N: Nuin, Ash in the Scottish Gaelic alphabet.
The ash tree has been symbolically important for many cultures; in Scotland, with oak and (haw)thorn, it was one of three important trees often invoked in time of danger. Stand in the shadow of an ash, and the faery folk could not harm you; put ash berries in or over a baby’s cradle, and the bairn was safe from being taken for a changeling. Medicinally, it was used as a diuretic and a tea made from it was used to regulate rheumatic arthritis and kidney disease. Its roots are said to strangle those of other trees, and sour the soil. Some called it “the widow-maker,” because weapons (spears and arrow shafts) were made from its wood, which was also used for wands, witch’s besoms (brooms) and farm implements.
In this case, it isn’t Oak, Ash and Thorn that will protect you from him but courage—and being fleet of foot across a stream of fresh water!
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