|It seems very likely to me that the following folklore relates to this impressive sounding stone ("a large monolith of sandstone, roughly quadrangular at base, tapering to a point at its upper extremity. It is 8' 9" in height above the ground, 2' 5" across the W face at base, and 1' 10" across the N", according to the RCAHMS record).
ST. GILBERT AND THE DRAGON.p157 in
There lived once upon a time, in Sutherland, a great dragon, very fierce and strong. It was this dragon who burnt all the fir-woods in Ross, Sutherland, and the Reay, of which the remains, charred, black and half decayed, may now be found in every moss. Magnificent forests they must have been, but the dragon set fire to them with his fiery breath, as he rolled over the whole land. Men fled from before his face, and women fainted when his shadow crossed the sky-line. He made the whole land a desert. And it came to pass, that this evil spirit, whom the people called "the Beast," and Dhu guisch (of the black firs), came nigh to Dornoch, as near as to Lochfinn, from whence he could see the town, and the spire of St. Gilbert - his church.
"Pity of you, Dornoch!" roaredthe dragon.
"Pity of you, Dornoch!" said St. Gilbert and taking with him five long and sharp arrows, and a little lad to carry them, he went out to meet the "Beast."
When he came over against it he said, "Pity of you!" and drew his bow. The first arrow shot the Beast through the heart.
He was buried by the townspeople. Men are alive now who reckoned distance by so or so far from "the stone of the Beast" on the moor between Skibo and Dornoch. The moor is now planted, and a wood called Caermore waves over the ashes of the fir-destroying dragon. - (From Alexander the Coppersmith.)
The Folk-Lore of Sutherland-Shire
The Folk-Lore Journal, Vol. 6, No. 3. (1888), pp. 149-189.
Posted by Rhiannon
23rd November 2006ce
Edited 23rd November 2006ce