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  The Trows

The Trows and the Norwegian Bride

Trowie RiderA man out walking one night came across a group of trows busily cutting bulwands by a burn.

Puzzled by their actions, and assuming the creatures were going to make caisies (straw baskets), he asked what they were doing.

The trowie horde informed the watcher that they were going to make horses from the bulwands and planned to ride to Norway.

On hearing this, the man asked whether he could accompany them.

The trows muttered among themselves for a while but eventually agreed the mortal could join their party.

Grinning, the man cut himself a bulwand, at which point one of the trows exclaimed: "Horsick up haddock, weel ridden bulwand."

In that instant all the bulwands were transformed into horses. Clambering upon their magical mounts, the trows arrived in Norway in a heartbeat. There they approached a house where there was a wedding and after they "reduced their shapes immense", slipped unnoticed into the house through the keyhole. Once safely inside they gathered silently in a loft above the room hosting the wedding supper.

The Orkneyman, sitting among the grinning trows, heard his otherworldly companions plotting to steal the new bride. Shocked and suddenly fearful of his new-found companions he shouted: "God save the bride and all the company".

His words rendered the trows' abduction attempt futile.

Seething with anger, the hissing and spitting creatures hurled the man down from the loft into the party assembled below. Crashing into a table the man broke his leg and lay immobile while the host, assuming he was a robber, got up and threatened him.

But the man cried out, explaining to the Norwegian wedding guests how he came to be among them and how he had prevented the bride from being carried off.

Upon hearing this, the Norwegian hosts were well-disposed to their Orcadian visitor and tended him till he recovered; after which they sent him home free of expense.

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