Google+ A Tangled Rope: Highland Terrors

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Highland Terrors

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Back then, of course, people were more in touch with the natural, the wild and the untamed. Even so, there were not many in those wild, Scottish Highlands who would walk out alone at night in case they were attacked by wild haggis or the even-more deadly bagpipe, a land mammal not too unrelated to that denizen of the deep, the squid.

Haggises, or to give them their more common Highland name: the wee savage bastids – are a sort of short-legged killing machine, famous for scaring the Highland terriers back to the lowlands and for the kilt to become the sure sign of the na├»ve tourist, rather than the traditional dress many pretend it to be, created just to see the look on a man’s face when he realises the danger of – and to – his predicament when a horde of haggises sweep down into the glen teeth bared and savagely-clawed legs pumping. Hence, the invention of the sporran as a device for distracting the rampaging haggis’s attention from a man’s vulnerable parts as he unsheathes his claymore and prepares to battle to the death, or at least until opening time.

The bagpipe was a much stealthier predator, often lying in wait in the branches of trees - where it was camouflaged - to lie in wait for its prey to pass underneath. Then it would drop down, emitting its unearthly wailing as in entangled the poor unfortunate in its deadly crushing pipes and squeezed the life out of them.

These days though, with the increasing tourism of the region, it is said – with the usual Scottish gift for accuracy – that you are now more likely to be killed by a low flying golf ball than be attacked by a rampaging horde of haggises or killed in a wild bagpipe attack.

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