Fishing tale!

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Fishing tale!

Postby Tommy Ralston » Mon May 26, 2014 2:45 pm

The tale below was sent to me by a friend who tells me that she got it from an old Courier archive.
Has anyone heard it before - I hadn't.
I have submitted it exactly as received.
The word "trall" means I am sure, "trawl", the old name for a ring net.
Never saw "McCrummon's Point" spelt that way.
"Boddach" is probably "Botach" the Gaelic name for an old man.
I found it to be fascinating!

"Good folks and honest, it was in the days of the drift net fishing, and never a trall was in it, from the Cowal shore to MacCrummon’s Point that on a night o nights a boat from the “wee toon” was at the hauling of the nets, and never a tail in them, but many, heavy was the last of the nets. And when aboard it came, my wonder: on there in the meshes was an old Bodach with a blue fish’s tail on him, and he webbed between his fingers like a prize duck. Well: Well: aboard they got him and a fine job they had getting him out of the net – but they got him out, and there he sat glowering at them from the fo’c’s’le head. “What’s the next move now boys,” said the owner of the boat, “for as sure as death this is no canny.” So back into the sea they tried to fling the Bodach. Well if they tried, they just tried for round the mast he would fling his arms, and no power would move him. And things did not improve, when at last the Bodach found his tongue. “Aye aye, “ said he “since I am aboard, here will I remain,” and with that he started hammering with his tail fit to knock the timbers asunder. Well, there was nothing for it now but home for them. “Where are you for now,” said he. “Home,” said the boy. “Not if I know it, answered he, but to Paterson’s Rock,” and with that the boat started off like a gannet down the wind. And sure enough they came up to Paterson’s rock, and an ugly sea running, but the boat sailed right through on top of the rock. At that moment a door opened like a hatch and through it slipped the Bodach as the next serf carried them clear of the rock. And a weary beat home they had of it. Well! well! when they reached “the wee town,” and started redding up their nets the last net that the Boddach was in, the meshes were full of real golden scales that he had lost off his tail. “Boys, you and me are the greatest, fools in the wee town this very day,” said the owner, “for not having cut the tail off him, for it is grand folks we would be this day.” But the money they got for the golden scales set them up for life, and after that they had no great notion to be going to the fishing. -
Tommy Ralston
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Re: Fishing tale!

Postby bill » Mon May 26, 2014 3:31 pm

Well Tommy the last time I saw this it had the heading "An account by Campell of Saddell." I assumed the Campell was a typo, and should be Campbell.
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I know I'll cry until my dying day has come
Let the Winter roll along
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Re: Fishing tale!

Postby FIOMALK » Fri May 30, 2014 7:56 am

Hello Tommy, Bill,

I came across this story in the Campbeltown Courier Jan 20th 1923! It was indeed written by Campbell of Saddell but it was under the heading "Merman of Kilbranan Sound" I was surprised and delighted by the date I assumed interest in such tales had waned years before.

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