Sainct Donwald was a seely bloak;
His doghtres dwelt in a holwe oak.
Perhaps that's not a very nice way to start a post about today's saint. It is hard to know if he really was a silly bloke, or even seely in the sense of frail, weak, and pitiable. It seems to be true that he had nine daughters and no sons, which would certainly be pitiable for most of the days of yore. It is also true that after his wife died (more's the pity), he and his daughters lived in a self-contained religious community. Then he died, but it seems hard to believe that his nine daughters lived in a hollow oak. I don't care how big trees grew back then -- you'd be hard-pressed to have one person living in a hollow oak, let alone nine.
It seems more likely that they moved to the monastery at Abernathy which had been founded by Saint Brigid and Saint Darlugdach. Their feast is on July 18, but as they don't have a separate verse to make fun of them, they'll just have to get rolled in here with their seely old dad. Apparently lots of geographic features in Scotland are named for them. Any time there are nine of something -- wells, stones, trees, hills -- that happen to be apart from everything else, they get called the Nine Maidens. If you have just bought a farm, you might consider putting nine fruit trees in a clearing away from everything else and calling them the Nine Maidens. I'd like to think they would be bountiful, but maybe I am just being seely.