The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88533   Message #1661344
Posted By: Joybell
03-Feb-06 - 10:56 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Execution by tying fish on head+bird
Subject: Folklore: Execution by tying fish on head+bird
So here it is. The film "The Brothers" made by Sydney and Muriel Box. 1947. Set, and at least partly filmed, on the Isle of Skye. Really silly story but good outdoor scenes. Will Fyffe wandering around playing pretty tunes on an accordion. Full of quaint folk-customs and stories. A Selkie tale at one point. Thick, (varied) Scots accents. There's a wonderfully overwrought scene where one of the brothers gets his thumb stuck in the mouth of a Conger eel. The tide's turned and there's nothing for it but to cut off his thumb. I would have stabbed the Conger eel with the knife but what would I know! He says it's a Conger eel. We don't get to see it. If Ed Wood can manage a giant mechanical octopus for his masterpiece, and then have his star, Bela Lugosi, wrap it around himself and pretend it's moving - I do wonder why Mrs and Mrs Box couldn't have found a fake eel - but back to the point.

What I wonder is??????

Can you/did Skylites (or whatever you call the inhabitants of Skye) actually execute bad people by tying a fish on the head and floaties under the armpits, letting them float out with the tide, and waiting till a passing goose pecks their brains out trying to get at the fish? (The birds in the film look like seagulls to me, and geese are grazing birds not given to swooping at fish, but that's a small point.)
A Tern or some other pointy-beaked seabird would probably do. What do you think, wise friends.
Puzzled, Joy