There’s a charming little bridge in Sligachan on the Isle of Skye. A small stream runs below it, and you can look up to a mighty mountain. Many travellers would never think to stop there to have a look around. It’s just your average little stream in the Scottish Highlands. But that’s because they don’t know this stream has the power to grant you eternal beauty.
No really, it does.
The Rabbie's team splashed in this stream a thousand times, and were stunningly beautiful. Or at least that’s what our mums tell us.
Anyway, the way this stream got its magical powers is one of our favourite stories on Skye.
It's the tale of The Enchanted Waters of Sligachan. And if you stay around for the ending, we’ll explain what you’re supposed to do in the water to gain eternal beauty.
A Famous Warrior
So, the story begins with Scotland’s warrior woman, Scáthach. She lived on Skye, and the news was travelling around the world that she was the greatest fighter in all of Scotland.
But this news travelled to the wrong people. Cú Chulainn, Ireland’s favourite warrior, had found out. He wasn't a bad guy, he was just very competitive. He had to know if he could defeat her in battle. So, he jumped across the ocean to Skye and challenged her.
But Scáthach was no coward. Even though Cú Chulainn had the strength of Hercules and was half-god, she accepted the challenge. She even believed she could win.
This fight would be more significant than Muhammad Ali versus Bruce Lee, bigger than Terminator versus Predator, it would be the most massive fight this land had ever known.
The battle raged for weeks. Valleys were moved, mountains shook, and all the animals had fled the Isle of Skye.
But Scáthach’s daughter couldn’t take it anymore. She was upset beyond belief and ran down to this stream to cry.
She shouted, “please, somebody stops this fighting, I can’t stand it anymore,.”
And she was in luck.
A Delicious Resolution
The fairies of the river had heard her. They beckoned her to dunk her face in the stream to discover how she could stop this terrifying battle.
She did as they asked, and the fairies blessed her with the knowledge of what to do.
She ran around Skye finding herbs, meats, nuts, and every delicious thing that this small island produced. She then brought them home and stewed up the most delicious broth you could imagine.
The smells of this meal were incredible. The scents travelled across the land and were so delicious they could make you hungry again after a ten-course Michelin-starred feast.
The fighting warriors smelt it. And they couldn't fight on. Their saliva glands were gushing faster than the Niagara Falls. So, they agreed to take a break for a feast.
Scáthach and Cú Chulainn arrived at the house and scoffed up the food like they hadn’t eaten a meal in their entire lives.
And this had to end the battle. By eating in the home of Scáthach, Cú Chulainn had become a guest. He was no animal, he had been raised with good manners, and abided by the rules of Celtic hospitality: you can't fight someone who has hosted you, ever.
So, there the battle ended. But the fairies of the river had been disturbed by this battle forever. So, by dunking your face in it you transport a part of yourself into the underworld and attain eternal beauty.
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