Linn of Dee
According to an article by W Gregor in Folklore [A Quarterly Review Of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892). ‘At one time there lived near the Linn of Dee, in Mar Forest, a man named Farquharson-na-cat, i.e., Farquharson of the wand. He got this name from the fact that his trade was that of making baskets, sculls, etc. One night he had to cross the river just a little above the linn. In doing so he lost his footing, was carried into the gorge of the linn, and drowned in sight of his wife. Search was made at once for the body, but in vain. Next day the pool below the linn, as well as the river further down, was searched, but the body was not found. That evening the widow took her late husband’s plaid and went to the pool below the linn, “atween the sun and the sky”. She folded the plaid in a particular way, knelt down on the bank of the pool, and prayed to the Spirit of the pool to give up the body of her drowned husband. She then threw the plaid into the pool, uttering the words, “Take that and give me back my dead.” Next morning the dead body, wrapped in the plaid, was found lying on the bank of the pool. Tradition has it that the widow soon afterwards bore a son, and that that son was the progenitor of the Farquharson Clan.
The river Spey is spoken of as “she”, and bears the character of being “bloodthirsty”. The common belief is that “she” must have at least one victim yearly.’
The rhyme about the rivers Dee and Don and their victims is:
Each year needs three;
But bonny Don,
She needs none.”