Jan 22, 2012

Magpie Tales#101

Tess at Willow Manor offers us a prompt which at first sight is problematic/enigmatic, but in fact is quite easy to decode.


Scots cannae hear a fiddle band
without they tap their feet.
And when the 25th(*) comes round
the lassies feel the heat.
And so before they take the floor
we strap them to a sheep!

The "Bees of Maggieknockater"
is not their first choice dance
and "Dashing Sergeants" (black or white)
do not lead to romance.

They listen to the jigs and reels,
while waiting "Strip the Willow"
The big black bandage keeps them still,
the fleece a pleasant pillow.

The hoolie starts!  We cut them free!
They join in with high zest.
(Do they do this in Fochabers
or stuck-up Inverness?)

And old John Knox turns in his grave
at this eye-popping Burns Night rave.

(*) 25th. January. Burns Night is celebrated by Scots, both domiciled and ex-pat. They foregather to feast on haggis and mashed neeps (golden turnips), and whisky.  The Haggis is piped-in, welcomed and addressed.  The poetry of the iconic Rabbie Burns is recited. Bagpipes are played. "Ae Fond Kiss", "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" are sung, at which point tears may flow as the whisky takes hold. There is often dancing. These guys have dispensed with the traditional kilts and tartan skirts for Auld Lang Syne, or other reasons I leave you to guess at. 

Worthier Magpies on display at Willow Manor.


  1. Jigs and reels are quite lively, I'd be worried about bodily appendages coming to harm in the scrum.

  2. I love your take on this weeks prompt and what a splendid photo of the Not-So-Trad Burns Night. Everyone there looks to be having a great time.

  3. I like jigs and reels of your words...looks like fun ~


  4. Oh, to be in Scotland now. LOL. Wonderful.

  5. Oh did I ever need this laugh tonight...

  6. ha...is there a way to become a born again scotsman...smiles...sound like a rather fun jig...smiles.

  7. I'd prefer the whiskey were piped in.

  8. Jolly fun! I can do all of that except the haggis...choke.

  9. I'd rather write a poem to a haggis than eat it, I suppose! "Neeps and tatties" just sound like sexual euphemisms, but perhaps that's just my warped mind!

  10. I think that would put a smile on old Bobby's face.

  11. I know what commentators mean. There are some truly dreadful haggises, not worthy of the name . . but the best, from small 'craft' makers, are really excellent. And that's a mere Englishman's judgement!

  12. Sounds like "Dancing the Lancers" with real lances. :-)

  13. haha..i always say the scots know how to celebrate...smiles
    love your funny take on the prompt..who would've expected that you end up in scotland with the japanese lady...smiles

  14. I agree with Claudia...your travels took you from Japan to Scotland..a wonderful lusty response to the prompt

  15. So lovely to see somthing other than Bento Boxes and the like. After all how does one keep those young ladies - and lads under control until the finale?

  16. Why has nobody mentioned the sporran? I mean, it's a very considerable sporran even though we are told that size doesn't matter.

  17. The size of the sporran always matters, Doctor! I'll take the high road .. then the low road home. Walking best after all that dancing and whiskey.

  18. Love this! If it weren't for the haggis, I'd want to be there. What the heck! Pour me a Glenmorangie and everything will be all right. (I nearly choked on the "strap them to a sheep" line.)

  19. Sporran? I though it was a billycan...:)

  20. And a fine time was had by all..even strapped to a sheep!! Two more days, huh?

    1. and strapped them to a sheep! how right you are!!
      great, thanks.

  21. Dear Dr. FTSE: "we strap them to sheep" got me reeling! And the musical is quite lively! Quite an art form strapped to strapping sheep dance! Baaahhhhaaahaaa~!

  22. Strapped, scalped and strewn. What a time it was...:)

  23. given the prompt I think Robbie could do no better!

  24. I just love coming over here. It's always a party of one sort or another. "strap them to a sheep".....so "The big black bandage keeps them still" Come on! You're killing me!

    You also brought back a great memory from my past that happened right here in the U.S. of A. on Burn's birthday. A pub in town was owned by a Scotsman, who donned kilts and read Burns' poetry while we drank and swooned away to a distant land and time...

  25. Didn't Rabbie Burns say something like "Would the Lord the giftie gie us to see oorsels as ithers see us." Now I see what he was getting at. Top flight Mag, though.

  26. Bless yer wee thumpy yin!! For a wonderful read and acknowledging Burns. As a Scottish bint myself, it's nice to know the tradition carries on world-wide!

    You get my other **Hey! Hey! this week.....and a big thank you for spelling 'whisky' properly!

    **see 'about me' section on my profile/sidebar.....!


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