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  The Trows

Trowie Magic

Although the trows were said to possess magical powers, few details of what these powers were have come to be recorded.

However, one distinctly magical thing the trow could do was to ride rapidly through the air using "bulwands"- the stems of the Common Dock plant - as flying mounts.

According to some accounts the trows would use a magical chant in order to fly and one such tale tells of a man who, one night before going to bed, stepped outside for a breath of air in his shirt and underwear.

Needless to say he was slightly surprised to see a band of trows fly past, muttering some words as they hurtled by. The curious man repeated the words and immediately found himself thrown through the air among the trowie host.

The man was carried along for a time until the group finally came to rest on the roof of a house in which a woman was in labour.

Somehow the trows knew - more magic perhaps? - that as soon as the poor woman gave birth to the infant she would sneeze three times. This was to be the wicked little creatures' cue - if none of the mortals present at the birth sained the woman after her sneezing bout, they planned on exchanging her for an image and carrying her away.

Fortunately their dastardly scheme was thwarted.

When the woman sneezed, the man on the rooftop instinctively said "Geud save him and her" and the trowie horde vanished into thin air.

The man then climbed from the roof and entered the house. But the trows called up a tremendous gale that prevented the man from leaving again. Two weeks later the enchanted winds finally died away and the man was able to get home - back to a family that had given up expecting him.

For another variant of this tale, click here.

According to some accounts, the trows also had the ability to concoct magical potions and lotions. One tale explains that a woman was taken by the trows to assist at the birth of a trowie bairn. While in their underground halls, a pot of ointment was brought into the room and the woman instructed to anoint the newborn trow-child.

This she did, but during the operation wiped her eye and some of the magical ointment rubbed off. From that day her sight became:

"so keen that she could see a boat on the ocean twenty miles away and could tell the position and feature of every man in it."

Trows and Music