The Glencoe Folk Proverb

July 8, 2009

“THERE’LL BE MORE COMMOTION ABOUT IT THEN
THERE WAS OVER THE CHEESE RIND.”

In the Scottish highlands there was an ancient custom called “Christmas Begging” passed down through the ages. This custom was especially practiced by the people from Glencoe.
On December 19th the poor would go among their relatives on what was called a Christmas Begging. This is the story of what happened one year on a Christmas Begging when eighteen young men set out in
the early morning and met on a pretty grassy hillock called “Lochan Rubha na Coinneimh” (Pond of the Meeting Place) From there they divided up into three groups of six men each departing in different directions with the intention of meeting again in three days time at Lochan Rubha na Coinneimh.
On the third day they met again exchanging stories of their adventures. The eighteen young men deposited all their food and began dividing it up equally. All went well until there was only one cheese rind left. One man suggested it be divided one way …Another man suggested something else a third man gave yet another suggestion. This continued until finally a bloody, deadly fight ensued.
At home the families worried when the young men did not return. Early next morning a search party found the young men. As the search party drew near Lochan Rubha Na Coinneimh they saw people reclining on the banks of the stream. As they drew still nearer they realized the men were not sleeping. The searchers found only one man alive. They carried him home and nursed him night & day but to no avail. The young man died. However, before he died he told the terrible story.
From that day on the place called Lochan Rubha Na Coinneimh, Pond of the Meeting Place Point was called Lochan Na fala, Pond of Blood.

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