Tag: folklore

In the boatshed

boat building workshop

Up-Helly-A’ is over for another year, and those of you who have completed a dry January are hopefully toasting your success with a glass of something strong and sweet. We’ve really enjoyed seeing all your #myshetlandlife posts and photos this month – keep ‘em coming, we love to hear from you.

For this month’s issue of Shetland Life, we’ve immersed ourselves in the past. And, what better place to escape February’s biting cold? We visit Tommy Isbister in his boatshed and find out about his love of boat building and woodwork.
Maybe you’re thinking about celebrating Candlemas this year? Then let Alex Garrick-Wright take you on a journey through Shetland’s fascinating world of calendar traditions.
Or have you ever wondered about some of our place-names? Eileen Brooke-Freeman discusses some of the piggy place names around Shetland – this is the Year of the Pig after all.
And for those who are in search of a good story, and the odd trow, there are plenty of those to while away the last of the winter nights…

Finally, looking ahead we’ve been thinking about ways to get fit and beat the bulge. If you want to find out what we’re planning, pick up a copy of Shetland Life – out tomorrow!

The encounter with trows

Enjoy a brilliant (and slightly spooky)story from Bell’s Brae pupil and talented young writer, Freyja Tait.

In the countryside of Waas lived two girls: Lilly, who was 12 and her sister Jane who was 8.

It was a Wednesday, so they were at their granny’s house for a visit. But as the modern world is, they were on their phones and IPads.

“You’ve been on those things for hours on end!” said granny, scowling.

“What?” grunted Jane, refusing to raise her head from the screen.

“I think you ought to go outside for a peerie walk before it gets too dark”, said Granny, putting down her knitting. She was concentrating on a hat for the Waas show, and the constant noise from those blasted gadgets was distracting her.

“Fine!” shouted Lilly. She made her way to the coat cupboard, which was piled high with boilersuits, waterproofs and shoes. She pulled on her wellies and jackets, while her sister reluctantly followed.

A little face peered round the door.

“Can I come too?” asked their four year old cousin, James.

“No!” replied the girls together as they stomped out of the house.

This made peerie James cry. As he sobbed, it made his curly blonde hair bounce up and down and tears streamed from his blue eyes.

It was a fine night and the moon was just beginning to come out. The girls made their way through the field, chatting about school, family and friends. They passed an abandoned crofthouse that was filled with overgrown nettles so they decided not to go in. They stopped at the beach and both picked up pebbles and threw them into the wide ocean. They continued walking until it started to get dark.

“I think we better turn around” said Jane.

They turned around and realised that they had walked for too long and were lost. They kept silent and started to retrace their steps.

At that moment two trows came our of a little hole in the ground after smelling human flesh.

“I smell…humans!” said the first trow.

The second trow took in a deep breath. “I smell children, I feel it in the air!”

The two creepy figures walked ahead of the girls and hid in the long grass. As Lilly and Jane walked on they thought they heard someone sneeze. The girls looked at each other and shook their heads. There were always strange noises at night.

That was when the trows pounced! The first thing the girls saw was the crooked dark figures running towards them. Then they noticed the big ears and saliva dripping from their mouths.

The girls screamed and started to run but the trows were too quick. They grabbed the girls and dragged them back to their secret hole far under the earth. The corridors were long and winding, lit by fire torches on the walls. The sisters looked at each other in terror, knowing there was no way to escape.

Eventually, they reached a big room filled with hundreds of trows that all looked the same. The girls were placed in the middle of the room.

In front of them stood a trow who wore what looked like a crown, sewn together by long pieces of grass. They guessed he was the king.

The trows spoke in their own language, so the girls had no clue what they were saying. After a couple of minutes the girls were taken to another room. The trows guarded the door whilst the king stood in front of them. This time he spoke in a language that the girls could make out. He told them that they would have to stay for 28 days in the trow world before they could go home.

“Why?” asked Jane.

“Because the hole you came down only opens up every 28 days.” replied the king trow.

So the girls stayed in the trow world for 28 days. They taught trows things like how to knit, talk proper English and eventually they all became friends. On the day of their release the king told them something very important.

“I have not been wanting to tell you this,” he said sadly.

“What is it?” asked Lilly suspiciously.

“Everyday in the trow world is a year in your human world.” the king said. And with that he gave each of the girls a hug and led them out of the hole. He then walked back inside and the hole closed up.

The sisters looked at each other in disbelief. 28 years couldn’t have passed!

They could see their granny’s house from where they were standing, except it looked a bit different. As they walked towards it, the girls started noticing that things didn’t seem quite right.

“Look at these trees. Granny only planted them last week and now they’re huge and full of leaves” said Lilly.

“And what about that slide in the garden? And those fancy cars? Granny doesn’t even drive” said Jane, beginning to get a horrible sinking feeling in her tummy.

Slowly, the girls knocked on the door. A young man they didn’t recognise answered.

“Hello?” he said.

He had thick blonde curly hair and bright blue eyes. Two small children ran up to the man from behind, staring at the two young strangers at the door.

“Who is it daddy?” asked one of them.

The two girls looked at each other.

Could it be?