Scottish Folk Tale:
The Mermaid of the Cave

In this Scottish folk tale a man named Malcolm Mac Phee was once walking along a lonely rocky beach in Islay when he was seized by a mermaid. She thrust him into a cave, and there kept him a prisoner.

Now Mac Phee had a big black dog, and his wife sent it out to search for its master. The wise animal at once ran towards the cave on the beach, where it found Mac Phee. No sooner did it arrive, however, than the mermaid rose out of the sea to prevent her prisoner escaping. The dog growled fiercely when it saw her, and she tried to drive it away.

Said Mac Phee: "You had better let me go, or my dog will attack you."

The mermaid laughed, and answered: "I shall keep you here until you die."

No sooner did she say that than the dog sprang at her. A fierce struggle took place, and the mermaid tried to escape by leaping back into the sea. The dog followed her, and fought until it killed the mermaid, but was itself so severely wounded that it was drowned before it reached the shore. Mac Phee hastened homeward, lamenting the loss of his faithful dog.

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