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a Scottish Legend

Long ago near Carterhaugh,Scotland there lived a girl named Seonaid who was the daughter of a Earl she was a lovely girl with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes one day she went off into the woods seeking a change from the boredom at home.

She came to a forest and found wonderous flowers there briar roses,bluebells and fine heather.She thought to take one home and so plucked a white rose from the earth to wear about her waist when a voice startled her.

"How dare you pick the flowers and stroll about the forest without my permission!"  The Voice belonged to a young man slightly older than Seonaid with long black hair and deep blue eyes.The stranger then went on saying "I am he who guards this forest and sees to it that the peace is not disturbed!" .Seonaid was caught off guard but told him that she meant no harm and he simply smiled and while picking up a red rose that grew from the same spot where Seonaidh plucked her white one told her "I would gladly give away all the roses in Carterhaugh for your beauty." .Once again Seonaid was taken off guard and asked the stranger for his name.The man replied "I am Tam Lin.".Seonaid dropped the rose at the mention of his name for she had heard of Tam Lin the Elfin Knight who was champion of Annwn the land of the fairies.

Fearing for her safety Seonaid told Tam Lin that she had meant no harm and Tam Lin reassured her by telling her the truth about himself "I was born a mortal child just as you were,my grandfather who was the Earl of Roxburgh took me hunting with him when a spell overcame me and i fell asleep when i awoke i was in Annwn the land of the fairies.The Fairy Queen holds me trapped in her spell and i yearn for the chance to come back and stay in the realm of man." Once Seonaid had heard the tale her heart grew heavy with sadness and she asked Tam Lin if there was even the slightest chance he could be freed if there was she would help him any way she could.Tam Lin held her hands in his own and told her of the only way he knew."Tonight is the night of Samhain(halloween) when the fairies ride across the land and i as their champion must ride with them.When midnight comes wait by the crossroad and you will see three companies of elves pass by let the first two pass i will be amongst the third wearing a gold circle about my brow and riding a snow white charger.You must run to me and pull me from the steed then no matter what spells they cast do not let me go."  Seonaid gave him her word and hastened home and slept so that she would be prepared for the event.

When the midnight hour came Seonaid was at the crossroads and waiting near a ditch hidden by hedges she heard the sound of hooves and jingling bridles the fairy host was on it's way.She remained hidden from sight and watched as the first group passed in the first group was the Fairy Queen riding a steed as black as a cauldron with silver bridle and silken dressing the second party passed and Seonaid remained still as could be then finally the third party came and amongst them was Tam Lin and at once Seonaid ran from her spot ,seized him and held him in her arms.

"Tam Lin is away!" The Queen screamed and at once her black horse stopped reared up and came to the edge of the road.The eyes of the Fairy Queen were beautiful yet so inhuman but Seonaid would not despair or let Tam Lin go.The Fairy Queen transformed Tam Lin into a lizard but Seonaid held him close to her heart.Seeing how this didn't work the Fairy Queen turned Tam Lin into a large snake but Seonaid still held onto him wrapping him around herself.Then as a last resort the Fairy Queen turned Tam Lin into a red hot brick and Seonaid screamed in pain but still held him close to her bosom.The Fairy Queen knew she had been beaten and turned Tam Lin back into his true form and rode away saying "Farewell Tam Lin best of my knights gone from me but for the love of a mortal woman.If i knew a woman born of man could win you away i would have taken out your heart long ago. With that the Fairy host rode off into the night Tam Lin kissed Seonaid's burnt hands and they returned at once to her father's castle where Tam Lin was welcomed back into the world of man and he and Seonaid married and bore many children.

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