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A Highland Wedding in Bygone Days
The Fairy Snuff-Box


THERE was once a man in Trotternish, in the Island of Skye, who had no snuff. He went to all the shops in the place for more, but they had all run out of it—bha iad uile air ruith a mach ais. He heard that there was a pedlar—ceannaiche-siubhail—in the township of Kilmuir, who had plenty of snuff. So after him he went. But when he reached Kilmuir the pedlar was after going to Waternish. He went after him there, but when he reached, the pedlar was after going to Edinbane. He went after him there, but when he reached, the pedlar was after going to Dunvegan. He went after him there, but when he reached, the pedlar was after going to Stein. He went after him there, but when he reached, the pedlar was after going to Portree. He went after him there, and when he reached, he found the pedlar before him. He bought a few pounds of snuff and went away. On his way home he got thirsty, and went for a drink to a spring near the road. When he was coming from the well he saw an old gray-headed man sitting beside the road. He entered into conversation with him, and told him of the trouble he had before he got the snuff. "Well," said the old man, "I will give you a snuff-box, full of snuff, and if you will always give it open to others, the snuff in it will never be spent." The man took the box, thanked the old man, and went away. He had the snuff-box for a considerable time after this; yet the box never failed, because he always gave the box open to other people. Some time after this Lord Macdonald came to collect his rent, and this man, while paying his rent, offered him "a snuff" having first, of course, opened the box. "Would you dare," said his lordship, "to give the box open to me. Shut it, for I can open it myself." The man complied, and shutting the box, handed it to his lordship. He opened it, when lo! it was empty. The man explained the mystery, whereupon his lordship, on account of the loss he inflicted on the man, gave his croft to him free as long as he lived, besides many presents.

From Mr. Kenneth Macleod, Eigg.


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