The heART of Ritual

musings

Tale of a Scottish Brownie


There was a Brownie who lived and worked in the house of Maxwell, Laird of Dalswinton. This Brownie was particularly close to the daughter of the Laird, helping her arrange her marriage and taking it upon himself to oversee all matters regarding her welfare. So it was no surprise, when she was one night seized by the pains of childbirth, it was her Brownie who was there to help her, which was just as well as, after a heavy period of rain, the river Nith was flooded and the midwife lived on the opposite bank. The Brownie took his mistress's fur coat and the best horse from the stable and rode through the raging river to reach the midwife, who in the murky dark night, thought little of the particularly small 'servant'. As they rode, the midwife cried out "Don't go by the old pool lest we meet the Brownie there". To which the Brownie replied "Have no fear, good wife, you've met all the Brownies you're likely to meet". The Brownie delivered the midwife just in time to ease the birthing pains of his mistress and all went well. The Laird was so well pleased with the Brownie for helping his beloved daughter, he settled upon himself he would reward the Brownie with the 'eternal salvation of baptism'. Hiding in the stable, the Laird silently approached the unsuspecting Brownie just as he was about to unsaddle a horse. He poured the holy water over the Brownie's head and in the moment the water touched his skin, the Brownie disappeared and was never seen again. Art by Jean-Baptiste Monge