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  The Rose o' Kytton

The Cra': Illustration by Sigurd TowrieOn a Deerness shore, near the entrance of Deer Sound, is a steep, green slope that rolls down to a shingly beach.

Somewhere on this slope is a wild, pink rose known as the Rose o' Kytton.

According to legend, some time ago a group of quarrymen, working in the area, saw that a crow had built a nest near their workplace.

All but one of the workmen thought it would be a fine joke to boil the crow's eggs - just to see how long it took the unfortunate bird to notice they wouldn't hatch.

Despite the protests of the lone objector, the other men went ahead with their cruel joke. When the crow was away from the nest, its eggs were removed from the nest, boiled, and replaced.

However, the crow knew there was something wrong and also who was responsible for the deed.

Some time later, when the men were back working in the quarry, the crow swooped down and snatched the cap of the man who had objected to the joke.

The hatless man chased after the crow to recover his property.

Finally, when they were a good distance from the quarry, the crow dropped the cap and the man hastily scooped it up. With his cap clutched tightly in his hand, he returned to the quarry to find that part of the cliff had collapsed and killed his workmates.

Tradition has it that the crow then flew to the Holy Land to find something that would restore her eggs and make them fertile again. This she found and carried it back to Orkney, also carrying the seed from a rose bush she had rested under on her tail.

When she landed at Kytton, the seed fell to earth, where it took root and blossomed.

Thereafter, the pink rose that sprang from this solitary seed was known as the Rose of Kytton.