Although the trows were said to possess magical
powers, few details of what these powers were have come to be recorded.
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.
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.
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.
she did, but during the operation wiped her eye and some of the magical ointment
rubbed off. From that day her sight became:
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."