As a bairn I would repeatedly ask Dad to tell me the story of the fiddler and the trows, where a fiddler is bidden to play a trowie wedding in their world under the hills. The fiddler remains there playing and enjoying himself for one night, but when he returns home, he finds 100 years have passed.
I was gripped by this tale and was forever looking for trows when out in the hills. As I grew older that story, along with many other folk and fairy tales ebbed away from my thoughts. It wasn't until I was in my mid 20s that, by chance, I picked up Ernest Marwick's Folklore of Orkney and Shetland and suddenly I learned about a world rich in magical creatures, tales and witchcraft. This world being our very own. Ever since that day I've been learning as much as I can about our folklore, from asking folk around Shetland and hunting through books. I read at first for interest, but the more I learned the more I wanted to share with others.
We have a beautiful mix in Shetland's folklore, much of it unique to ourselves and Orkney. Throughout the stories we come across some incredibly old tales and characters that may go as far back as the Picts. Then we find the presence of creatures and beliefs from our Nordic past as well as Scottish elements too.