Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/232

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2 1 8 Collectanea.

Englishman was going to catch the lad's hand, when the nephew touched his uncle's foot. The uncle got up at once, and taking hold of the Englishman's hand said, "This is the way we do in our country," and with that pulled the fellow's hand down, drawing his arm completely away from the shoulder, then, throwing the limb from him, said, " I did not want your arm, I only wanted your hand."

Another Highland reciter, a woman also it is fair to say, maintained that her father was so strong, especially in the muscles of his hand, that when they killed a Martinmas cow for pickling for winter's use, he could twist the feet off with his hands without any assistance from a knife. She said that the Gaelic expression for this was " fuar dorn " (cold fist). This man's aunt was able to cut through a penny with her teeth. It will be seen on p. 233 that on Loch Aweside they went ' one better,' by twisting off the cow's whole leg.

In Kintyre, Strath Duie was famed for strong men. " I heard auld John tellin' abot yin that cam' yae time tae a smith that wus in CaUiburn. The smith wasna belivin' he wus so strong as he wus pretendin'. Tae try him, he put a piece of airain on the anvil an' said tae him tae tak' the forehammer an' try if he could straucht it. Airchie Iver wus his name an' he took the hammer an' geid the airain a slicht blow. 'Try again,' said the smith, He geid it a harder yin, but the smith said that was naethin', tae try again. This time the man geid sic a blow that he split the anvil intae two ha'ves." The "three times is lucky" principle points to this being 'traditional.'

(P. 234 after line 13.) Ceapan togail

Is called in Aberdeen and Banffshire " Sweer Tree." The pronunciation is that of the word to swear. Jamieson gives it and describes the competition. A modern Aberdonian described it as follows : " Doon we sat on our doupes on the grun' an syne we cotched a stick wi' oor twa hauns. We must hae haun aboot on the stick, it wadna dae for yin tae hae the twa inside or the twa ootside grups. We pit oor feet tae each other, the yin's soles tae the ither, and the best man wan."