The wood so softly singing
In a language strange to hear
And the song it sings will find you
As the twilight draws you near

20100321

The Gudeman o' Siggie Taft


It was said that the trows had taken against the people of Siggie Taft. Here's why:

There was once a member of this family riding his grey mare and driving a red deer along the misty slopes of Stakkaberg, which was noted as a place of great danger. But this man feared nothing. As he rode along he heard a voice out of the raging torrent:

Du 'at rides de grey and rins de red
Tell Tona Tivla 'at Fona Fivla
Is faan i' de Velyna Vatjna
The words stayed with him and, arriving home, and putting his horse in the stable, he repeated them out loud. At once an 'uncanny woman' leaped out of the door of the adjoining byre and away with her. As she went he heard her saying the words

O care and dole -
Dats my bairn has fallen
In the Churning Water
When he went into the byre he found a milking pan of strange design beneath the cow which the woman had left behind her. This was kept in the house for many generations and brought good luck to the household. But each night it had to be put, with a special prayer, into the cauldron pot that hung on a ringed chain by the Hearth.

One night this was not done, and it was left out.In the morning it had disappeared. Ever since the trows have taken against the people of Siggie Taft and their luck has ended.



*
  Adapted from (dialect modified)  Shetland Folk Book II

1 comment:

Robert said...

Beware of the trows!