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TITLE
Gaelic Arts Agency Storytelling Project - clip 4
EXTERNAL ID
PC_LEWIS_STORY_TELLERS_1_4
DATE OF RECORDING
1999
PERIOD
1990s
SOURCE
Essie Stewart
ASSET ID
2683
KEYWORDS

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Another couple of stories from Essie Stewart: This is the first story told by Essie's grandfather to the School of Scottish Studies for their recordings. It was the first story learned and recounted by him as a youngster, and also the first story Essie told to an audience, so one of which she is fond. It is of the tales of Ossian.

The setting is a stormy night, three huts, an ugly woman seeking shelter. She was refused shelter at the first two huts, but at the third, Ossian's, she was taken in, fed and allowed to share Ossian's bed. In the morning she was no longer ugly, but very beautiful. She told him never to tell him what her appearance was like the previous night. Eventually the two married. One day, his dog having pups, he told her to mark the first born pup, and not to give it away, no matter what. She put a red ribbon on it. But a man came to the door, knew Ossian was out, and despite her refusal, drew a knife and demanded the first born pup. Fear made her comply and then she put the ribbon on a different pup. When Ossian returned he realised the pup was not the oldest, he upbraided his wife, and she turned into a bird which flew up the chimney. Ossian followed the bird for many years, and eventually she took pity on him and told him to go home, that she would never return, but she gave him a gold ring to put on which would give him good health as long as he wore it.

After many years Ossian reached back home, and a man (Para 'n Aontarachd / an Aon Shuileach?) and a boy were in the house, and they stayed with him. One day the boy came in with a deer, boasting about its size, but Ossian said he had seen bigger blackbirds. They went out hunting together the next day, long distances, till Ossian told the boy to climb a far off tree and see what was there. The boy told Ossian he could see a pup at the base of the tree, a good dog which Ossian recognised. They set off hunting with it till they saw deer bigger than the lad had ever seen. Ossian encircled the boys head twice, each time allowing him to see unusual things, one of them a massive deer, which was killed by the dog, was gutted and partially eaten by Ossian, though he said it harmed him and did him no good. He gave the boy a morsel of it, but he then instructed the boy to take his bow and arrow and kill a large bird, and to eat it, all except for one leg which they would take home. When Ossian threw the bird leg on the table, all four table-legs collapsed, and this proved to Ossian that Para 'n Aontarachd had eaten bird and had been lying.

Ossian was now growing old, though, and he and the boy went down to the loch to wash one day. Ossian took off the gold ring and a bird took off with it, and Ossian realised his time was up. He turned to the boy and told him how he, the boy, had seen and heard many strange things which could not be recounted. He put his thumb on the boy's throat and choked him, dead.

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Gaelic Arts Agency Storytelling Project - clip 4

1990s

Essie Stewart

Lewis Storytellers (short films)

Another couple of stories from Essie Stewart: This is the first story told by Essie's grandfather to the School of Scottish Studies for their recordings. It was the first story learned and recounted by him as a youngster, and also the first story Essie told to an audience, so one of which she is fond. It is of the tales of Ossian.<br /> <br /> The setting is a stormy night, three huts, an ugly woman seeking shelter. She was refused shelter at the first two huts, but at the third, Ossian's, she was taken in, fed and allowed to share Ossian's bed. In the morning she was no longer ugly, but very beautiful. She told him never to tell him what her appearance was like the previous night. Eventually the two married. One day, his dog having pups, he told her to mark the first born pup, and not to give it away, no matter what. She put a red ribbon on it. But a man came to the door, knew Ossian was out, and despite her refusal, drew a knife and demanded the first born pup. Fear made her comply and then she put the ribbon on a different pup. When Ossian returned he realised the pup was not the oldest, he upbraided his wife, and she turned into a bird which flew up the chimney. Ossian followed the bird for many years, and eventually she took pity on him and told him to go home, that she would never return, but she gave him a gold ring to put on which would give him good health as long as he wore it.<br /> <br /> After many years Ossian reached back home, and a man (Para 'n Aontarachd / an Aon Shuileach?) and a boy were in the house, and they stayed with him. One day the boy came in with a deer, boasting about its size, but Ossian said he had seen bigger blackbirds. They went out hunting together the next day, long distances, till Ossian told the boy to climb a far off tree and see what was there. The boy told Ossian he could see a pup at the base of the tree, a good dog which Ossian recognised. They set off hunting with it till they saw deer bigger than the lad had ever seen. Ossian encircled the boys head twice, each time allowing him to see unusual things, one of them a massive deer, which was killed by the dog, was gutted and partially eaten by Ossian, though he said it harmed him and did him no good. He gave the boy a morsel of it, but he then instructed the boy to take his bow and arrow and kill a large bird, and to eat it, all except for one leg which they would take home. When Ossian threw the bird leg on the table, all four table-legs collapsed, and this proved to Ossian that Para 'n Aontarachd had eaten bird and had been lying.<br /> <br /> Ossian was now growing old, though, and he and the boy went down to the loch to wash one day. Ossian took off the gold ring and a bird took off with it, and Ossian realised his time was up. He turned to the boy and told him how he, the boy, had seen and heard many strange things which could not be recounted. He put his thumb on the boy's throat and choked him, dead.