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The Hidden Fortress

Re-Telling Tales


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So here's the story of the Maidenstone (see photo comments thread), which stands on the north side of the wee mountain of Bennachie in Aberdeenshire. It's a tall stone, covered in Pictish carvings, with a notch near the top. The tale is traditional. Janet was a crofter's daughter, and her father and brother were away on the side of Bennachie, cutting peat. It's a rough land, and the mountain weather can be treacherous.

the words are Jester's -the tune is also his but you'll have to imagine that!




Run, Janet, Run


She's running from the mountain, she's running for her life

The Devil's close behind her and he wants her for his wife

He tricked her into making a bargain for a jest

And now her soul is forfeit, eternally unblessed


(CH) You've got to run, Janet, run

For the devil's getting closer

Run, Janet, run,

And the night is getting colder

Run, Janet, run,

He's got his hand upon your shoulder

And he wants you for his bride


She was happy at the baking, she was singing all the while

At the door there came a stranger and Janet liked his smile

He looked towards the mountain, by sunset he'd provide

A road that reached the mountaintop if she would be his bride.


She nodded to the stranger, she knew he spoke in jest

No man alive could build a road that reached the mountain's crest

She stepped outside at sunset - the cobbled road was done

The stranger came on cloven hooves and Janet turned to run.


The spirits of the mountain must watch in dread and fear

They cannot match the Devil's srength ad Jenat's death seems near.

One deed alone can save her and steal the Devil's own -

He cannot bear away to Hell a maiden made of stone....




She's still there. The notch on her shoulder shows how close the Devil came to catching her.

And if you look at the bottom of the stone, you can still see the mirror and comb she was clutching when he came for her.....






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