February Update

Councillor Ian Campbell

We were extremely sad to hear of the sudden death of Councillor Ian Campbell. Ian worked very hard on a number of issues on behalf of Fearnan, and was a good friend and supporter of the village.

Ian’s funeral will take place on Thursday 15th February 2018 at 10:30am in St John’s Kirk. This will be followed by a reception in the Civic Hall at Perth & Kinross Council, 2 High Street, Perth, where the family would like to invite everyone to join them for a toast to Ian. At 1pm the hearse will leave 2 High Street, for a burial service at Aberfeldy Cemetery at 2.00pm which everyone is also invited too.

Poppy Project

Knitting needles are clicking furiously and we’re all delighted at the response from the knitting community – we’ve even been promised some poppies from Russia!  So far we have one promise of a poppy from a non-knitter (at least up till now!). It’s also the only ‘boy’ poppy in the offing.  Are there any more XY Chromosome people up for a challenge?

Winter Pudding Night

Don’t forget it’s the annual, world-famous, Fearnan Winter Pudding Night on Saturday at 6pm in the Hall. BYOB and if you would like to bring a pudding (not in the least compulsory but always welcome!), please let Julia know on 830408.

Coming Soon

The first Coffee Morning of the year will be on Tuesday March 6th at 10.30 in the McLean Hall.

The FVA’s AGM is on Saturday 17th March at 4pm in the McLean Hall.

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Marking the Centenary of WW1

This year, the world will mark the centenary of the end of WW1 in November. In the course of the War, thirteen men from this small rural village signed up to fight for their country and, tragically, eight of those men died. They are commemorated on our War Memorial where a Service of Remembrance is held every year in November.

Plans for a special service and celebration in this centenary year are already being laid, master minded by Cath McGregor. The aim is to produce hundreds of knitted (or crochet) poppies that will be used to decorate the War Memorial on the 11th November.

A village Poppy Brigade is already busy knitting but this is a project that we can share with the wider Fearnan diaspora not only in Scotland and the UK, but also around the world (some of whom read this Blog). We know that people in North America, Australia, New Zealand, mainland Europe and Asia regularly click onto this blog and it would mean a lot if some people in this wider audience, who have an interest, or friends, or relatives in Fearnan, felt able to contribute a poppy or two. Equally valuable would be a little bit of information about your connection with the village – these personal stories and histories add an extra dimension to a project like this.

Four years ago, when we marked the centenary of the start of WW1, we were in touch with some of the descendants of the men whose names appear on the War Memorial and it would be particularly special if some of the poppies made came from this group of people.

There is a pattern and instructions at the end of this article, but there are lots of poppy patterns on the internet and any knitted or crochet poppy, as long as it is red, will be welcomed. The final design created at the memorial will depend on the number of poppies we receive.

(Oh, and the Blog would like to stress that this is a totally egalitarian and gender non-specific project, but we don’t seem to have any boy poppies yet. Just saying!)


Poppy Pattern

You will need: Double knitting wool (red) and size 9 (3 3/4) needles.

Tip 1: don’t knit too tight – it makes the decreasing easier.

Tip 2: it is also much easier to knit the decrease 3 together row with a smaller pin.

To Start: Cast on 120 stitches.

Rows 1- 4: knit

Row 5: knit 3 stitches together (best done into back of stitches) across the row (40 stitches)

Rows 6-9: knit

Row 10: knit 2 stitches together across the row (20 stitches)

Rows 11-14: knit

Row 15: knit 2 stitches together across the row (10 stitches)

Cut yarn leaving a tail of about 20cm.

Thread tail through yarn needle and slip all the remaining live stitches onto the yarn tail and pull tight.  Pull around into a circle and then mattress stitch (or use whatever stitching you normally use) to seam for an invisible seam.  Sew in ends.

Centre of Poppy

Either: using black, cast on 16 stitches.  Cast off.  Coil into a tight spiral and sew base to the centre.  Or: use a black or green button with 4 holes and sew to centre of poppy.


Collecting the Poppies

If you live in Fearnan, the poppies can be given to Cath or dropped off for collection at the Hall when attending hall events.

If you know someone who lives in Fearnan, please send them to your friend or contact who can deliver them locally.

If you don’t have a current contact in Fearnan, email the blog here and I’ll provide a mailing address.

We hope you can help us with this project and look forward to lots of poppies!

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Here We Are in 2018!

The Blog has been updated for 2018, and a couple of extra pages have been added to the site. This year’s FVA events are now on the What’s On page, our Photo Archive has been revamped and updated, and articles about Fearnan in days gone by have been grouped together on the Fearnan in the Past page.  There is also a new page that details useful phone and contact numbers for quick reference when needed. All of these can be read by clicking the appropriate link in the black menu bar near the top of the page.

As ever, we have a full programme of events for 2018.  First up is the Winter Pudding Night 2018 on Saturday 17th February at 6pm for members and their friendsIt’s the perfect antidote to wintry weather, and the pudding lover’s dream come true. A convivial evening with the best choice of puddings you will find anywhere, ever! Whether you prefer childhood favourites like treacle pudding, jam roly-poly and rice pudding, or more sophisticated tarts and desserts, there’s something here for everyone.  Live music. Come hungry!

The cost is £7.50pp for as much as you can eat (the current Individual Record stands at 19 puddings sampled) and for school age children, it’s £3.50. Our regular bakers make all the puddings, but if you would like to bring one too, please could you let Julia know (tel: 830408) so that it is can be included on the Menu.

In case you’ve never been, here is a little sample of what it might be like…..


Throughout the year, you can also join us at the regular Coffee Mornings for freshly brewed coffee and tea and some delicious home baking between 10.30am and 12.00 on the following dates:

Tuesday 6th March

Tuesday 3rd April

Tuesday 8th May

Tuesday 5th June

Tuesday 25th September

Tuesday 30th October


Also Happening This Year:


Fearnan Village Association’s AGM will take place in the village hall on March 17th, between 4pm and 5pm. All  members are welcome.

Saturday 21st July: Strawberry TeaZ 15.00 -17.00. Cakes, tarts, scones, ice cream and more – all made or served with strawberries. Live music.

Sunday Nov 11thRemembrance Sunday 11.00 at the War Memorial and after in the village hall for tea and coffee.  This year marks 100 years from the end of WW1.

Saturday 8th DecMulled Wine & Mince Pies 15.00 – 17.00. Come and enjoy some seasonal goodies and good company.


Book Club Review of 2017

In December, the Book Club enjoyed their annual festive outing for a meal at the Waterfront in Kenmore . The books read throughout the year were discussed in an attempt to choose a 2017 favourite. The list of books (see below) demonstrates a wide range of genres read in 2017, with less crime and murder featuring!

Kitchens of the Great Mid-West, J. Rydal Stradal

Nutshell, Ian McEwen

These Foolish Things, Deborah Mogach

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, Joanne Cannon

The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry

To Be Continued, James Robertson

The Kalahari Typing School for Men, Alexander McColl Smith

Alone in Berlin, Hans Fallada

Dead Water, Ann Cleeves

The Dry, Jane Harper

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, Katherine Bivald

This year there was no clear favourite, but most liked The Dry by Jane Harper as a page turner with twists. To Be Continued by James Robertson, a popular Scottish author with the group, was a favourite for several members. Others considered The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry to be their number one, and most agreed that it was the best written.

The book club meets for a relaxed discussion of the chosen text on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30 pm and new members are always welcome. The group have decided to read The Passenger by Lisa Lutz for the next meeting on Wednesday 14th February at 7.30pm. They will also be making up a reading list for 2018.

It is also worth mentioning that the Mobile Library visits Fearnan Hall car park on alternate Tuesdays between 4.00 and 4.30. The next dates are January 23rd and 6th February. Scott from the library service gives everyone a warm, friendly welcome and is very knowledgeable about the wide range of books on offer both fiction and non-fiction. It is possible to order books which he will bring on his next visit. (It is also, The Blog has been told, a great source of village gossip.  Surely not! )

http://www.culturepk.org.uk/libraries/services-in-the-community/mobile-library-service or phone 01887 822405


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A Fearnan Christmas…and a winter too many!

A few weeks ago, we asked former resident Alastair Barnett what Christmas was like in Fearnan when he was growing up during the war years.

The Blog likes to think of Alastair as its North American Correspondent, and this time he has conjured up a wonderful account of a 1940s Christmas, with the music of the time playing on the radio as ingenious solutions to the problems of rationing are developed in the kitchen.

He also gives us an account of a dramatic rescue by sledge during the bitter winter of 1946/47, when the village – and indeed the whole of the country – was engulfed in snow for very long periods.

Alistair writes:

When I was preparing to jot down a few recollections of Christmases past for the Fearnan Village Association blog, I asked my brother Jim if he had any particular memories of Christmas growing up in Fearnan during the war.  “I remember mostly the village being very quiet both at Christmas and the New Year,” he replied.

As I sat down to write I realized not only do early childhood memories grow dim as the years drift away, but also celebrating the tradition of Christmas during the war years was difficult for everyone and especially hard on evacuees. Many children of school age who had to flee the city found themselves far from home without their parents. How lonely they must have been. My brother and I were very young therefore fortunate to have our mother with us at all times when we left Glasgow.

The sketchy recollections I have of living at Thistle Cottage as a child include snapshot images of Christmas when mother would make sure we hung a pillowcase over the bedpost on Christmas Eve, and jumping out of bed, bursting with excitement on Christmas morning to discover Santa had not forgotten us.  I loved the Rupert Bear adventure books and comics he left, along with crayons and colouring books and the Roy Rogers six-gun that fired off little red caps with a loud cracking sound. Santa also had an uncanny knowledge of our size in jerseys and socks. (I suspect he conferred with our relatives in Glasgow to get this information.)

As our lives were inexorably intertwined with the Butters family next-door, memories emerge of Christmas when my brother and I clambered over the dike to Springbank cottage. The “front-room” was decorated with multicoloured crepe paper garlands, and we helped pin tissue paper honeycomb bells on the walls and ceiling, and gathered holly from the garden to place around pictures and between Christmas cards on the mantelpiece.  While this was going on, the kitchen filled with the spicy aromas of suet dumpling and fruitcake, and savoury chicken and Lucy’s sweet Melting Moments, along with Sandy’s not so sweet-smelling pipe smoke as he nodded off in front of the blazing fire, with Rover the collie stretched out at his feet by the hearth.

On one occasion I remember Mother’s contribution was a home baked Victoria sponge cake. As fresh cream in winter was scarce, or perhaps non-existent, she became quite creative and piled the cake high with beaten egg white topped off with orange slices. It looked very grand but to this day I don’t know where she got the orange, as they too were in short supply. However, the uncooked egg white was sweet and satisfied my notorious (and lifelong) addiction to sugar.

Thinking of it now, our Grandmother lived in South Africa and once a year would send some tinned goods. Perhaps this solves the mystery of the orange slices if in fact, they canned oranges in those days.

During supper, Sandy who appeared never to enjoy music or singing of any kind must have surrendered and allowed the radio to be switched on in the background for the special Christmas occasion, otherwise I might never have heard of Bing Crosby or “White Christmas, ” or “Jingle Bells” for that matter.

After supper when the dishes were removed to the scullery, the only sound was the ticking of the Grandfather clock and the logs hissing in the fireplace. I sat at the table and in the glow of the paraffin lamp, opened my new box of crayons and drew elegant gentlemen in tall hats and tailcoats arm-in-arm with ladies in bonnets and colourful crinoline dresses. (Images I copied from Christmas cards.) Across the table, Jim maneuvered his toy soldiers through fierce imaginary battles. (By this time we had moved on from drawing camouflaged tanks and Spitfires.) My younger brother, Iain, was very young and in bed long before supper was over.

Once I sneaked out into the frosty night and spent a few minutes chatting with “Paddy” the cow in the byre behind the house. I felt she was being left out, cold and alone and I wanted to comfort her.  She was very receptive and gave me an approving look with her big brown eyes when I patted her head. The byre, as it turned out, was surprisingly warmer than I expected.

What we experienced in Fearnan, not only at Christmas but also throughout those memorable years, was a spirit of camaraderie and the willingness to “mend, make do, and help each other out.”  Evidence of this was illustrated vividly when we had to leave Thistle Cottage and move to Balnearn.

The war had ended and we as a family were coming to terms with the fact that father was not coming home. It’s a mother’s instinct to protect her children, and our mother put on a brave face but I sensed her heartbreak and occasionally came across her in tears. I know she was lonely and I’m sure moving out of the village to Balnearn increased her feelings of isolation.

Soon after arriving at Balnearn, Jim and I both came down with whooping cough.  It’s possible Doctor Swanson from Aberfeldy administered some care but I have no memory of it.  I remember only mother giving us medicine which presumably was prescribed by the Kenmore nurse or the doctor. To make matters worse, the fierce blizzard of 1946/47 that brought Britain to a standstill, struck our hillside home in January and suddenly we were cut off from the village,

How miserable winter was in that remote cottage. The pipes were frozen solid which meant we had to fill buckets with snow to melt over the fire for water. And while waking up to a vista of fresh snow every morning can be magical ― especially through the eyes of a child ― when viewed through a thick layer of ice that covers the inside of all the windows, it loses some of its magic. But our most demanding chore was digging logs out of the woodpile, which was buried day after day beneath freshly fallen deep snow. With one solitary fireplace in the kitchen, the other rooms were freezing cold.  Only when we huddled in bed at night under a pile of blankets with a hot water bottle did we experience some respite from winter’s wrath.  It was on such a night when we prepared to go to bed early to escape the cold that an angel arrived out of the darkness holding a lantern and pulling a sledge. Chrissie Butters had climbed the hill to rescue us!

Alarmed at the treacherous conditions, her parents Lucy and Sandy had sent Chrissie out into the storm in an attempt to bring us back to the village.  Being transported on a sledge in a freezing winter storm in the night was a bit scary but also an exciting adventure and something no child could forget. Wrapped in blankets I crouched on the sledge with Chrissie and Jim pulling hard against the blinding snow, while mother in a heavy coat, headscarf and Wellington boots, trudged alongside steadying the personal belongings she had balanced precariously on the sledge beside me. I believe I’m correct in thinking my younger brother Iain had been moved to Springbank some time earlier before the storm hit. But in any case I have no memory of him during our departure from Balnearn that night.

Is there any feeling experienced by a child comparable to that of being loved? How difficult it is to fully express the warm, loving sensation I experienced that night, finally safe in the village with my brothers, my mother and the Butters family sitting close, beside a crackling fire after our ordeal on the hill.

In so many ways Chrissie holds a very special place in my heart.  When I was five, it was Chrissie — then a teenager — who lay on my bed, comforting me throughout the night while Mother was in the Aberfeldy Cottage hospital giving birth to my brother Iain. When I was with Chrissie I felt secure. A child doesn’t evaluate such feelings but simply accepts what is. Thinking of her now, I recognize she possessed an intangible aura of quiet comforting serenity and a heart full of compassion and understanding and later on I discovered, someone with whom I could safely share any confidence. Chrissie was well loved, well respected and is deeply missed.

Of all the memories I have of Fearnan, the winter of 1946/47 stands out clearly in my mind.  Regardless of the torturous weather, one must have the soul of a poet to describe the beauty of Fearnan as it was then.

I’m not a poet but I cannot stem the emotion that springs from my heart when I think of the crisp winter nights when I stood alone in the perfect silence outside Springbank Cottage and marvelled at the pale winter-white moon and the stars sparkling over the snow-laden hills and the loch; wood-scented smoke drifting from cottage chimneys and the occasional yellow light ― blinking through wind stripped branches ― from across the loch at Ardeonaig, and Lawers and Killin.

There is something wonderful about the quietness of Christmas. It is a reminder to grow still…and listen to the silence.

Merry Christmas, Fearnan — I miss you.


Thank you, Alastair, and a very Happy Christmas to you and all our contributors, followers and readers ……………

Copyright Peter McKenzie


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Introducing Mr and Mrs Dolan-Betney!

Sue and Dolan

We’re delighted to be able to bring you this great picture, hot off the press, of the newly-weds after their wedding in Killin on Thursday 21st December!

We wish Sue and Dolan every happiness in their life together.

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Catch Up on Events

The Blog has been away on its holidays recently (it had a very nice time) and now has a few items to catch up on.

Remembrance Day in Fearnan

Despite the cold weather, there was a good turnout at the War Memorial for a short service taken by Mr Grant Smith, the Session Clerk, who bravely climbed the temporary Memorial steps to lead the service and prayers. It was a happy return for Grant, who took the Fearnan service on a regular basis for many years.

The wreaths were laid by Peter McKenzie and Bob Woolley and, as well as remembering members of our own forces who lost their lives, a short dedication to the Russian airmen who died in an air crash just outside the village in 1943 was also written on one of them.

Most of the people who attended the service also went back to the village hall for a cup of tea and some home-made biscuits.  A collection was held for Help for Heroes.

Those of you who follow Aberfeldy Museum’s Facebook page will have seen the recent post about the Kenmore Parish Church publication from 1915.  The publication, which belongs to former Fearnan resident Alec McEwan, includes a Roll of Honour, described as “A list of men, natives of the Parish and others therein, who have gone forth to serve their King and Country in the war.”

A total of 13 men from Fearnan are included in the list:


Of those 13, only 5 returned at the end of the war and the war memorial commemorates the 8 who died in the service of their country. We have pictures of 7 of them:

The eighth man was Duncan McPhail of the Scots Guards.

There is more information in several earlier blog articles, including Fearnan War Memorial – the Story Unfolds and Local Heroes.

Moving forward to WW2, another former Fearnan resident, Alastair Barnett, contributed a moving article to the blog on Remembrance Day about his own family’s experience of the war.

“The words of the songI’ll be Seeing You’ express the sentiments shared by many families in the UK during WW2. It was one of Mother’s favourites during the war, and for many years after.  I’d like to share this old familiar rendition (click here) sung by Vera Lynn as our thoughts take us back to Fearnan 1945 — our wartime refuge — on this Day of Remembrance.

“My Father visited Fearnan on leave only once as I recall, around 1941. My memory is of him, in uniform, shooting an Aspirin bottle off the branch of a tree on the shore at Springbank in a friendly competition with Sandy Butters. I was only four but remember a tremendous surge of pride at his accomplishment. (Sandy claimed he “couldnae” see the bottle.) Father was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and served in Italy, North Africa, Dunkirk, and Greece. He and his comrades in arms who never returned, are remembered today with pride and gratitude.”

Thank you for sharing your memories, Alastair.


Mulled Wine and Mince Pies

An important date in the FVA’s calendar is our final event of the year – Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.

Last Saturday’s event was well-attended and a lot of fun. It attracted a nice mix of residents and visitors from far and wide. And a considerable age-range, with baby Amelia managing to reduce the average age by a good number of years!

Every one helped with clearing up, which was much appreciated by the setters-up. In fact, people didn’t seem to want to go home and, as Peter tried to sweep the floor, they just moved from one side of the hall to the other, without a break in the chat!

A lovely start to the Christmas season.

Book Club

The Book Club’s December meeting is going to be a little bit different – it’s a festive dinner for  members on the 12th December in the Waterfront restaurant in Kenmore. The Club’s favourite book(s) of the year will be discussed, and we’ll report on the outcome in the next edition of the Blog.

The current book is “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg, which it will be discussed at the January meeting. It was written in 1987 and weaves together the past and the present through the blossoming friendship between Evelyn Couch, a middle-aged housewife, and Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly woman who lives in a nursing home.

Coming Up Soon!

The next event, and our first of 2018, will be the Winter Pudding Night on Saturday 17th February.

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Two Local Tales for Hallowe’en

It’s All Hallows’ Eve! A time of superstition that marks the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. A time when the boundary between this world and the otherworld thins, allowing spirits to pass more easily into our world and, for many centuries, a time when people have lit bonfires and worn costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

Local folklore confirms that belief in the spirit world was strong in Breadalbane, and in ancient times people were as sure of the existence of fairies, sprites and witches as they were of the fact that they were alive themselves.

Among the various supernatural beings that the people of Breadalbane believed to exist, the urisk was one of the most potent. Urisks were water spirits that haunted pools, waterfalls and lonely moorland lochs (the name is derived from the Gaelic word uisge meaning water).  Only visible to those who possessed second sight (unless they themselves chose to be visible), urisks were solitary creatures, bigger and stronger than humans, and inclined to be very mischievous.

At the end of harvest-time (Hallowe’en), they left their lonely dens and would hover near farmyards, stables and cattle houses. They had a particular weakness for dairy products and were known to pester milkmaids who had to make regular gifts of milk or cream to charm them off.

Around the end of the 19th century, Mr James Macdiarmid from Morenish collected a number of folklore tales which he contributed in the form of papers to the Gaelic Society of Inverness. These papers were subsequently published in the Society’s Transactions, and have helped to preserve information about some of the old customs and superstitions of our area.

Two of the old tales tell the story of the urisks who lived near Fearnan – Caobarlan, who lived in Drummond Hill Wood, and Paderlan, who lived in the burn at the far side of Boreland Wood between Lawers and Fearnan. Although we know it as Chapel Burn, in the old days it was called after the urisk that lived there – Allt Coire Phadairlidh. Even today, it appears on modern maps under that old name.

The first old tale is about Caobarlan – so named because he amused himself at night by throwing stones and mud balls (caoban) at late-night travellers on the road between Fearnan and Kenmore.  He seemed to particularly target those who found themselves a little unsteady on their feet.

These old tales are very much in the oral tradition of story telling and would have been told countless times around the hearth on a winter’s evening.

So, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Long ago there was a clever, hard-working woman who lived in Fearnan but who had the misfortune to have married a rude and lazy man. She had a cow that grazed on the pasture below Drummond Hill by day, and which would return of its own accord in the late afternoon. One evening the cow had not returned by twilight and the woman asked her husband to go with her to look for the cow which had probably strayed into Drummond Hill Wood, but the sullen and lazy man would not even get out of his chair; indeed, he utterly refused to search for the animal and told her she would have to go on her own.

So, the good woman had to pluck up her courage and go into the wood to find the animal by herself, knowing that in the dark the wood echoed with the frightening and unearthly noises made by Caobarlan.

She searched without success for some time then, as she made her way through the wood in the pitch black, she realised to her horror that she had arrived at the very spot where Caobarlan had his den. Trembling with fear, she decided that kindness was probably the best weapon she had at her disposal and offered Caobarlan a friendly blessing, saying aloud:

“A blessing on thy name, Caobarlan.” Then, for good measure, she added, “I am not afraid of you even at this late time of day.”

On hearing these words, who should appear from his hollow but Caobarlan – and he was delighted with her words.

“Do you know,” he said, “all my life I have longed to receive a blessing from a mortal being. You have done me a great favour. ”

He asked if he could do anything to help her in return, and she explained her errand at that time of night on the hill. He immediately joined her in her search, and they found the cow in a nearby hollow. Alongside it was the reason for its failure to return to the byre. It had just given birth to a fine bull-calf.

Together, they drove the cow and calf home but when they arrived at the croft, Caobarlan was incensed to find the husband still sleeping by the fire when his wife had been out on the hill alone. He decided to help the man see the error of his ways and, in the words of the old tale, gave him ‘a good trouncing’.

So, at the end of this little tale, the hardworking wife is happy to have found her precious cow and its valuable calf; the lazy husband has been taught a lesson that he will never forget; and Caobarlan, who has achieved his aim of being blessed by a mortal being, was never more seen in the land of the living.


The second story is about Paderlan, who was well known for playing mischievous pranks, but this surviving story tells us how he, too, came to leave the district. It is also about the ability of mortals under pressure to outsmart supernatural beings.

Late one autumn evening, we are told, an old farmer from Lawers was making his way home from the Kenmore market. He hurried on at a brisk trot in order to get over the urisk’s burn, Allt Coire Phadairlidh, before it was too late; but just as he rode his horse past the burn he felt a small creature, very light and very lithe, jump up on the horse behind him and shout “Boo!” very loudly in his ear. He guessed immediately that it must be a young urisk. The old farmer was not afraid and, with a quick sweep of his arm, he wrapped his plaid round the creature and then knotted it in front of himself, thereby strapping the urisk tightly to his back. Then he rode home as fast as his horse could carry him.

On arriving at his house, he unfolded his strange bundle and showed the young urisk to his sons. He told them to bar the door and windows and, as an afterthought, told them to put more peats on the fire and to place the end of the old coulter of the plough in the fire. Then they all settled down quietly to wait for the arrival of Paderlan.

They did not have to wait long.

Suddenly there was a terrible noise outside, so loud that the house shook and the doors and windows rattled, as Paderlan demanded his son back. At first, those inside did not answer but then Paderlan put his head to the barred window and roared,


“I will give you back your son,” said the old farmer, “but first you must promise me that you will leave Breadalbane and never again return.”

After some thought Paderlan said, “Very well. I will go to Carn-dearg, above Ardeonaig.”

“Not far enough,” replied the farmer. “You must leave Breadalbane, or you will not get your son.”

Eventually Paderlan agreed to leave, and the old farmer handed the little urisk out of the window and, as he did so, Paderlan said slyly, “Old man, I should like to shake your hand.”

”Of course,” said the farmer, and with that he took the coulter from the fire and pushed the hot end through the window. Paderlan took hold of it in his hand and twisted, and twisted, and twisted, until the coulter looked like a corkscrew.

“Good-bye, old man,” said Paderlan, “but I must say your grip is hard and dry.”

The farmer laughed quietly to himself. True to his word, from that date Paderlan was never seen again in Breadalbane.

So Caobarlan has gone. Paderlan has gone.  Does this mean that we can sleep easy in our beds this Hallowe’en?

I’m afraid not – I forgot to mention Cas Luath (Fleet Foot) who used to haunt the old wood above Letterellan. Unfortunately, no tales of his deeds or of his departure have survived so, for all we know, he may still be there ……………………….!


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