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Cailleach (or Harvest Old Wife)

Cailleach (or Harvest Old Wife)

In the Highlands of Scotland, there was a superstition that whoever was last with his harvesting would be saddled with the Harvest Old Wife to keep until the next year. The first farmer to be finished made a doll of some blades of corn, which was called "the old wife," and sent it to his nearest neighbor. He, in turn, when finished, sent it on to another, and so on until the person last finished had the old wife to keep. Needless to say this fear acted as a spur to the superstitious Highlanders.

Sources:

Thompson, Francis. The Supernatural Highland. London: Robert Hale, 1976.

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