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The Maiden who was loved by the Trows

Trows' Beloved: Illustration by Sigurd TowrieOnce there was a girl, who was renowned throughout the islands for her beauty and in particular, her long golden hair.

This girl's mother was said to have been spirited away by the trows at her birth, so she grew up motherless.

But she grew into a lovely creature with hair the like of which had never been seen. It tumbled in golden waves about her slender shoulders - something that many remarked upon for no maiden, not even a child, ever let their hair fall loose.

It was said that when she tried to bind her locks, the golden strands refused to obey her fingers, and slowly untwined themselves until they became natural ringlets again.

The girl was also a sweet singer was often seen wandering about singing merrily to herself, while neighbours wondered and young men lost their hearts.

It was commonly believed that this girl was under the special care of the trows, for her life seemed carefree. Her golden hair was called " the blessing o' them that loves her."

But it so happened that a notorious witch began to eye the young maiden's locks. One day while the girl was asleep in some hay, the witch hacked off all of her beautiful hair.

Upon waking and discovering her shorn head, the girl ran home weeping and wailing.

After that she pined away. All the song had died from her lips and the smile faded from her young face.

But while she lay dead, folk said that her golden hair had begun to grow again. Before the coffin-lid was closed upon her lifeless form, her hair had grown to its former length and beauty

The witch did not go unpunished, for she had roused the wrath of the trows. They had loved and watched over the motherless girl since infancy, so took possession of the malignant old hag, and did with her as she deserved.

The old woman was compelled to wander around the haunts of the trows, tormented night and day by evil creatures. Whenever she attempted to sleep, the trows would come and plague her with noise so she could not rest.

The witch lived her wretched and tormented life till extreme old age, when she was spirited away altogether.

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