The Myth of the Wren                                                                   


Many years ago there came to the Island a beautiful woman of the fairy people. She went all through the land, and wherever she appeared she put such enchantment on the men, by her beauty and her wonderful attractive powers, that they one and all left their work and their homes to follow her. When she had them all collected in this way, she led them across an apparently shallow ford in a wide river. She herself went across almost dryshod, but when her followers attempted the fording, the river rose in fury and drowned nearly all of them. Upon this the survivors, brought to their senses by the disaster, gave chase to the woman, seeking vengeance upon her; but she, laughing in mockery, changed herself into the shape of a wren and flew away. Some say that this particular wren was the first to be hunted, killed, and carried round for exhibition, others that the actual witch-woman escaped; but it is generally believed to be in memory of this event that the wren is hunted and carried annually.