As there was no local accessible collection of oral tradition stories relating to Sgire nan Loch to support storytellers of all ages, I have been gathering some tales. 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. 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)”
All of those were granted….
Langabhat borders four parishes in Lewis and this is short story is called Fear Langabhat
The herring fishing in Wick was the setting for this account about Lochs men in a huge fight Sabaist Mhor Wick, which is said to have lasted seven days. Lochs fishermen in the thick of it, made their way home on foot.