To Explain: I belong to a great Web Board on
Electric Scotland. Some of the fellow members are helping me to get ready
for my first trip to Scotland in June. I have received some very
useful advice and then the great Haggis Raggis started:
This sage advice has been
volunteered by Edward Harkins (from Glasgow, Scotland) , Graham Donachie (
Victoria, BC, Canada), Alastair McIntyre (Grangemouth Scotland) Bill Sivier
( Owen Sound, Canada) Deb Beach (Ohio) Donald Budge (Brisbane,Australia)
,Sandy Campbell (Oakville, Canada) Jean Cobel (Ontario, Canada)
There is just one other wee beastie to look out for.. the rare haggis-its.
I'm sure Sandy knows all about these.
Don't let Edward's three legged beastie
story fool you....
It is obviously a leg puller..but you can ..if
you are lucky enough at certain tymes of
the year...see the bird in it's migration
from the Cheviot Hills to the Cairngorms
of the North...My auld grannie once told
me that she had seen one flying up
Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow one night
in 1945...That was unusual as they
normally keep away from any high density
The edible haggis..the Burns night
variety..is a far cry from the original
So..get up early....and keep your eyes
That's no fair! I wanted to kid Pauline on that the Haggis was a wee beastie
and not a bird. Incidentally they now have a watching point in Sauchiehall
Street for seeing them; so Glasgow is catching up with Edinburgh on tourist
I can put my hand on my heart and assure you that after a splendid party in
the wee small hours after Hogmonay as recently 2000, I looked up and I am
positive I saw a flying Haggis, although it was a bit fuzzy.
Pauline don't listen to either one. My Dad an Englishman who thinks like
a Scot. Told me about the wee Beastie haggis that runs up and down the hills
in the northern parts of Scotland. It does not have three legs it has four.
So I would believe him before Edward or Graham, so take what you like of
that one girl. LOL
PS. I am older than you and probably the two men as well. My Dad will be 91
on the 22 April. And he would not lie to me.[**big smile**]
When I come to Scotland, (yes Firefly, I will make it one day) I'm
bringing a big sack with me and then I'm going to catch me a haggis, smuggle
it home with me and make a pet out of it..... :-) DEB
Catch a haggis.....easier said than done...
They are very human -shy...
And if chased... can even outrun an
Aberdeen-Angus bull at full charge..........
Only in flight are they at their most vocal
..louder than honking geese they are
however very graceful in flight...better at a
distance though...as they can be a bit
smelly in the Autumn. but up close they
smell pretty offal....
Good luck in your attempts...
Graham...you don't have any suggestions on how to catch a haggis do you?
At least with a camera??? I would really like to know how big this flying
Hello again Pauline...
Catch with a camera.!!!
This crature is pretty swift on the
move..and if threatened with exposure
can turn nasty...They are the original
"stealth bomber"....big rookies or sku
gulls, have nothing on the " hovering
haggie"..the one true foul...only to be
found in Scotland....
Best of luck...
What is all this nonsense about Haggis's having three and even four legs?
As with any bird, the Haggis has only two legs. A long one and a short one.
This enables the little bird to run around the hills with ease.
Here's tae us whau's like us.
Here's a wee picture fur ye tae help in yer hunt.
That's right... and you know not a lot of people know that Robert Burns's
'Ode to a Wee timorous Beastie' was not to a mouse at all but to a haggis.
If I didn't know any better, I'd swear u're pic of the Haggis looks like a
Hello to all ...
I must say that Iím quite concerned about
Paulineís forthcoming visit to
Scotland....and her enthusiasm for the
tracking and capturing "on film"..35mm or
other..of our most elusive and
endangered specie of winged highland
phenomena..."the cleft winged hagi"...or
"Bird of Haggis"...
I am also dissapointed that
Misters...Harkins, Sivier and Campbell,
should wish to mis-inform the aforesaid
Ladye about the true identity of the fabled
It is my wish however to allay all of
Paulineís thoughts of "dashing into the
glen..f stops and film speeds at full
focus...looking for some non-existent
terra firma gaelic mammal...
In pursuit of her snapshot, she would
surely miss the crature, of her very
purpose, hovering above her head..and
viewing her endeavours, like some
ancient winged entity , gazing in
downward wonderment at this
"Americanus Femalorum" scurrying
through the heather...
Whilst at the University of Kirriemuir, I
attended the the College of Asinine
Studies, and it was there I first read the
accounts of that most remarkable "
Gentleman of letters"..Samuel
Johnson..the much renowned scholar,
historian, and accomplished
During his "Journeys into the Ď Wildes of
Scotland í...with fellow Porcine..James
Boswell...they reported on a number of
strange highland phenomena...not
least..the flying variant of "Avium
The rest is history..........
That our national Bard...Rab......he of the...
Lallans"..and master of the "
Undecipherable Doric"..should put pen to
paper in mockery of our Great Feathered
for long !!!
As we all know..Rabís parents came from
the lovely Northeast of Scotland...They
failed at everything...so moved west..to
It was on his fathers insistence, that he
look to the hardship of poetry, to make his
His Sire left a small verse in his native
Northeast doric..This simple stanza
captures the heart of the reader and
lends further credulity to the existence of
the much maligned Great Caledonian
Cleft Winged Hagi......
Robert Burns adapted his.. now famous
ode to a Haggis..from his fatherís
beautiful short verse......
I offer it now here in itís entirety.....
Ochone...Ochone...Eh see a burdy..
Wií scunner neb aní oxter hurdie
Weel thrapit howdle.nerí a gurdie
Maun sic a glimmer.......
O fause the skook
An skite the skitter,
Wií leery luik aní tattie fritter
Wad meh mooth waater...
O slicht aní sibbie so be me
Frae gurgliní burn tae gurly sea,
An slaukie sall I ever be
In puirtith lyfe..
For Royale Hagií wha wad peever
On peikthank reel fit lallan reiver
A wadna gie a snotter for..
Yon clappit jowl....
This can still bring a tear tae my gless
Any other thoughts or obstacles that
Pauline might see in her future journey to
Scotland...should be treated in the utmost
seriousness...and all help be given her..
in her pursuit of the truth of the existence
of the fabled foul.....
Och Graham, 'a lo'ed yer wee post, ah'm still laughin, bit a hae tae tell
ye. A ken whit a Haggis looks like, an it has ane long leg an yin short leg
in order tae rin roon the hills. Yer richt in sayin' it's a bird though.
Here's tae us whau's like us.
Haggis eh? They've been found
Ah ha, Now I have a picture of the feathered haggis!! They do seem to be
timid creatures. I am ready to set out on my adventure, armed with
cameras and pictures of a platypus and a 5-headed bush.
I know I am going to feel like a the heroine in the old African movies when
the hunter stands alone because all the native guides have fled in terror.
But I take my challenge seriously and with much anticipation. I know
this is not going to be easy....I shall do my best.
I couldn't believe my eyes. There at the bottom of this week's
"Scottish Snippets" newsletter was this tidbit"
"How to Catch a Haggis".
Dig a large hole 6" deep and 6" wide. Cover with bracken to hide the hole
from vision. Cover the bracken with fried eggs, a titbit highly favoured by
haggis. The haggis, having spotted and smelt the fried eggs, makes a
beeline, totally unaware that yet again a trap has been set. The haggis,
being a flightless bird and thick as mince, is captured in the hole.
I felt it was important to give Pauline some more facts
about Haggis given her interest in history and forthcoming visit to
Scotland. The wee Haggis has a proud place in Scottish history that the
purists have neglected or air-brushed away. For example there was the
ancient midwinter Celtic festival of all-night carousing and feasting known
as Haggismonay. Then there was Robert Burns's "My Haggis is in the
Highlands" and Sir Walter Scott's "Haggis of Midlothian". Then there was the
infamous Royal clanger when a Highlands obsessed King George got over
excited and invested Harry Lauder as Sir Haggis Lauder. Then there was the
amusing scene at a prestigous golf tournament when just as Sir Sean Connery
was anticipating one sort of birdie on the green, a big wee Haggis suddenly
flew up at him from a bush... he said later that like one of his Martinis he
was 'shaken and not stirred'. It all facts Pauline, as Burns said "But Facts
are chiels that winna ding. An downa be disputed"... any more?