Scary Faery Tales 1

“Course, pals, yon Bobby Kirk’s heart’s in the right place, but he’s only got himsel’ tae blame – revealin’ a’ the fairies’ secrets in yon book o’ his. They dinnae like that. Pixies like their privacy! I mean’ it’s no’ like you’re gonnae find 'em on Facebook! Take the Brownie that plagued a poor family in Menstrie, out by the Altmor Burn - breaking cups an’ rattlin’ pots an’ pans in deid o’ night. They thought they had a poltergeist! They tried offering him gifts of food an’ milk...but nothin’ worked. He only let them be when o’ their weans had found out his name. Puddlefoot, it was. Mind you, if I had a name like that I widnae be best pleases, either!

Mind you, it’s wise no’ tae get on their bad books.Fairy Tales, Faery Tales

Back in my day there was a farm at Craigannan, owned by a man named David Wright. Now Davie was a kind auld soul, an’ he relied on the Fairies for the spreading an’ stacking o’ grass tae make hay. They trusted him – or so the story goes - for he tookk care no’ tae pry intae their affairs. He let them be, took care tae steer his ploughs around the Fairy Knolls where their spirits rested, an’ a’ways paid for their labours at sheep-shearing time wae a dozen o’ his best fleeces. The trouble came when good Davie died.

Young Maister Wright, his heir, was a right wee bacchle: he grudged the Good Fowk the promised fleeces. Oh, he let them labour, right enough, harvesting his hay as usual – then left four rotten, ragged goat-skins as their pay. The wee folk were no’ happy...an’ soured his milk tae show their scorn.

The ungrateful farmer taeok his plough...an’ dug up their Fairy Rings - left the spirits homeless. He thought himself the Big Man, an’ boasted o’ his brave deed in the alehouse that very night...though no neighbour would share a cup with him. He staggered home, drunk an’ bitter – wandering along the Pass o’ Glenqueich, led, or so he thought, by the light left burning in his farmhouse window tae guide him hame. ‘Twas only when he started sinking intae the bog...as the muck an’ mire seeped intae his boots an’ dragged him under...that he saw it was the twinkling light o’ a will-o’-the-wisp, a homeless hob-goblin which had led him tae his doom.

Mind you, they’re no a’ so bad.

There was a Drunken Sautman – a salt-seller - frae the Ochils who led his wife a merry dance. The brute would beat her, chide her, scorn her name each night – possessed, it seems by the darkness o’ the Demon Drink. Yet, when sober, he was the kindest, truest soul in Christendom.

The Sautman’s bride prayed tae God for aid, tae keep her husband sure an’ sober, an’ – when that failed – she prayed tae the Fair Folk, instead. They took pity ‘pon her. They spirited her away tae their secret palace at Cauldhame where they treated her like a Queen.

They’d secretly spirit her home, frae time tae time, tae watch her drunken beau. At first he was as wild as ever, wailing that the washing was not done, that his food not cooked...but, as the months passed he grew more sorrowful...an’ more sober. He washed out his whisky flask, emptied his cask of ale – woeful that his wicked, drunken ways had driven away his faithful bride. For a year an’ a day he was sober both day an’ night, an’ the Fairies returned his wife tae him. They left her with a gift – a wee, carved stick, a magic wand o’ sorts – an’ said “So lang as ye keep this, your gudeman will drink nae mair.”

And he never did.

Mind, if he had she could hae used it tae gie him a right guid poke!”

Monologue taken from Stirling GhostWalk 2012

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