Aberdeenshire Folk Tales by Grace Banks

By Grace Banks

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

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Grace Banks 1 HILL AND GLEN BLELACK When my aunt, Isobel Craib of Tullyoch Farm, Echt, married her second cousin, George Booth of Skene, she would say that a piece of her heart was left in her birthplace, as if Skene were on the far side of the moon. ’ County folk have long memories. To this place, the fairies were sent. B Blelack House lies 30 miles west of Aberdeen, near the village of Logie Coldstone, 3 miles north of the River Dee in Cromar, in the Grampian foothills. The name Blelack is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic Baile ailich meaning ‘village of the stone house’.

Mary gazed south from the kitchen window, as she had done every day for the last two years, always hoping for the familiar sight of Sandy, her betrothed, to come striding across the fields. He had left penniless to join the army, vowing to return with wealth enough to marry his beloved. With a sigh, Mary went back to beating the pancakes; even her hopeful spirit could not remain optimistic when there had been no word of Sandy in all this time. It was the following Sunday, when everyone was leaving the wee kirk, that Mary first caught sight of the stranger.

His name was Jeemsie. He set off very early, working his way to the top of Glen Gairn from the pass. It was a crisp, cold day. He had worked up at Loch Builig in the afternoon helping an old shepherd, but now he was tired and keen to get back to the Evening Star. He had earned two white hares from the shepherd, some butter and turnips, and a pocketful of coins from crofters along the glen, chopping sticks for folk, or feeding animals. It was a long way back, and the sky was beginning to darken.

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