The Devil, who lives inside Bennachie, makes a wager with a...

Title - The Devil, who lives inside Bennachie, makes a wager with a...
Contributors - Stanley Robertson
Reporters - Barbara McDermitt

Summary - The Devil, who lives inside Bennachie, makes a wager with a young man and the young man wins.

Stanley Robertson introduces a tale called 'The Devil at Bennachie Burn', similar to 'The Devil at Bennachie', which he has already recorded. He regards it as typical of a Traveller tale, told as true.

A beautiful girl lived beyond Bennachie, beside the Gadie Burn [stream]. She was to marry a cattleman called Sammy. She met a fellow on the road, who accompanied her home and charmed her parents, as a man of property and a rich bodach [literally an old man]. He took her to Bennachie and the mountain opened up to reveal his palace and gardens. He was the Devil. The Devil challenged Sammy to run five miles in one hour, with the girl as the prize, plus as much gold as they could carry. The boy fell asleep before the race, and the Devil tied his big toes with couch grass, so that his steps were curtailed. But he rolled into a ball to reach the burn [stream] that was the finishing point. The Devil pulled at the string and the boy's two big toes came off, but he had won. The water was full of gold, and the couple carried off as much of it as they could.

Stanley points out that there is gold in Aberdeenshire burns, and his own mother found gold in the Feuch. He agrees with Barbara McDermitt that the Travellers were more interested than the country hantle [crowd] in keeping local stories alive.

Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:23:28
Date Recorded - 1980.03.01
Language - Scots
Genre - Story, Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 38124
Original Tape ID - SA1980.052
Original Track ID - SA1980.52.1
Audio Quality - Good
Audio Format - R2R

Item Location:
  County - Aberdeenshire
  Parish - Oyne
  Village - Bennachie

Item Notes - The story is told with much circumstantial detail and allusions to tradition.

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