This week’s fairy tale is another Scottish one! This time it’s a forbidden love fairy tale.
It centres around Jean of Mortonhall and William of Aikenwood. It is based around a time when Scotland and England were bitter rivals. Jean’s father, the Earl of Mortonhall had eight pretty daughters. He warned them that neither of them were to even smile at a Scotsman. They would never be allowed to visit Scotland and if a Scotsman entered through his gate they would be killed.
Jean was the youngest and prettiest of her siblings. A while back she had got lost whilst riding and wandered over the border into Scotland. She had met a handsome man named William. They fell in love, but of course, their love was forbidden. William was a brilliant hunter who often went out with his hounds and horses. He had a goshawk too. The goshawk could tell that William was pining for Jean. They decided that the goshawk would send a message of love to Jean since William couldn’t do it. Jean got the message and felt desperate to meet William. She sent back a message to tell him to listen out for bells.
Jean convinced her father, that when she died, her body would be carried to rest in Scotland. Jean then spoke to her sisters, who promised that if she should die then a shroud would be made of the finest cloth and each one of the sisters would fasten a silver bell onto it.
Jean then took a very strong sleeping potion and returned to her bedroom. The potion was so potent that he family were convinced she had died. They respected her wishes and covered her in the finest cloth and silver bells, then carried her over the borders to Scotland.
William heard the bells and after the funeral party had left, he took Jean’s hands in his. The colour came back to Jean’s face and she awoke, happy to be reunited with the man she loved!