HE following stories were told me by Mr. J. Farquharson, a mason, Corgarff, on the river Don. He is a man of great intelligence, and a mine of Folklore.
It was before carts were much in use, and when everything had to be carried on the backs of horses. One dark night a man named M‘Hardy set out from Brochroy to Garchory mill to fetch home some meal. On arrival at the mill he left his horse at the door, and entered to fetch out the bags of meal. No sooner was the animal left alone than he started for home. The farmer, on coming out to load his horse, found no horse. He was in much distress, as there was no meal at home; and he gave vent to his feelings in woeful words: “Ma wife an bairns ’ill be a’ stervt for wint o’ mehl afore I win hame. I wis (wish) I hed ony kyne (kind) o’ a behst, although it war (were) a water kelpie.” Hardly were the words spoken when a horse having a halter over his head appeared. The farmer approached him, and the horse allowed himself to be handled, and showed himself quite gentle, putting his head right on the man’s breast. The man’s distress was turned into joy, and the gentle horse was loaded, and led quietly to the farm-house. On arriving, the farmer tied him to an old harrow, till he should unload him, and carry the meal into the house. When he came out of the house to stable the animal that had done him the good turn, horse and old harrow were gone, and he heard the plunging of the beast in a big pool of the Don, not far from his house. He went to examine the stable, and found his own horse quietly standing in it.