The Island of Eigg

Main Story: Another Scottish story. It’s about the island of Eigg. Many Scottish clans existed and a clan lived on Eigg. Another clan which I think were the MacDonalds came looking for them to attack them and kill them. But the entire population of the island of Eigg hid in a very well-disguised cave. The entire population. Hundreds. And even though for days the MacDonalds who arrived by boat. Some were fearsome. Searched the entire island they could not find the clan that had hidden. Don’t remember the name of the clan that had hidden on Eigg. They gave up the MacDonalds. They decided there’s no one here. Couldn’t find the cave entrance which was very disguised. And decided to leave. Within the cave, they had no idea what was going on outside the cave. One person decides to walk outside and see if the enemy has left. Upon realizing the ships were still in the harbor, just as the MacDonalds were leaving for good one MacDonald clan warrior thought he’d have one final check and saw the footprints because it had snowed the night before and followed the footprints to the entrance of the cave and they killed them not by fighting a war but by leaving them barricaded in their hidden cave and lighting a huge fire at the entrance which suffocated the entire population of Eigg and the folklore is that had they just stayed in another few hours and not had one guy get impatient and go out to look it would never have happened.

Background Information: Mark Burnett is my dad. His family is originally from Scotland and he served in the military.

Context of the Performance: The story was performed on the balcony of our house.

My Thoughts on the Piece: This is such a great story. It’s so fascinating that they could have had such a perfect hiding place but then a few chance mistakes get the entire clan killed. One guy gets impatient. It happens to snow. And one MacDonald stays behind to check and finds the footprints. One of the things I find fascinating is that besides being a great story this is a great example of how life lessons are transmitted. It’s a very practical story too about the value of patience.