THERE is an old legend from Tullibody about a family trait what was said to have carried down the generations due to a curse.

This was a wide mouth that came into the family of Murray by marriage.

A paternal ancestor of the Murray who relayed this story in the early 20th century, stated that this ancestor wooed and was going to marry a young lady of great beauty.

One of the issues surrounding the match was the fact that she did not have a dowry as her family were not well-off.

The young man's intentions were scuttled by his father who expressly told him that if he married the lady in question, he would cut him off with a shilling.

However, he went on, if he married a woman of his choice, he would not carry out his threat of cutting him out of his life, nor his will.

The young man was both furious and dumbfounded by his father's proposal, and eventually asked for some time to think about it. After all he loved the girl, but he also loved his father.

After much deliberation, the young man agreed to marry the lady of his father's choice who was the heiress to a large fortune, along with the unenviable trait of a very large mouth.

She had acquired both from her father, who was one of the celebrated kail-suppers of Fife.

When the spurned young lady discovered who his wife was to be, and although she was angry, she was more offended.

In a fit of temper, she wished the mouth of her rival be handed down the generations to their children and their descendants.

The country people, who used to pay attention to the sayings and doings of ladies condemned to wear the willow, or sadness, waited anxiously for the fulfilment of her malicious charm.

When the kail-supper's daughter had a son, he was born with a wide mouth like his mother, and grandfather before him.

According to legend, the ill-wisher's curse was also seen in the second, third and subsequent children of the couple. Her triumph was complete when the mouth was also acquired by their daughters, not just their sons.

In the next generation, instead of genetics diluting the large mouths, it was said they were even bigger, and since that time, with each generation born, it continued to grow, so much so, that it was once believed there was scarcely anyone living in the village who did not have a large mouth, handed down by the kail-supper's daughter.