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abode of a water-horse. One day a herd laddie, in
meandering through the pass, tarried awhile to amuse
himself by rolling into this lochan huge boulders that were
lightly poised on an overhanging precipice, and watching
the great splashes and waves caused by their falling.
Suddenly he observed more commotion than could have
been produced by the dislodged boulders, whereupon there
emerged from the disturbed waters a black steed. This
was nothing else than the water-horse. Instantly the laddie
crouched behind a boulder, and the fearsome creature now
climbed out of the water, and stood for a moment on the
bank, apparently looking round for the intruder. But the
laddie remained in concealment; and so the water-horse
returned to the depths of the lochan, and has never been
seen since that day.
A Skye Widow's Strange Experience.
Once there lived at Vaterstein, in the west of Skye, an
aged woman, whose daughter had been ailing for some
time. At length the daughter died ; and all alone with the
corpse in her dark, eerie home was the old woman left. If
you should visit this uncanny spot on a dark night, you will
be able to judge for yourself how lonely and solitary the old
mother must have felt during the long nights when lamps
were unknown in Skye, and when only the meagrest artificial
light could be produced. Well, one night as she sat
mourning her loss — so the story goes — who should enter
her sorrowful home but a man whom she knew not ! He
seated himself beside her; and, whenever the fire would be
getting low, he would strike it with his magic stick, and
say : " chaorain, dean solus! O little peat, make a light ! "
These were the days when the folks of Skye, and indeed of
the Highlands and Hebrides generally, believed implicitly
in the existence of the each-insge, or water-horse, a creature
that had the power of assuming human form when
occasion required. And the folks of Vaterstein were
convinced it was the water-horse that all night long had sat
with the lonely and bereaved widow, and vanished with
the first flush of day.

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