In the early Middle Ages, Scottish lands were highly coveted. The harsh Danes had only one goal, to invade the Highlands and to compete with its proud warriors. Many a time they had wanted to conquer the Scottish shores. And several times their assaults had been valiantly pushed back.
The Scottish warriors, determined to protect their castle until their last breath, remained alert. Day and night, they scanned the distance, anxious to the arrival of a Danish army so determined that they would not have been able to resist.
In the face of Scottish determination, the Danes were not ready to surrender. Yes, the Scots were brave, but the Danes were smarter. If strength did not work, they would try trickery … and discretion! Thus, the Danes would take advantage of the night to walk without a sound to the castle and surprise the drowsy warriors.
One evening, the Danes put their plan into action. As a precaution, they took off their shoes and started walking, quieter than a shadow. They took a step, two steps, three steps. No Scotsman seemed to notice them. The most complete silence reigned … When all of a sudden, terrible cry ripped through the night. The rattles were so loud that they woke up the dullest of Scots. What had happened? In the darkness, the Danes had entered barefoot, unknowingly, into a field of thistles ! With each movement, the quills of the plant penetrated deeper into their feet. Defeated by the pain, they fled as best as quickly as they could.
That night, defeating an army, the thistles won the hearts of the Scots. It is in memory of this epic story that they made the thistle the symbol of their country, and a source of pride.