This week I jumped back into my Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales book. This time I read a story very like the tale of Rumpelstiltskin with a wonderfully Scottish twist.
It’s centred in Galloway in a fictitious village that was called Kittlerumpit. It was based in a time where it wasn’t strange to see Wee Folk or Other People (fairies in Scotland!) In a small house there lived a man and a woman. The man did as little as possible and the woman did everything around the house. She even looked after the fat pig that they kept at the back of their house. The woman was not as happy as the man though. She was desperate for a baby. Years later, she gave birth to a little boy and her man wasn’t impressed- he had to do a lot around the house as she was dedicated to raising the baby. He wasn’t happy with the smell, the noise and the mess of the little one.
The next time there was a market day, the man disappeared. He knew he wouldn’t go back to the house where he had to work for himself and cook his own dinner. He’d get away from the baby too. When the woman realised her husband wasn’t coming back, she was sad but knew she had to get on with her life as best as she could. The baby grew more and more. She looked after the garden well and tended to the pig.
One day, when going to look after the pig, it wouldn’t get up. She tried everything to try and get it to budge. She knew if the pig didn’t move then she and her baby would starve. As she sat down and cried, a woman dressed in green came towards her. She asked what the woman was crying for and the woman explained. The woman in green was very intrigued by the fact that the woman had a baby in the house. She asked if she would give anything to her if she could help the pig. The woman agreed. The woman in green used myrtle and other plants to bring the pig around. The woman happily offered the woman in green flowers, fruits and furniture, but she wanted none of it. She was after the baby! The woman realised that the woman in green before her was one of the Wee Folk who would steal her baby from her.
The lady Wee Folk told the woman that if she could guess her real name then she wouldn’t take the baby away. The woman tried to find out from her neighbours what the name of the lady Wee Folk was. No one knew. The woman eventually overheard someone singing. It was the green lady. She was singing her name Whuppity Stourie.
When Whuppity Stourie returned to collect the child, the woman offered other things once more. Whuppity Stourie demanded the child. The woman cried out Whuppity Stourie’s name. At this words, Whuppity Stourie ran away crying.
The man returned home gain as he had missed a warm meal, his wife and his baby very much. He promised to do more to help her!