The Each Uisge at Carishader

The Waterhorse, or Each Uisge, is commonly known throughout the Highlands and Islands as a dreadful creatures that lives in dark lochans and feasts on human flesh. They can take any shape, and while they most frequently emerge from the water as stallions, ready to carry away to the depths any human they encounter, they also appear as women or, in this case, young men. The story is from Malcolm Macphail’s notes on “Folklore in the Hebrides” from Folklore, vol viii (p383.)

The Each Uisge at Carishader and the people who lived in his immediate neighbourhood were on such friendly terms that on the footing of that friendship the young Each Uisge ventured (dhol air cèilidh) to pay a friendly visit to a near neighbour’s house. Before he left, however, he and the good man of the house quarrelled. The man gave him a severe mauling. While he was thrashing him he nicknamed himself “Mi-fhèin ‘is mi-fèin“, Myself and Myself. The young Each Uisge went back to his father roaring with pain. The old Each Uisge asked him who had been at him. He replied, “Mi-fhein ‘is mi fein.”

The old Each Uisge said to him, “Nam’ be duine eile gu’n deanadh is misi gu’n dioladh.” (If another one had done it, I would revenge it.) This threatening reply of the old Each Uisge is a common Lewis proverb with the addition, “Mar a thubhairt an Each Uisge.” (As the Waterhorse says.)