We had a fabulous time on our haggis hunt last July.
Andy Mann drove the bus to Ochaye Thinoo. He played
Jimmy Shand records for the entire journey so we were
all fluent in Scottish by the time we got there.
luxurious Swinging Kilt Hotel was our abode for the
weekend. We had a delicious breakfast of salty porridge
and cullen skink before setting out on our hunt. Willie
Eckaslike asked the hotel manager where the best place
to hunt haggis was but he wouldn't say as it's a well
Bothwase led the group as we set off into the woods.
It wasn't long before
Tess Coe spotted what looked like a haggis's nest.
Andy Mann put down some bait to try to lure them out.
Haggis are very shy creatures and after waiting for
an hour we decided to move on. Just then we were surprised
by a rustling noise. We were all excited to see our
first haggis. Sadly it was not to be. The sound we
heard was from a Lesser Striped Sporran. Avery nceman
told us we were not allowed to catch it as the sporran
hunting season didn't start for another two weeks.
moved further into the forest but there wasn't a haggis
in sight. In a short while we stumbled upon a picnic
area. We were
all a bit hungry so we sat round the pic nic table
and took out our packed lunches. Wendy Winblows opened
a large packet of ginger snaps and offered them to
us all. We were about to tuck in when a hoard of little
creatures shot out of the woods and promptly snatched
all the ginger snaps then quickly disappeared back
into the woods again. Luke Bothwase explained that
they were a particular species of haggis and not the
nice fluffy ones we were expecting. They were not
very friendly and
had sharp claws and teeth. It turned out that they
find the smell of ginger irresistible and can't get
enough of it.
Bothwase had an idea. Wendy had a few bits of broken
ginger snap left so Luke took them to the edge of
the woods and asked Tim Bucktoo to wait with a net.
Sure enough out came a haggis and stared to nibble
the biscuits. Tim quickly lowered the net but alas
not fast enough. The haggis was off like a rocket.
Mann suggested we should go up into the hills in search
of the Hairless Odd Legged Haggis. They spend their
lives running round the hills and have evolved to
have the right legs longer than the left. This keeps
them upright on the side of the hill. Some clever
scotsman discovered years ago that all you need to
do is jump out in front of them and they will turn
and run. Then the legs will be on the wrong side so
they will roll down the hill. We all decided to give
it a go and set out for the hills.
Bothwase had a look at his map and compass to find
the best route to the hills. He then proceeded
to lead us further into the woods. After a while Andy
Mann said he thought the hills were in the opposite
direction. The two men had a discussion and finally
agreed that we were lost. We all decided to abandon
the trip to the hills and find our way
back to Ochaye Thinoo. Willie Eckaslike said he was
in the scouts when he was a boy and might be able
to help. Willie stood silently and scanned the forest
as he turned full circle. Then he pointed to a gap
in the trees and said "that way". We all
followed and within half an hour we could see the
edge of the town. When we got back Andy Mann asked
Willie how he found the way. Willie said, "It
was easy, I could see the church tower above the trees".
said they had a great time and were lucky to see wild
haggis and the sight of the wild sporran was an added