As I regularly guide, American tourists in the Isle of Lewis, I need a stock of clan stories. Firstly I find, I have to really like the story myself, before I can dedicate the time to craft and lay down each facet to memory.
I am fortunate that I can tease out extracts of local stories: add the missing links i e geographical, historical with idiomatic, related words and phrases which are lurking in the mist of memory.
Whilst appreciating that the right story can be utilised and related to different audiences, using two different languages as required.
Imagine my delight when I discovered in a publication The Last of the MacLeod’s, set in the 17th century and relating to my own parish of Lochs. Although in English it read with an authentic Gàidhlig blas, terrific original material.
Fast forward a month, the Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, recorded my new Gàidhlig version, to be unveiled very soon in their new podcast series.
Below-a teaser in English
On hearing this Donald said
“As this is to be our last night on earth, There are certain favours I would beg to be granted me”.
On being asked what he wanted he answered
“Tocasaid uisge beatha (A keg of whisky)Ballan ìm (A quantity of butter in a sheep skin pouch).
Ceann tri chaoraich dhubh-cheannach (The head of three black faced sheep)”