The cottage where Robert Burns was born in Alloway is less than half a mile from the grassy wooded banks of the River Doon. The river is spanned by the Auld Brig (old bridge). Both the bridge and the ruined old Alloway Kirk located nearby feature in Burns’s epic poem of witches and warlocks, ‘Tam o’Shanter’. The bridge is the setting of the famous scene where Tam must cross the water to escape the evil spirits chasing him, or as Burns put it “win the key-stone o' the brig”. Riding his old horse Meg, the pair just make it, but not before the witch Nannie grabs poor Meg’s tail and tugs it off.