"A Swan of Good Fortune,"
Cathy S Mosley
Swans in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland were considered to be birds of good fortune; perhaps, even, devout women under spells.
Ill fortune to any who molested or harmed a swan......
And in one good wife's case - good fortune to those who cared.
A long time past a good wife was seeking along a loch for herbs for her sick child, and amongst the rushes she heard a feeble rustling.
Cautiously she approached and carefully peeled back the concealing plants - to find a swan looking about to expire.
"Poor one," the woman murmured, keeping her voice soft and loving so to soothe the bird while she wrapped it up in her apron.
"Poor one, poor one," she whispered as she carried the trembling swan back up to her croft.
She settled the bird in a box of rags upon the hearth, and set about seeing what ailed the bird.
A broken wing seemed the main cause, but the woman could also see that the swan was half-starved.
That she had two invalids did not bother the good wife, and she saw to the needs of both; nor were her efforts for naught - for each day the swan regained a bit more strength. And to the woman's joy - so did her babe.
At last the swan easily moved her great wings, and the good wife opened her door for the bird. She watched with awe as the bird soon launched skyward, and before the woman lost sight of the swan's pristine wings she heard the healthy cry of her child.
Amongst the Scottish it is said that seven swans, or a multiple of seven swans, mark the beginning of seven years of prosperity.
MacGregor, Alasdair Alpin. The Peat Fire Flame. Edinburgh: The Moray Press. 1937.