If legend is to be trusted, the thistle was adopted during the reign of Malcolm II. of Scotland, for the following reason: The Danes had invaded the country and designed to capture a castle in Aberdeenshire. They attacked it by night. The castle moat, instead of being full of water, as they expected, was dry and occupied by a thick crop of thistles. The men who first plunged into it uttered cries of pain which aroused the Scots, and the invaders were beaten off.