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Story entitled 'An t Each Uisge', 28 February 1861

Identifier: Coll-97/CW109/24

Scope and Contents

Story entitled 'An t Each Uisge' ['The Water-Horse'] collected from Manus Mac Neacail [Magnus Nicolson], Carbost [Càrabost, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach/Isle of Skye]. The story tells how a woman in Uisgegeir or Aoidhsgeir [possibly Theisgeir/Heisker] had a prophesy in which a calf born in Uibhist/Uist would save the island from a water-horse. Two MacKenzies would be sitting on a hill and would see two crows, one of which would drop a bone, which would hit one of them on the head and they would die. The old woman died but her prophesy was remembered. The islanders heard that a calf had been born on Uist and they went and got it. It was locked in a shed and looked after by a young girl - no one else ever saw it. One day a girl was herding cows when she was approached by the most handsome young man. He lay down, put his head in her lap and fell asleep. As she stroked his head she noticed sand in his hair and on looking down at his legs noticed he had hooves like a horse. She cut her coat away around his head and fled. The islanders saw the water-horse pursuing the girl and went to free the calf, which had been fattened up for a whole year, from the shed. It broke free and fought with the water-horse in a fearsome fight. The water-horse and the bull-calf were seen well into the night wrestling in the sea. In the morning scratches from hooves and bull horns were found. The story-teller asserted that the bull horns could still be seen as the 'maide-feanaig' in the roof of the house.


  • 28 February 1861

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 3 notebooks of 80 folios ; 21 x 25 cm