Brownie has got a cowl and coat,
And never more will work a jot.
COLONIES of Gothic Fairies, it would appear, early established themselves in the Highlands, and almost every Lowland, German, and Scandinavian Fairy or Dwarf-tale will there find its fellow. The Gaelic Fairies are very handsome in their persons; their usual attire is green. They dance and sing, lend and borrow, and they make cloth and shoes in an amazingly short space of time. They make their raids upon the low country, and carry off women and children; they fetch midwives to assist at the birth of their children, and mortals have spent a night at the fairy revels, and next morning found that the night had extended a hundred years. Highland fairies also take the diversion of the chase. "One Highlander," says Mc.Culloch, [a] "in passing a mountain, bears the tramp of horses, the music of the horn, and the cheering of the huntsmen; when suddenly a gallant crew of thirteen fairy hunters, dressed in green, sweep by him, the silver bosses of their bridles jingling in the night breeze."
The Gael call the Fairies Daoine Shi', [b] (Dheenè Shee) and their habitations Shians, or Tomhans. These are a sort of turrets, resembling masses of rock or hillocks. By day they are indistinguishable, but at night they are frequently lit up with great splendour.
Brownie, too, 'shows his honest face' in the Highlands; and the mischievous water-Kelpie also appears in his equine form, and seeks to decoy unwary persons to mount him, that he may plunge with his rider into the neighbouring loch or river.
The Highlanders have nearly the same ideas as their Shetland neighbours, respecting the seals.
The following legends will illustrate what we have stated. [c]
[a] Account of the Highlands, etc. iv. 358
[b] Men of Peace, perhaps the Stille-folk, Still-people, or rather, merely Fairy--or Spirit--people.
[c] See Stewart, The Popular Superstitions of thc Highlanders. Edinburgh, 1823. As Mr. Stewart's mode of narrating is not the very best, we have taken the liberty of re-writing and abridging the legends.