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Beira's Whirlpool

Will-o-wisps and cock-a-leekie soup

By Shelby Hagood Published 9 months ago 3 min read

Don’t follow the red will-o-wisps, they are Beira’s and will lead your boat into a whirlpool.

The sign by the water told the warning of a Scottish tale. Will-o-wisps were just reflections of light floating above the water, not fairies and the queen Beira didn't create whirlpools, it just happened because of water shifting different directions. Many people in the town here in Anna Maria believed in these tales though. I never understood it. It is not like we are in Scotland, but yet here the tales all were. Probably because of their whimsy.

I was getting ready to go on an outing with a girl I just met. Her name was Beira of all things. She was new to the small town and wanted to enjoy an outing in the LED light bottom kayaks. Something that she said would be magical. "Watching the light of the kayak shimmering on the water would be so pretty don't you think?" she asked me at our local coffee shop.

"Yeah water shining in over dark waters is always beautiful," I agreed with her.

"We will get to row by all of the will-o-wisps," she swayed.

"You believe in will-o-wisps?" I asked her.

"Some of the lights out there are just reflections, but look in the right place and you will find the actual fairies," she nodded. We finished our coffees and went back to her place for a meal.

"What kind of soup are you making?" I asked her.

"My famous cock-a-leekie soup," she jut her chest out proudly. I laughed at the name. "Something funny about soup?" she asked.

"The name.. it is so silly," I let her know.

"Well I am glad it can make you feel warm laughter. You will be even warmer once this is in you," she poured the swirling soup in a bowl.

"Oh does your cauldron pot make the liquid continuously swirl like that? That's amazing!" I commented.

"Something like that," she replied. I asked her about the recipe:

2 pounds chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed

5 cups water

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of barley

1 can condensed chicken broth

4 medium leeks, sliced

1 stalks celery, thickly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon of thyme

It was delicious. We then got ready to go to the LED kayaks. We were strapped in our life jackets and paddled our way through the water. "Look, a red will-o-wisp!" Beira called out, "Better go take a look and paddle over there. Could mean good fortune.

"There is so much that could be a red reflection of light around here. A good bit of car lights are that color," I responded.

"Do you see any cars around here?" she gestured.

"No, I guess I will paddle over and see about it then," I responded. As I paddled towards the light, everything but it got darker and darker. I started to feel a bit uneasy, but was determined to figure out what was making the light appear. I kept looking, but after a while all was dark. Even the light in our kayak went out. Beira started laughing. "Oh no, it is so dark and I don't know where to turn back."

"You will never turn back!" Just then Beira transformed into a blue old lady with a thorn crown on her head. She put her hand in the water and swirled it as we started sucking our way into a whirlpool. I jumped out of the kayak and started swimming as fast as I could. "You are coming with me!" she screamed. I pounded my way through the swirling water, reaching for a rock I could pull myself with.

I swam so hard that I finally made my way out of the pulling and swam back to the area where the kayaks were to set off. I could hear the wail of Beira's voice. "Oh no, we have to get everyone in! The Beira whirlpool is out!" the kayak worker jumped and gestured for everyone to come back. The whirlpool slowly faded with time while all I could do was stare into the water. From then on I believed. I told everyone to stay away from the red will-o-wisps because they would lead you to Beira's swirling whirlpool of misery every time I served her cock-a-leekie soup to the locals. Was I just a fun lady full of tales or did I really see Beira herself that night?

recipe

About the Creator

Shelby Hagood

Warner Bros and Disney 💕

Cat lover 🐱

Love fancy chocolate 🍫

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