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Legend of the Fisher Girls


As I understand it there were four of them. I never met any one of them or even knew their first names but to this day I think of them. The youngest of the Fisher girls was in the same class at the Waid Academy as was my sister Minnie. Minnie was six years older than me.  It was from Minnie that I learned their story which may not be exactly as I  relate it but it's how I remember what Minnie told me.


About four miles from Earlsferry and a quarter of a mile seawards from the roadway that passes Muircambus was an old stone sheep herder's cottage.  Alongside of the cottage flowed the Balchristie Burn.  In this humble and isolated dwelling lived the sheep herder by the last name of Fisher and his wife. The abode had no utility services of any kind and water was carried in a pail from the burn to the house.  No oil, no gas, no coal, no electricity. Warmth for the hose was by burning  driftwood in an open fireplace. This wood first  had to be carried from the beach at Largo Bay about a mile away. A garden provided their supply of vegetables. Their meat supply was rabbits that they caught by means of wire snares that they set in the runways of the many rabbits in the long grasses nearby.


In due time four girls were born to the Fishers, each about two or three years apart.  Besides each other these girls had no other playmates as none lived nearby.


To get from the cottage to the road about a quarter of a mile away there was but a marshy grass pathway and at least two dry stane dykes that had to be climbed over.


In the girls early years they had to walk from the cottage to the roadway and then a mile or more to the elementary school at Colinsburgh.  In their high school years they had to stand in the weather at the side of the road as they waited for the school bus to take them to Waid Academy at Anstruther.  This might have been all right in the summertime but in the days of winter their comings and goings would have to have been in the dark and I doubt that any one of them had a flashlight. To this add cold, rain, wind, sleet and snow.  When at home they had to do their homework either by the glare of flickering candles or by the light from oil lamps.


The record of each of the four girls is that from the ages of five as first going to school at Colinsburgh till the ages of seventeen or eighteen when they graduated from the Waid Academy not one of the Fisher girls ever missed a day of school. They each in their time achieved perfect attendance.


Not only that, in their graduating years, which would have been in the 1930's at the Waid Academy they each in their time were honored as being the top student in the school. This really says something as Waid Academy is a "no slouch" institution.


Minnie also told me that in addition to their academic excellence they each were role models as to leadership and sports.


How's that for fortitude, tenacity, drive and ability?


I've no idea as to how these girls lived out their lives but I'll bet as they made their way in the world they were powerhouses and forces to be reckoned with.


They certainly made an impression on me.


I'd like to know---- the rest of their stories.