If you are observant you will notice strange things happening around you all the time and perhaps realise that these are the basis on which so many tales have been founded.
Just look at our old friend the Maid of Curragh, this is the name of the large stone lying in a field just north of Girvan. Well just to jolt your memory I will remind you of the story, which I have told before in this column. It concerns a farmer’s wife who nagged him so much that he strangled her to make her stop, then buried her in the field covering her with a stone to keep her down. The tale continues that if the stone is moved the nagging will start up again.
This of course happened many years ago and believe it or not was a tale I was told when very young and has always held my interest as the stone has remained on the same spot for as long as I can remember. I mention it again as with all the rain we have had lately it seems that the stone appears to be leaning over, or is it my imagination?
Perhaps the Maid is trying to escape and if she does will she start nagging again, and who will she nag?
If I was the farmer I would ensure that the stone was back in its rightful place again.Another tale of this locality is regarding repairs being made to the concrete pavement at Stumpy Corner, Girvan.
This was back in June 1932 when potholes and damaged pavements were speedily repaired and the work done properly by the local Girvan Burgh Council.
Well the workmen unearthed several potatoes at a depth of two feet and they appeared to be thriving despite being at that depth under concrete.
Well they do say that Ayrshire potatoes are not only good to eat but are a healthy vegetable building strong bones.
Now the pavement had been down for some years and no doubt their repair was necessitated by the potatoes trying to force their way up through it. But it brings all sorts of thoughts as to why, and how the potatoes came to be there in the first place and gives bent to all sorts of tales to test the imagination.Another tale of powerful vegetables is that of James Cunningham of Kelso who in 1811 grew a giant cabbage which had a diameter of eighteen feet.
Not to be outdone in 1813 Colonel Burnet of Gudgirth, Ayrshire grew a turnip that weighed over 24 pounds with a girth of nearly five feet. Whew! Some size but I wonder if these giant vegetables were as succulent to eat as their smaller brethren.
Well that’s all for now see you next week.