The Mischief Makers

‘We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.'  Kurt Vonnegut

These photos are from a small clearing dotted with boulders and birch, near Loch Katrine, interpreted as the Coire of the Urisks. It’s likely that the actual Coire na Uruisgean sits in the folds of Ben Venue, rather than the other side of the loch, nevertheless this place had a strange way about it even before I read the panel.

The Uruisgean are apparently tiny goblins, water sprites or brownies, a little like the Scandinavian Tomte. They are caught in an existential trap, mortally shy of humans but continually lusting after their attention - addicted to an idea of love but not it’s reality. According to 17th and 18th century writers, these tiny, timid creatures could be persuaded through regular food offerings to do small jobs around the house. Otherwise they are portrayed as troublesome, but not evil. Their road to mischief maybe paved with good intentions, but it’s of little consequence. They will move mountains to get what they want, want they have confused with need.