Tuesday, April 24, 2012

T is for Tarbh Uisge

Tarbh Uisge - A gentle water bull of the Highland regions of Scotland. (Source Phoenixian Book of Creatures)

Ainsley trudged across the meadow, looking for her sister.  The little fiend was always getting into trouble, but her parents had finally found a use for her tending her family's small flock of sheep. As she made her way over a small rise, she saw the sun glinting off the small girl's head.  Cara sat on a rock by a small loch, swinging her feet as the sheep grazed, now and then trotting over to drink from the pool. 

Ainsley had reached the rock where her sister sat.  "Cara, it's time to be heading in. Your supper'll be burnt if you..." Her tired lecture stopped mid-sentence as she took in the huge, shimmering beast that stood behind her little sister.  It had curvy, exaggerated horns protruding from it's head, and the long, shaggy coat of the highland cattle.  It stood in the shallows, regarding her with glowing golden eyes. 

Cara frowned at her, as if wondering what her older sister was staring at.  Then she turned and looked over her shoulder.  Ainsley expected her to scream and run, to cry and call for mamma.  But instead she turned back to her sister with a grin.  "He's pretty, isn't he?"  She gifted Ainsley with an angelic grin.  "Don't be scairt. It's just a wee little tarbh uise."

The beast submerged it's head with a snort, emerging a moment later with a mouthful of water plants.  It calmly munched away at it's dinner, completely unconcerned.  Ainsley pointed her finger at her little sister.  "Haven't I told you to be more careful of the fairy folk?"  If she had a penny for every time she came upon some strange creature following Cara around like a pet, Ainsley would be a wealthy woman indeed.

Short today :) I have to play catch-up!

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