2 Loch Freuchie

Evergreen - - Contents - WILLIE SHAND

the devil’s dozen — were tried and 11 of them burned at the stake. Ev­ery pro­tec­tion had to be taken from such spirits that could change their form from hu­man to cat or hare in an in­stant.

Even to­day, coun­try folk still look to the rowan and judge by its crop of berries what sort of win­ter lies ahead.

Glen Quaich crosses the hills be­tween Amul­ree and Ken­more at the east­ern end of Loch Tay with plenty ex­cit­ing twists and turns as it goes. Part of this route runs above the shores of Loch Freuchie. One in­hab­i­tant of the loch you wouldn’t want to meet is the lo­cal dragon, “Freuchie”. Ac­cord­ing to leg­end, he lives on the loch’s is­land where he guards a rowan the berries of which are said to pos­sess mirac­u­lous heal­ing pow­ers. No amount of berries, how­ever, would help you if he catches you try­ing to pinch them.

In mod­ern times we may think we know bet­ter and jok­ingly sneer at such ir­ra­tional fears and su­per­sti­tions. Few, if any, might nowa­days plant a rowan by their doorway for its mag­i­cal pow­ers but, at the same time, who would be brave enough to risk tak­ing one down!

Loch Freuchie is said to be the home of a dragon that guards a rowan tree on an is­land.

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