History of the Clan Macrae

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The Flight of Leac na Falla

(Previously: Duncan, called Donnacha Mac Gillechriosd)

Duncan and a Companion take part in the Flight of Leac na Falla, in Skye

The following incident, which is related of Duncan, not only shows the pleasure which he himself found in fighting, but the light-heartedness and delight with which the Highlanders of those days joined in any affray, whether they were concerned in the quarrel or not.  On a certain occasion Duncan and another Kintail man, called Ian Og Mac Fhionnla Dhuibh (Young John, the son of Black Finlay), were in the Isle of Skye buying horses.  On their way home, by the Coolin Hills, they observed bands of Macleods and Macdonalds, between whom there was a feud at the time, gathering together and making preparations for battle.  Neither Duncan nor John was in any way concerned in the quarrel, but Duncan thought that such an opportunity of exercising themselves in the art of war was too good to be thrown away, and he easily persuaded his companion to join in the fight.  In order to avoid every appearance of injustice or partiality they resolved to take sides.  John joined the Macleods, because his mother was of that clan, while Duncan joined the Macdonalds, and was no doubt very glad to do so because of the friendship which had been established between his father and their Chief.  Duncan had the support of a powerful servant, who managed to get possession of a pass across a rough stream fro which both parties were contending.  This position he held against the Macleods until the Macdonalds came up in full force, with the result that the Macleods were defeated with great slaughter.  Tradition relates that this was a very fierce and deadly struggle, and a large flag-stone, which was covered with blood at the close of the fight, is still pointed out and known as Leac na falla (3) (the flag-stone of blood).  As soon as the victory was decided, Duncan, who received the hearty thanks of the Macdonalds, went in search of his companion, John Og, and, when he found him, the resumed and continued their homeward journey as if nothing had happened.  Both had the good fortune to escape without hurt or wound.  Such were the stern amusements in which our bold Highland forefathers took most delight.

Next: Angus Og of Glengarry invades Lochcarron

Footnotes

3. The fight at Leac na falla has been powerfully depicted on canvas by the well-known Highland artist, Mr. Lockhart Bogle.