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Aesop's Fables in Scots #10

Part 10 of our first ebook.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
20 mins

The Eagle and his Captor

A braw Eagle, wings like sails o' a tartan ship, had the misfortune tae cross paths wi' a cunning lad an' end up clipped o' his freedom an' thrown intae a hen hoose amongst clucking hens an' scratchin' roosters. He sulked in a corner, feathers droopin' like heather in the rain, missin' the open sky an' the wind in his talons.

But fate, like a fickle Highland wind, changed direction. The feller soon got tired o' his grumpy guest an' sold him off tae a kind neighbour. This new fellae, wi' a heart as wide as a glen, nursed the Eagle back tae health, lettin' his wings stretch an' feather out once more. The moment the Eagle tasted freedom again, he soared high, nabbed a juicy hare in his claws, an' swooped it right back tae his new friend, a gift o' gratitude for his kindness.

A wee crafty Fox, seein' this act o' generosity, sidled up an' whispered in the Eagle's ear, "Dinnae waste yer bounty on him! Take it tae the first gomer who clipped yer wings! Make him yer pal, an' maybe he'll think twice aboot trappin' ye again!"

Aye, friends, the tale o' the Eagle, the Fox, an' the two men is a wee gem aboot the power o' forgiveness an' the long game. Sometimes, just like the Eagle, we might be tempted tae lash out at those who've wronged us, but revenge, like a haggis supper gone bad, leaves a bitter taste in the end. Instead, takin' the high road, offerin' kindness for cruelty, might just be the key tae changin' hearts an' winnin' true allies.

So next time yer feathers get ruffled by someone's rough grip, remember the Eagle. Spread yer wings o' forgiveness, rise above the squabble, an' who knows, maybe your unexpected gift o' grace will melt the coldest o' hearts an' turn a foe into a friend, the kind who sees yer worth an' cherishes yer freedom, wings an' all.

Moral:  Dinna let the past clip yer wings, lad. Forgive those who've wronged ye, show kindness even when it feels unfair. True freedom lies in lettin' go o' grudges.

The Blacksmith and his Dog

Aye, picture this: Willie the Blacksmith, wi' brawns like a Highland bull an' a beard as fiery as his furnace, had a wee scruffy dug named Hamish. Now, Hamish, bless his furry soul, wasnae exactly a champion o' industry. While Willie clanged an' clattered on his anvil, Hamish would snooze like a scone in the sun, lettin' out wee snores that sounded like bagpipes playin' a lullaby.

But come mealtime, oh laddie, Hamish was a picture o' alertness! His wee ears would perk up quicker than a kilt in a ceilidh, his tail thumpin' a happy jig against the floorboards. One sunny mornin', Willie decided tae have a wee bit o' fun with his furry shadow. He tossed Hamish his usual juicy bone, then growled with mock anger.

"Ye lazy wee scoundrel!" he boomed, voice gruff as a haggis supper. "What good are ye, sleepin' the day away like a bairn at a kilt-wearin' contest? I'm here sweatin' an' toilin' while ye snore like a haggis at a ceilidh! But let a bone come a-flyin', an' suddenly ye're wide awake, tail waggin' faster than a piper's kilt!"

Hamish, bein' a clever wee bugger, just gave Willie a cheeky wee wink, his tail thumpin' even harder. Aye, friends, the tale o' Willie an' Hamish is a wee reminder that sometimes, a bit o' lighthearted banter an' playful grumblin' is all it takes to spice up yer day. It's nae aboot workin' yerself tae the bone, but findin' the right balance, a sprinkle o' hard graft mixed with a generous dollop o' rest an' a playful wink or two.

So next time yer furry friend seems more interested in naps than napsacks, remember Hamish. Give them a wee nudge an' a chuckle, an' let their tail-waggin' laughter be your reward. After all, life's a grand ceilidh, an' there's plenty o' room for a bit o' jiggin' an' snoozin', both for man an' beast, as long as we do it with a big heart an' a twinkle in our eye.

Keep singin' yer own wee song, friends, workin' hard an' sleepin' sound, an' remember, a contented wag an' a cheeky wee wink are treasures worth more than any forged in a fire.

Moral:  Aye, a wee bit o' effort goes a lang way. Even the sleepiest pup wakes for a treat. Dinna expect somethin' for nothin', contribute yer share and the rewards will be sweeter.

The Stag at the Pool

A parched Stag, throat like a haggis bag, stumbled upon a wee burn, glistenin' in the sun like a dew-kissed kilt. As he dipped his head for a dram, his eyes caught a flash in the water – his own reflection. He gawked, mesmerized by the grandeur o' his antlers, spreadin' like a stag at a ceilidh. But then, like a haggis gone bad, disgust curdled his gut as he spied his bony legs, skinny as wee willow switches. Stuck in this pond o' vanity, he never saw the shadow creepin' up – a sleek Lion, muscles ripplin' like bagpipes under pressure.

With a roar that shook the heather, the Lion took off, teeth bared. The Stag, legs pumpin' like pistons in a distillery, bolted. Across open fields he flew, leaving the beast pantin' in his dust. Freedom tasted sweeter than honey, legs that had seemed weak now his mighty engine. But the woods loomed ahead, dark and tangled like a kilt dropped in a bog. It was there, amidst the unforgiving branches, that fate struck. His proud antlers, once his crown, snagged and ripped, brought him crashing down. The Lion, eyes gleamin' like a dram o' whisky, pounced, victory his for the takin'.

With his last breath, the Stag rasped a lament, "Wae is me! For I spurned the legs that coulda saved me, an' praised the horns that sealed my doom."

Aye, friends, the tale o' the Stag is a wee gem o' wisdom for when vanity clouds our vision. What we deem worthless – our grit, our resilience, often holds the key to our survival. While the shiny bells an' whistles might dazzle, it's the quiet, steady strength that sees us through the shadows.

So next time you find yourself tempted by the lure of outward show, remember the Stag. Trust in your own unique gait, your silent grace, your roots that run deep. For just like a hidden burn whispers its power to the glens, true value often lies in the strength unseen, the legs that carry us through, long after the bells have faded in the mist.

Keep your head held high, friends, and remember, the most beautiful trophy you can wear is the one forged in the fires of resilience, the one that whispers, "I ran my own race, and in the end, that's all that mattered."

Moral:  Dinna be blindet by the shiny, lad. True strength lies na just in fancy features, but in usin' all ye have tae yer advantage. Sometimes the things ye least appreciate can be yer greatest saviour.

The Dog and his Shadow

Aye, picture this: wee Duggie, tail waggin' like a kilt in a gale, struttin' across a rickety bridge, a juicy bone clamped tight in his jaws. As he clattered over the planks, his keen eyes caught a glimmer in the burn below – his own reflection, mind you, but it looked twice as braw, with a bone that could feed a whole haggis-hurlin' team!

Without thinkin' twice, Duggie dropped his own scran, barkin' a challenge at the phantom feast across the water. He dove headfirst, paws flappin' like a kilt caught in a Highland squall, ready to snatch that bigger bounty. But of course, the only thing he managed to catch was a mouthful of disappointment. His bone, lost to the gurglin' current, and the other fella – just a watery mirage.

Aye, friends, the tale o' Duggie an' his shadow is a wee reminder that greed can turn even the sweetest treat to ashes in your mouth. Sometimes, we get so fixated on what others have, what appears flashier and grander, that we forget to appreciate the treasures we already hold.

So next time you find yourself chasin' after shadows, lured by promises of bigger an' better, remember Duggie. Take a moment to savor the bone you already have, the joys, the skills, the people that make your own life rich. Be grateful for what you've got, for like a well-cooked haggis, true happiness often lies in what we hold close, not what we chase in the ripples of a dream.

Moral:  Greed can make a fool of the wisest creature, lad. Dinna chase shadows, appreciate what ye have, for chasin' after illusions can leave ye wi' nothin' at all.

The Mice and the Weasel

Aye, picture this: a simmerin' feud between wee bit Muckle John Mouse an' his whiskery foes, the Weasels. The Mice, bless their furry souls, were gettin' the short end o' the kilt at every turn, nibbled an' nabbed by the Weasels like haggis at a ceilidh. So, they huddle in a wee council war, tails twitchin' wi' worry.

Up pops Auld Mousie McTartan, whiskers bristlin' like bagpipes in a breeze. "Nae wonder we're gettin' trounced!" he squeaks. "We dinnae have grand generals, plannin' battles an' pointin' the way with a wee bit o' strategy!"

Inspired by Auld Mousie's words, the Mice rally. They elect the brawest, chunkiest fellas as their leaders, deckin' them oot in helmets perched high with tufts o' straw, like fancy kilt pins for bigwigs. These newly minted generals, puffing their chests like haggis balloons, lead the Mice to battle, tails held high an' voices squeaking war cries.

But alas, the outcome was the same ol' story. The Weasels, wily an' nimble, scattered the Mice like oatcakes in a gale. Most scurried back to their wee hidey-holes with nary a scratch, but the fancy-helmeted leaders – oh laddie, they weren't so lucky. Their grand hats, meant to inspire, became traps, snaggin' on every twig an' thistle, leavin' them exposed like haggis at a picnic. The Weasels, quick as Highland dancers, pounced an' feasted, leavin' the Mouse generals nothin' but a tale o' caution for generations to come.

Aye, friends, the tale o' the Muckle John Mice is a wee gem o' wisdom for big an' wee alike. Sometimes, flashy feathers an' high collars, while temptin' to wear, can weigh us down in unexpected ways. True strength, like a hidden burn gurglin' through the glens, often lies in bein' nimble, adaptable, an' maybe even a wee bit less concerned with appearances.

So next time you find yourself tempted by the call o' grandeur, remember the Mouse generals. Keep yer focus on the path ahead, yer wits sharp as a kilt pin, an' remember, sometimes the mightiest victories are won not with fancy hats, but with a quick step, a steady heart, an' the quiet grace o' knowin' that true worth lies not in what you wear, but in how you move through the world.

Moral:  Fancy feathers dinna win battles. True strength comes nae frae flash, but frae strategy and teamwork. Beware the temptation o' pride, for sometimes the biggest burden tae carry is yer ain ego.

The Peacock and Juno

Wee Peacockie, bless his feathery soul, was green wi' envy o' the nichtingale's sang. The wee birdie's melodies, clear as a Highland burn, filled the air wi' magic, while Peacockie's own croak sounded like a bagpipe gone bad at a ceilidh. He fluttered up tae Juno, Queen o' the Gods, feathers ruffiled like a kilt in a gale.

"Juno, Juno!" he squawked, voice hoarse as a haggis supper. "The nichtingale's sang is a treasure, fit for kings an' fairies, but me? One squawk an' I'm the laughin' stock o' the entire glen!"

Juno, wise as a dram o' the oldest whisky, tried to soothe his ruffled feathers. "Peacockie, my lad," she cooed, voice soft as a summer breeze. "Sure, ye dinnae have the gift o' a bonnie song, but look at yerself! Yer neck shimmers like emeralds, yer tail a burst o' colour that could shame a kilt-maker's dreams!"

But Peacockie, stubborn as a Highland cow, wouldn't budge. "Beauty's all well an' good," he huffed, "but wi' a voice like mine, it's just a fancy coat on a crow!"

Juno, her patience wearin' thin like a kilt in a haggis-hurlin' contest, straightened her crown an' spoke with a glint in her eye. "Fate, Peacockie, hands oot gifts like a barkeep pourin' drams – strength tae the eagle, song tae the nightingale, beauty tae you. An' you, lad, are the only one spittin' in yer dram! So hush yer squawks, for if yer wish were granted, you'd find somethin' else tae whinge aboot faster than a Highland dancer can change steps!"

Aye, friends, the tale o' Peacockie an' Juno is a wee gem o' wisdom for us all. We all have our own unique shine, our own gifts tucked away like treasures in a sporran. Sometimes, instead o' envyin' what others have, we just need tae open our eyes, appreciate our own feathers, an' trust that Fate, like a wise piper, is playin' the right tune for each of us.

So next time you find yourself wishin' for someone else's voice, someone else's wings, remember Peacockie. Spread your own vibrant tail, let your colours fly, an' sing your own wee song, however off-key it might seem. For true beauty, like a warm dram on a cold night, lies not in imitation, but in the joy o' bein' uniquely, wonderfully you.

Keep yer feathers shinin', keep yer voice ringin', friends, an' know that even the most croaky crow can find a melody that only his own heart can sing. For in the grand tapestry of life, each thread, each feather, each note, weaves a story worth listenin' tae, a story that starts with you, in all your glorious, irreplaceable, peacockie splendor.

Moral:  Dinna chase after ither folks' melodies, lad. Embrace the gifts ye are given, for true beauty lies in bein' content wi' yer ain feathers. Chasin' after what ye lack will only bring discontent, cherish what makes ye unique.

The Bear and the Fox

Aye, picture this: Big Bruin the Bear, chest puffed like a haggis balloon, boastin' aboot his kindness an' class to a wee sly Fox. "None o' that roughhousin' for me," Bruin rumbled, voice deep as a loch in winter. "I dinnae stoop tae botherin' the livin' – let the wee beasties scurry in peace!"

Now, the Fox, he was no stranger tae Bruin's ways. He'd seen the glint in Bruin's eye when a fat salmon swam close, the snap o' his jaws when a juicy berry ripened on the braes. So, with a cheeky grin, the Fox piped up, "Well said, Bruin! But if yer fancy for fresh fare ever gets the better o' yer noble spirit, mind ye stick tae the ones who've already crossed the rainbow bridge, eh? Leave the rest o' us wee critters tae our scrambles!"

Bruin, face flushin' like a kilt in a ceilidh, sputtered an' stammered. The Fox's words, sharp as a Highland dirk, had pierced his hollow braggin'. Aye, friends, the tale o' Bruin an' the Fox is a wee reminder that true character shows not in fancy words, but in honest actions. If ye preach kindness, let it seep into yer bones, not just flutter from yer lips like a thistle in the wind.

So next time ye find yerself tempted tae puff yer chest an' claim the moral high ground, remember Bruin. Let yer deeds, like a steady burn gurglin' through the glen, speak louder than yer boasts. For true respect, like a well-aged dram, is earned not by hollow pronouncements, but by the quiet integrity that whispers in every step ye take.

Moral:  Fine words butter nae parsnips. True character shines through actions, no just boasts. Be mindful o' the gap between yer words and yer deeds, for actions speak louder than empty blabber.

The Donkey and the Old Peasant

Aye, pictur' this: Auld Angus the farmer, hunched owre like a thistle in the rain, watchin' his wee Donkie munchin' on clover in the sun-dappled meadow. Suddenly, a flicker o' danger – men wi' glintin' blades creepin' through the heather like Highland foxes stalkin' hens. Angus jumps up, fear cracklin' in his voice like a log on the fire.

"Run, wee Hamish!" he yells, voice shakin' like a kilt in a haggis-hurlin' contest. "Run for yer life! These scoundrels are upon us!"

But Hamish, bless his stubborn soul, just raises his head, gives Angus a lazy blink, and says, slow as oatcakes soakin' in dram, "An' if they catch us, lad? Will they pile heavier burdens on my back than the ones I lug now?"

Angus, sweat breakin' out like beads on a dram glass, sputters, "Nae, Hamish! They'll no' make ye work harder!"

Hamish, unfazed as a mountain in a mist, lets out a snort and continues munchin'. "Then what difference does it make?" he shrugs, tail swishin' like a piper's kilt. "Might as well let them take me if they're no' offerin' a wee bit o' extra work or a juicier thistle!"

Aye, friends, the tale o' Angus an' Hamish is a wee gem aboot acceptance an' perspective. Sometimes, when the storm clouds gather, we get so caught up in the fear o' change that we forget to see the bigger picture. Just like Hamish, maybe there's more to life than just avoidin' burdens. Maybe a wee bit o' acceptance, a trust that even in the hands o' others, good can still find its way, can bring a kind o' peace, even amidst the shadows.

So next time the winds o' change come blowin', remember Hamish. Take a deep breath, adjust yer kilt if it's gettin' askew, and see if maybe, just maybe, the new path that unfolds, even if it involves a different burden or a different hand on the reins, might still lead to a meadow filled with juicy thistles, a wee dram o' acceptance, and the quiet contentment that comes from trustin' that no matter what life throws yer way, you, like Hamish, will always find yer way back to your own unique, stubborn, thistle-munchin' kind o' peace.

Moral:  Ignorance can be a heavy burden. Dinna be so slow tae see the danger, or ye might end up carryin' a heavier load than ye realize. Open yer eyes, and sometimes, a wee bit o' effort can save ye a heap o' trouble.

The Ox and the Frog

Wee Froggy an' his brother, legs a-twitchin' wi' glee, were splish-splashin' in a sun-dappled burn when, oot o' nowhere, lumbered a great big Angus the Ox, thirsty as a haggis-hurlin' champion. Poor wee Froggy, hop-skippin' too close, ended up squished beneath Angus' hoof.

His ma, heart heavy like a haggis on a rainy day, came lookin'. "Where's yer brother, wee yin?" she croaked, voice raw wi' worry.

Froggy, chin wobble-worthy like a kilt in a gale, whispered, "He's gone, Mama. A monstrous beastie, four legs thick as a whisky barrel, stomped him flat as a scone!"

Mama Frog, bristlin' like a thistle in a kilt-fecht, puffed her wee chest, big as a haggis balloon. "Monstrous, ye say? As big as me?"

Froggy, blinkin' wide as a loch at sunrise, nodded. "Aye, Mama, an' more!"

Mama puffed again, chest balloonin' like a sheep in a Highland storm. "Was he as big as THIS?" she croaked, voice strainin' like a piper's kilt.

Froggy, caught up in the game, sputtered, "Bigger, Mama! Much bigger!"

And so it went, Mama Frog pumpin' herself up, wee Froggy egging her on. Rounder and rounder she blew, until, with a plop and a squeak, she burst like a haggis at a ceilidh, bubbles of pride fizzlin' into thin air.

Aye, friends, the tale o' the wee Froggy an' his Mama is a wee gem aboot pride an' knowin' yer limits. Sometimes, we get so caught up in lookin' big an' tough, that we forget the simple joys o' just bein' ourselves. Just like Mama Frog, inflated wi' empty airs, true happiness often lies in bein' content in yer own wee skin, hoppin' along yer own path, without feelin' the need tae puff yerself up like a haggis on a skewer.

So next time you find yourself tempted tae blow yer chest out like a bagpipe drone, remember Mama Frog. Take a deep breath, let yer shoulders settle, an' remember, the most beautiful song isn't played on the biggest pipes, but on the ones that sing true to their own wee, unique tune.

Keep hoppin', keep splashin', friends, an' never forget, the best size tae be is always the one that fits your own happy, contented froggy heart.

Moral:  Dinna let pride inflate yer head, lad. Envy can lead ye doon a path o' destruction. Be content wi' yer lot and respect the power o' others, for tryin' tae be somethin' yer no can end in disaster.

The Man and the Image

A wee crofter, barely scrapin' by, had a carved wooden goddy sittin' proud on his shelf. Every mornin', he'd pour out his hopes, whisperin' pleas for a bit o' fortune, a wee touch o' gold tae ease his troubles. But the days stretched on, his pockets lean as ever, an' frustration gnawed at him like a Highland midge.

One day, the crofter, rage boilin' over like haggis water, yanked the goddy down, brandishin' it like a caber at a kilt-fecht. With a yell that could've startled the loch's kelpie, he flung the statue against the wall. The wood cracked open, an' what d'ye ken? A shower o' golden coins spilled out like haggis from a split skin!

The crofter, eyes wide as a glen in moonlight, scooped up the treasure, greed drippin' like honey off his chin. "You old rascal!" he snarled. "All those prayers, all that respect, nothin' but empty promises! One wee bash o' anger, an' poof! I'm rich as a chieftain!"

Aye, friends, the tale o' the crofter an' his goddy is a cautionary wee yarn aboot misplaced hope an' the fickle nature o' fortune. Sometimes, we chase after wishes an' dreams, clingin' tae idols (carved or otherwise) forgettin' to look for the treasures that might already be hidden within ourselves or scattered beneath our very feet.

So next time you find yourself beggin' for somethin' outside your grasp, remember the crofter. Take a deep breath, open your eyes, and see if maybe, just maybe, the gold you seek isn't locked away in a wooden goddy, but waitin' to be found in the calloused hands that work the land, the kind words that mend a broken heart, or the quiet joy of a simple life lived with honesty an' grit.

Keep diggin', keep sowin', friends, an' remember, the most valuable riches aren't always the ones that glint under lamplight, but the ones that shimmer in the light o' your own hard-earned smile, the ones that whisper their worth in the quiet moments when you know, deep down, that you've built your own fortune, one honest step at a time.

Moral:  Dinna rely on magic alone. Sometimes a wee bit o' effort and a change o' approach can be a better path tae riches than wishful thinkin'. Hard work and determination can bring ye rewards, even if luck seems slow.

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