An excerpt from “History of Clan Fraser”
The Legend of the Faerie Wife
This story begins over two hundred years ago, with a Fraser of Lovat. He was traveling alone, away from his home and kin. He came upon a faerie hill and stopped to rest amongst the large stones that circled its crest.
It is said that suddenly the wind rose and howled; the stones cracked as if the world opened up around him. Terrible things tried to escape the mouth of the earth as it opened. Then, silence fell and there before him, lying asleep in the smooth grass, was a beautiful woman; a faerie from the hill.
He gathered the woman in his arms, carrying her away from the hill in fear that it would swallow her again. She awoke then, lost and confused, unable to say where she had come from. He brought her home to heal, not knowing that this choice would forever alter the future of his line. Time passed and the pair became friends.
She became a healer, performing miracles to the awe and disdain of those around her. A village girl, who was jealous and wanted the Fraser man for herself, spread hateful lies about the new healer, declaring her a witch in whispers behind her hand. While other folk began to fear the woman, the Fraser man grew to love her; his faerie from the hill.
One night, under a rowan tree, he confessed his love, offering her his beloved mother’s ring as a symbol of his loyalty. It is said that she warned him of the danger in loving a woman such as she, but his heart was already hers. Confessing her own love for him, she gave the only gift she possessed; a kiss. They were hand-fast there, under the moon and stars, and the man and his fairie were one.
More time passed and the love between them only grew stronger but, while their hearts were full, their arms were empty. Months passed, and still they were not blessed with a child. Despite this trial, their passion for each other never dwindled. The man continued to care for his home and tenants and his wife continued her healing.
One day, the jealous village girl saw the Fraser wife dancing in the forest, calling upon nature to bless her with a child. Angry and spiteful, the village girl spread new rumors about the strange healer and her witchcraft. The villagers, fearful of evil demons coming upon them, began to shut their doors at the woman’s arrival. Shunned, she returned home, seeking solace from her husband.
It is said that the Fraser wife received messages, warning her to flee before her day of judgement. It was believed that she had cursed her husband, deceiving his heart and mind so that he would take her to wife. Unless she released him, they would kill him to fully rid the world of her dark influence.
Fear for her beloved husband gripped her heart and she made preparations to return to the stone circle. Although her mind was set, her heart and soul cried out for him; her lover and friend. She sought him out, aching for one last moment. Her husband, unaware of her machinations, guided her to the rowan tree and they were home in each other once more.
The Fraser man woke, cold and alone. Fear gripped his heart, for his wife was gone. Mounting his horse, he searched high and low, finding the villagers doing the same. Realizing where she had gone, he rode for the faerie hill with all due haste, praying that he would be in time. His wife foremost in his mind, he did not see the village girl watch him ride away.
He reached the hill, crying out as he saw his wife approaching the tallest stone, prepared to disappear back into the earth. Seizing her hand, the man pulled her away and into his arms, shaking with fear. Their lips met, their tears mingling as they professed their love again, at the place of their first meeting.
Then, angry cries rose up as the village men with the fastest horses arrived, dismounting and drawing arms to take the witch they sought. The Fraser man drew his sword, gladly willing to give his life to see her safely away. She turned, trying to reach the stone, but the way was blocked.
Then, a great stramash erupted. Her husband guarded her, twisting and parrying, taking down each man who tried to harm his wife. Unarmed, the woman could only watch. Suddenly, the three remaining village men attacked at once, and her husband cried out. He stood again, taking down another. Then another. Then, after felling the last of the attackers, the Fraser man reached for her as he fell to the ground.
The woman held him as his life’s blood left him, crying out as words of love and tenderness left her lips. He kissed her ring, the symbol of his loyalty, promising to find her again. He smiled, the knowledge of her love and safety enough for him as he passed from this world into the next. It is said that the place the Fraser man fell, high up on the fairy hill, is covered with blue flowers; the color of his eyes.
News of the man’s death spread quickly and the truth of the jealous village girl’s lies became known. Many mourned him, for he had been a brave and kind man. Despite this, the healer was still looked upon with judgement and mistrust.
The Fraser wife had her husband buried under their rowan tree before she disappeared. Legend has it that the woman roamed the world for a time, living in solitude until she should also pass from this earth and join her husband in the world beyond.
Then, just as heartache and despair became too much, the touch of her husband’s life resounded within her womb. It is said that the woman and the Fraser man’s love was so perfect that the child was gifted with the magic and knowledge of the faeries. As winter turned to spring, the Fraser wife gave birth to a son with eyes the color of the flowers on his mother’s faerie hill.