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there lived at Barrisdale, by the shores of Loch Hourn, a
crofter who once encountered this monster. He assured his
neighbours that this ungainly creature had gigantic wings,
and was three-legged. He often saw it in flight across the
hills of Knoydart, especially about Barrisdale itself; and he
averred that on one occasion, when it was making for him
with evil design, he rushed for the shelter of his cottage.
As the crofter himself used to relate up until the time of
his death, he just succeeded in slamming the door in the
monster's face.
The dwellers by the more remote shores of Loch Hourn
frequently heard the terrifying roar of the Wild Beast of
Barrisdale; and an old man living in this locality, called
Ranald MacMaster, ofttimes discovered the tracks of this
three-legged creature on the hills, and also about the sandy
stretches fringing Barrisdale Bay.
Beast of the Ch.\rred Forests.
Hundreds and hundreds of years ago most of the
Northern Highlands and of the Outer Hebrides was im-
penetrable forest. Tradition has it, as I have mentioned
elsewhere, that, in order to monopolise the timber trade, the
Scandinavians fired the woods of the Outer Hebrides.
And, again, it is said that, with a view to reducing the
likelihood of their being set upon by the natives lying
in ambush, the Norsemen burned the woods, that they
might be able to observe any enemy advancing at a
In Sutherland the destruction of the ancient forests is laid
to the charge of a fierce and powerful monster, which
roamed over the north of Scotland, breathing fire whereso-
ever he went. As proof of this, the more elderly inhabitants
point yet to the charred stumps of pine-trees embedded in
the peat-mosses. The entire populace fled for safety when-
ever the monster was reported to be stalking the land. Lie
came to be known among the folks of Sutherland as the
Beast of the Charred Forests.
" Pity on you, Dornoch ! " roared the monster, as he came
within sight of the spire of St. Gilbert's Church.

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