THE following is an account of a fairy frolic said to have happened late in the last century:–The victim of elfin sport was a poor man, who, being employed in pulling heather upon Peatlaw, a hill in Selkirkshire, had tired of his labour, and laid him down to sleep upon a fairy ring.
James Hogg (born 1770 – died 21 November 1835) ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’ wrote the following concerning a water cow that was said to have lived in the 5 km long St Mary’s Loch, which is the largest natural loch in the Borders.
Carterhaugh Wood is the setting for the tale of Tamlin (Tam Lin, Tamas Lin, Tamlane, Tam Lane or Tam Lien) who was in bondage to the Fairy Queen and guardian of the wood. Maidens were warned by their King not to enter Carterhaugh Wood as Tamlin would take either one of their possessions (a ring or green mantle) or their virginity.
Oh, I forbid you, maidens all
That wear gold on your hair,
To come or go by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam-Lin is there.
There’s none that goes by Carterhaugh
But must leave him a wad;
Either gold ring, or green mantles,
Or else their maidenhead.
Now gold rings ye may buy, maidens,
Green mantles ye may spin;
There is a story about a witch from Yarrow. Each night a young boy was transformed into a horse when a local witch slipped a magical bridle over his head whilst he slept. She would ride the boy to her sabbat. One night the boy’s older brother tricked the witch and managed to bridle her instead.