE
T
WO
G
IANTS
(Argyllshire)

D
AUGHTER OF THE
K
ING
U
NDER THE
W
AVES
(Barra)

Glossary

Story Sources

Index

I
NTRODUCTION TO THE
1975 E
DITION

NCE
, walking in Wester Ross, we came to Loch Maree, one of the grandest of Scottish lochs,
dominated by Ben Sleoch. It has twenty-seven islands, most of them in the middle where the water is more than two miles broad. That evening we heard of a holy well on one of the islands and next
morning, borrowing the forester’s boat, we rowed out into the loch. On the second day we found a round island with many oaks—trees famous in mythology and legend—but there was no
well, only a small dead tree scaled with copper coins knocked into the wood with stones. We paid our tribute to the spirit of the place and rowed back to the shore.

Many years later we read the legend of the Princess Thyra of Ulster (see
The Legend of Loch Maree,
p. 224), written down by the Reverend J. G. Campbell of Tiree at the end of last
century from the lips of an anonymous storyteller. The tree he describes, beside a well, with a hollow in its side into which gifts were dropped, may have been the mother of the little tree we saw.
There were no ruins of monastery or chapel, but this well and another are in the title of this book.

BOOK: Folk Tales of Scotland
2.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Introducing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Introducing...) by Foreman, Elaine Iljon, Pollard, Clair
4th of July by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
Close to the Heel by Norah McClintock
Blackout by Caroline Crane
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Dark Age by Felix O. Hartmann
The Wisherman by Danielle
The Trouble With Witches by Shirley Damsgaard
A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech