THE Hillfoots has many tales and legends, all of them with an element of historical truth.

One such story centres around King's Seat Hill between Tillicoultry and Dollar.

Hundreds of years ago, this hill, like others in the Ochil range, was once covered in trees right up to the summit.

Evidence suggests that among the species of tree were birch, pine, and hazel, but principally oak. Several trunks of this hard, black wood were discovered deeply embedded in the peat mosses there.

Wild animals, such as wolves and wild boars, once roamed freely on these wooded hills, but sometimes, in order to source food, they would make their way to the lower slopes, wreaking havoc in their wake.

The legend goes that there was a very large boar causing a nuisance of itself near the local villages, so much so the people wrote to the king Malcolm Canmore. This dates the incident to the latter half of the 11th century.

In response, a grand hunting match was organised – it was to last just one day, but it was hoped that would be enough.

The king arrived with a few attendants and took up a position at the top of the hill, now known as King's Seat, and waited for the hunt to begin.

Beaters were sent out to flush the animal out from its usual haunts, but their efforts proved fruitless and just as they were about to give up, the boar appeared. It ran through the forest, weaving its way between the trees, hotly pursued by the men.

A young man armed with a bow, a quiver full of arrows and a short sword, outran the older men and caught up with the boar. He managed to hit the animal three times, piercing its sides, but by this third hit, it was angry and in pain.

It turned on the boy and ran towards him. It managed to pin him to the ground and inflicted a deep wound on his chest

It was about to attack him again when the huntsman drew his sword and stabbed it, killing it instantly.

After cutting off the head of the boar, the boy managed to make his way to where King Malcolm sat and threw the boar's head at his feet. Within moments, the youth collapsed and died.

It is likely the body of the boar was cooked on a spit over an open fire with the king, his entourage, and the others involved in its slaying, feasting on it. Perhaps even the locals got a share of the meat.