The Loved Child (2)

LovedChild


A story from the Isle of Unst


ON a wee (small) island far away, a young man and his wife lived by the sea and worked in the fields to make a simple living. They had a bonny (beautiful), wee babe whom they wrapped in a warm blanket and placed in the singing grasses while they worked each day. 

     One day a sea eagle circled overhead longingly (wanting something). Suddenly, the father looked up to see the eagle flying away and, there was no mistake, in his talons was the blanket. The father’s heart sank. He ran with all his strength toward the sea where a boy sat working. “Up, lad! (young boy)” yelled the man and together the two set off in the boy’s boat toward the Isle of Fetlar. 

     There, on a rock peak, the huge bird had landed with the blanket still held in its beak. The sea was favorable (helping them) and the waves raced them on their way. When they reached the isle (island), the boy, whose strength was greater, climbed and ran, until, at last, he slowed his pace to keep from frightening the big bird to some father place. But the eagle didn’t fly away or harm the little girl.  

     He just wanted to look at the child’s sweet face.

     Each spring, the father would bring his daughter over the sea where they would climb the steep hill together until they reached the top where the child would play. The great bird would sit and watch the child as contentedly as someone praying.


* The Isle of Unst is a part of a group of islands called the Shetland Islands which are just north of Scotland. 

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