Aberdeenshire Folk Tales by Grace Banks

By Grace Banks

The folklore of the North East presents a wealthy tapestry for the stories inside; from Celtic and Pictish origins meet witches, selkies, smugglers, fairies, monsters, despicable rogues, riddles and heroes. Tragic occasions, spellbinding characters, humour, romance and shrewdpermanent minds are sure jointly via well-established storytellers residing and dealing within the urban and shire of Aberdeen. the various stories during this assortment are in response to old truth whereas others are embedded in fable and legend. all of the tales are set opposed to the backdrop of this attractive and sundry panorama.

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Surely she couldn’t afford to travel anywhere by coach, thought Jeemsie. This time, when the coachman stepped down and handed Jeemsie the reins, he waited till the man was a little way off, and jumped down himself. He tethered the horses to a tree, and followed the coachman right up to the hen wife’s door. He watched him enter the house, and crept up to the tiny window to see what would happen next. Inside the house, the old hen wife lay stretched out on her bed, completely still, her eyes frozen and fixed in her head.

Later, as Mary’s father was cutting the meat, he accidentally dropped the knife, and reached under the table to retrieve it. When he sat up again, his face was pale. ’ cried Mary. ‘Ach, I’m nae richt. ’ Mary stood up, and alarmed, helped her father out of the door. When they were out in the sunshine, Mary’s father breathed deeply and turned to look at his daughter with troubled eyes. ’ ‘Faither? ’ ‘He’s nae a man; it’s the deil himsel! Fan I wis under the table, I saw he hisnae ony feet, but cloven hooves!

As Hamish unravelled himself from within his plaid, he breathed deep of the freezing air and watched with satisfaction as his breath billowed out in a large cloud from the depth of his mighty lungs. He was no small man! Hamish found a small burn, well iced over. With his meaty fist, he smashed down until it shattered and, with skin like leather, cupped the icy water in his hand, raised it to his lips and swallowed greedily. From a pouch at his waist, he drew out a handful of oatmeal, and mixed it with a little water in a small pot.

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