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The Death of the Mainland Trows

"Wans de Mainlind wis cheust rife wi' trows. De peedie folk filled a de knowes an howes, in whan de sun geed doon at the aynd o' da day, dey ahll cam oot fur tae mak devilment. Bit whaur ir they ahll geen noo?"
Anonymous Orcadian

Hoy Sound: Picture by Sigurd TowrieFor years the Orkney Islands were home to the trows.

The creatures were found in every howe and knowe across the county, and when darkness fell the good people of the islands made certain they took steps to avoid meeting the peedie folk.

But there came a day when the trows on the Orkney Mainland decided that they'd had enough.

A new religion had taken root in the isles and the trows, like Orkney's other preternatural inhabitants, could not abide the cross or the Holy Word.

The sound of the ministers preaching and the priests praying annoyed the mound dwellers so much that they decided the time had come for them to leave. Instead they would find somewhere where they were less likely to be disturbed by the voices of the holy men.

So an ambitious plan was hatched.

The trows all thought that the nearby island of Hoy would be a fine place to take refuge. So for months, the trowie hordes set to weaving massive lengths of simmons - straw ropes - that they finally fastened together into one long rope.

The time for the exodus arrived and the Mainland trows gathered at the Black Craig to the north of Stromness. Securing one end of the rope to the craig, one of the assembled trows took hold of the other end and with a magical leap cleared the churning waters of the Hoy Sound out to the island of Hoy.

Clambering to the top of Ward Hill, he hauled the rope tight and tied it tightly.

Back at the Black Craig, the mass of trows slowly began to climb onto the rope and shimmy their way out across the water. One by one they edged out further and further until eventually the last trow had climbed onto the rope. By this time however, the first had yet to reach the other side.

The trow on Ward Hill watched with glee as his companions made their way towards Hoy but then, to his sheer dismay, the rope snapped and the trows tumbled to their deaths in the raging sea below.

With a howl and a scream the solitary trow watched his companions perish before he hurled himself into the water to his doom.

And that is why there are no trows left on the Mainland.