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Summer at the Lake of Monteith
Curious Tradition regarding the Fairies


On the south-eastern shore of the lake of Monteith there is a singular peninsula called Cnoc-n’an-Bocan, “Bogle-knowe,” or “Hobgoblin-hill,” and which was the headquarters of “all the fairies” in this district of country. During the time these “lubberly supernaturals” held the “Cnoc-n’an-Bocan,” the then Earls of Monteith possessed what was called the “red book,” to open which was to be followed by something preternatural. One of the Earls unfortunately unclasped the fatal volume, when, lo! the fairies appeared before him demanding work. Not knowing what work to set them to, his lordship hit upon the plan of making a road into the island. They began on the southern shore, and had made the now beautiful and pleasing peninsula of “Arnmauk,” tufted with its dark green Scotch firs. The Earl, however, finding that if they continued this work his hitherto impregnable retreat would be cut off, asked them to make for him a rope of sand. They began this latter task without finishing the former, and finding their new work too much for them, they resolved to depart, to the no small joy of the Earl. His lordship, however, in consideration of their herculean toils, unfinished as they were, gave them a grant of the north shoulder of Ben-Venue, still called Cair-n’an-Uriskin.

M‘Gregor Stirling says, “To their desire for work may be attributed the vegetable splendour of their present abode, which without, it would have had the most forlorn aspect imaginable, but adorned as it now is, presents unequalled specimens of the sublime and beautiful conjoined. There is, indeed, in Coir-n’an-Uriskin and Bealach-n’an-Bo, a certain magic grace bespeaking the aerial tenantry.” Coir-n’an-Uriskin is the cove of the “Urisk’s ” or “Fairies,” Bealoch-n’an-Bo, the “Lass of the Cows.”


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