This was a short Scottish story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It’s set on a winter’s day when the Thunder Hag came riding across the sea in her black chariot. It was drawn by four fierce red hounds. The sky was dark as night and the hounds howled as the Thunder Hag raced over the hills and moors. The Thunder Hag was throwing fireballs that set the forests on fire. Everyone was terrified. The next day, the Thunder Hag returned again burning trees and setting heather alight. The king sent his warriors to kill her but they were petrified by the teeth of her fierce hounds. On the third day, the Thunder Hag returned again causing chaos across the land. The king sent for the hero, Conall Curlew. He agreed to defeat her today or tomorrow.
Conall climbed a mountain and waited for the Thunder Hag. When she came, she was hidden by the black clouds around her chariot and he couldn’t slay her. The next day, he went into the fields and separated the lambs, calves and foals from their mothers. Then he returned to the mountain top to wait for her once more. The Thunder Hag soon arrived and heard the animals crying for their young. She was so curious that she poked her head out of the cloud. As soon as she had done this, Conall threw his spear. She screamed and fell back into her chariot. She told her hounds to fly west and she was never seen again!
An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)