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Aesop's Fables in Scots #2

Part 2 of our serialised ebook.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
20 mins

The Fletherin' Bat an' the Sly Stoats

A bat, clumsy wi' the twilight, plopped doun like a haggis at a ceilidh, landin' right in the paws o' a sneaky stoat. Ready to have his wings clipped an' be made into stoat stew, the wee blighter begged for his life. "Nae chance, wee fletherin' fella," says the stoat, "My motto's 'nae mercy for feathered fiends!'" "Feathered?!" squeaks the bat, "I'm nae pigeon, pal! I'm a mouse, as grey as a kilt an' just as squeaky!" The stoat, squintin' closer, says, "Aye, so ye are!" and lets the bat scurry off.

Now, fate, it has a funny way o' workin', an' no lang after, the bat again finds himself snagged by another stoat, eyes flashin' wi' dinner dreams. Begging like a bard for spare broth, the bat pleads, "Please, sir! Nae stoat stew today!" "Stoat stew?" scoffs the stoat, "Mice are on the menu, an' that's that!" "Mice?!" squeaks the bat, wings thrashin' like bagpipes in a gale, "I'm a bird, I tell ye! A feathered friend o' the night!" The stoat, perplexed as a haggis hunter in a blizzard, looks closer an' says, "Aye, indeed ye are!" and sends the bat flappin' back to the shadows.

So there ye have it, a wee tale o' a bat learnin' a hard lesson: always check the wind before ye start bletherin'. Appearances can be a tricky beast, an' sometimes the best way tae stay safe is tae know when tae adapt yer tune. Remember, it's nae bad thing tae be quick-witted like the bat, but keepin' yer true feathers close can be just as handy when the stoats are on the prowl.

Moral:  Tak tent o' the wind's direction afore ye cast yer lot.

The Cootie an' the Sow: A Wee Debate Ootbye

Aye, there wis ance a cootie an' a sow, natterin' an' gowkin' aboot their weans like proud parents at a school play. Each o' them, mind ye, thought their ain wee bairns war the bravest, bonniest wee beasties in the haill o' creation.

"My piglets," says the sow, her snout twitchin' wi' pride, "they can see as clear as a loch on a summer mornin' the minute they plop oot o' the straw. Nae fumblin' aboot in the dark for them!"

The cootie, hackles risin' a wee bit, puffs up his chest an' barks, "See? That's nothin'! My pups, they might be born blind as a haggis after a wee dram, but their noses! Och, those noses can sniff oot a bit o' bacon frae a mile away, quicker than a kilt-wearin' corgi at a picnic."

An' so the debate raged on, each boastin' the braw wee talents o' their offspring. But aye, there's a lesson in this blether, pal. Just like the cootie an' the sow, we a' tend tae see the good in our ain an' maybe miss the wonders in what's different. So next time ye find yersel' braggin' aboot yer ain, take a wee minute tae appreciate the unique skills an' gifts o' those around ye. Remember, a blind pup mightnae see, but its sniffer could save the day. And a piglet's wee peepers, they might not spot a rabbit in the dark, but they'll never miss a chance to rootle oot a tasty treat.

There ye have it, a wee Scots yarn tae ponder. So raise a dram tae diversity, an' keep yer eyes peeled for the good in all creatures, great an' wee, blind or seein'.

Moral:  A book's cover tells ye its title, no the whole story. Dinnae judge a book by its cover, or a person by their first impression.

The Cootie an' the Corbie: A Tale o' Flattery an' Feathers

Once upon a time, a cheeky corbie sat perched on a bough, a tasty bit o' cheese glistenin' in her beak. Now, nae sooner had she settled in for a wee snack, than a sneaky cootie, his eyes gleaming like wee drams in the sun, hatched a cunning plan tae nab the cheesy bounty.

Slitherin' up tae the foot o' the tree, the cootie looked up wi' a grin wider than a haggis on Hogmanay an' says, "My word, whit a magnificent creature I see afore me! Feathers the colour o' midnight, a beak sharper than a claymore, an' eyes sparklin' like diamonds in a loch! Surely, ye must be the Queen o' the Crows, nae less!"

The corbie, puffed up wi' pride like a piper's kilt, couldn't resist showin' off her "talent." With a loud "CAW!" that could've woken the haill o' the Highlands, she opened her beak wide... an' doon tumbled the cheese like a wee rogue rollin' downhill.

The cootie, quicker than a kilt-wearin' corgi on a mission, snatched the cheesy prize an' chuckled, "Aye, a voice ye have, wee lady, nae doot. But as for brains, well, let's just say they're nae as plentiful as feathers on yer backside!"

So there ye have it, a wee tale aboot the perils o' flattery an' the importance o' keepin' yer wits aboot ye, even when someone's makin' yer feathers fluff up like a bagpipe in a gale. Remember, a bit o' cheese might be temptin', but true smarts are worth their weight in haggis.

Moral:  Flattery will get ye everywhere, aye, especially if ye forget tae use yer heid!

The Clydesdale an' the Scoundrel: A Tale o' Trickery an' Trotters

Aince upon a time, there wis a lad, call him Jock for lack o' a better name, who cuid for a braw Clydesdale steed. Every day, Jock would spend hours fussin' an' fechtin' wi' combs an' brushes, makin' sure the horse's coat gleamed like a loch on a braw mornin'. But aye, there wis a shadow o' deceit lurkin' behind Jock's busy hands. Every time he turned his back, a wee pouch o' oats, meant for the Clydesdale's tummy, would vanish faster than a haggis at a ceilidh.

Now, the Clydesdale, a wise auld soul wi' more sense than the haggis he couldnae eat, began lookin' mair like a scarecrow than a sturdy steed. His ribs stuck oot like fence posts, an' his coat, once as sleek as a kilt on a Sunday, wis duller than a bagpipe chanter in a damp ditch.

Finally, the Clydesdale, weary o' Jock's tricks, decided tae speak his mind. With a rumble as deep as a Highland drum, he says, "Jock, lad, if ye truly want me tae be the braw showpony ye pretend, quit yer fancy brushwork an' fill my trough! Less o' the comb an' more o' the corn, that's what this weary nag needs!"

Jock, caught red-handed (or rather, red-pawed), stammered an' blushed like a bairn caught wi' his fingers in the jam jar. He promised tae mend his ways an' fill the Clydesdale's belly afore fussin' wi' his feathers. An' sure enough, with a full belly an' a wee bit less vanity, the Clydesdale soon strutted through the stableyard, a handsome beast fit for a Highland king.

So there ye have it, a wee tale tae ponder. Just like the Clydesdale, we a' need tae be mindful o' what truly nourishes us, be it oats or kindness, friendship or fairness. Sometimes, the most important things in life aren't the ones that shine the brightest, but the ones that keep us strong an' steady on our trotters.

Moral:  Aye, a wee bit o' everything is best. Takin' care o' the outside isnae enough if ye starve the inside.

The Cootie an' the Wee Blether: A Bite o' Blether an' a Gowl's Supper

A scunner o' a cootie, eyes gleam'n wi' hunger, stumbled upon a wee blether wanderin' far frae the flock. Now, even this hardened rascal felt a tingle o' guilt at the thought o' snappin' such a helpless lambie withoot a decent excuse. So, bein' the crafty bugger he was, he dug up a grudge like a haggis in a field an' spat it oot, "Listen here, wee woolly blighter, ye insulted me somethin' fierce last year!"

The wee blether, eyes wide as a kilt on a washing line, bleated back, "Impossible, pal! I wisnae even a twinkle in my mum's eye back then!"

The cootie, nae one tae be fooled by innocent bleats, snarled, "Aye, right! But ye're scoffin' in my fields!"

"Nae chance," squeaked the lambie, "Grass nae mair appeals tae me than a kilt tae a penguin!"

Undeterred, the cootie pressed on, "Then ye must be slurpin' frae my wee burn!"

"Nae water but my mamma's milk has ever touched these lips, sir!" pleaded the poor wee blether.

The cootie, his patience thinner than a haggis skin, barked, "Well, whatever! I'm no starvin' myself today!" With that, he pounced on the lambie, devourin' it in a flash faster than a kilt-wearin' corgi on a mission.

So there ye have it, a wee tale aboot bullies, blethers, an' the dangers o' empty words. Just like the cootie, we a' have our faults, but that's nae excuse tae prey on the weak. Remember, a bit o' kindness goes a long way, even when yer tummy's rumblin' like a bagpipe band after a dram.

Moral:  Aye, folk wi' power will aye find an excuse tae hurt the wee ones, nae matter how innocent. 

The Pruf o' the Feathers: A Tale o' Colours an' Flight

A peafowl, feathers shimmerin' like a tartan on a sunny day, strutted up tae a lang-legged crane an' scoffed, "Wee bit drab, are we no? My colours, now, they could light up a ceilidh in a wee bothy!"

The crane, calm as a loch at dawn, just chuckled an' says, "Aye, fair enough, yer plumage is braw as a piper's kilt. But when it comes tae liftin' aff an' dancin' wi' the clouds, I can soar higher than an eagle, while you're stuck tethered tae the earth like a wee chanticleer in a farmyard."

Nae a bad point, eh? This wee tale reminds us that worth isn't always a matter o' flash an' fancy feathers. Sometimes, true strength lies in what yer wings can do, not just in how bonnie they look. Just like the crane, it's good tae have skills that take ye beyond the everyday, skills that let ye touch the sky an' see the world frae a different perspective.

So next time ye're tempted tae preen an' boast about yer colours, remember the crane's wise words. True beauty comes in all shapes an' sizes, an' sometimes, the most impressive feathers are the ones that can carry ye on adventures beyond the farmyard.

Moral:  Nae twa o' us are the same, pal. We aw come wi' oor ain wee talents.

The Cootie an' the Wee Feathered Foes: A Crafty Cat an' Wise Wingers

A sneaky cootie, eyes twitchin' like bagpipes in a gale, got wind o' a wee birdy epidemic in the avery. Now, seein' an opportunity for a feathered feast, he hatched a cunning plan. Donnin' a fake doctor's coat an' clutchin' a bag o' rusty tools (nae stethoscopes in this tale, mind ye!), he strutted up tae the cage, chirpin' in his best "vetinary voice," "Is everything peckety-poo, wee birdies? Doctor Cootie at yer service!"

The wee feathered fiends, wiser than a haggis at a ceilidh, peeked through the bars, their beady eyes gleam'n wi' suspicion. "Aye, doc," one chirped, "we'll feel braw as a button once we see the last o' yer scunnerin' tail feathers disappearin' o'er the horizon!"

Nae fancy tricks or fake diplomas could fool these birdies. This wee tale reminds us that even the most crafty cootie can't hoodwink the wise. Just like the birds, it pays tae be cautious of those who come offerin' help wi' shifty eyes an' dodgy disguises. Remember, a true friend o' the feathers wouldn't be caught dead wearin' a doctor's coat!

Moral:  Aye, keep yer guard up even if someone comes schein' friendly. Yer gut instinct often kens better than a smooth-talker.

The Meeser an' the Wee Winged Wae: A Tale o' Foolishness an' Feathers

A lad, pockets lighter than a kilt on a washing line, had squandered his siller like water down a loch. Naethin' left but the claes on his back, he spied a cheeky swallow zippin' through the sky on a bright spring mornin'. Thinkin' the sun had banished winter for good, this daft blighter figured he could ditch his coat an' make a wee bit o' cash. So off he went, floggin' his jacket for whatever coppers he could scrounge.

But, as fate often tends tae do, the weather flipped faster than a haggis on a hotplate. A frosty blast swept in, nippin' at the lad's bare arms an' sendin' the wee swallow plummetin' to the ground, lifeless as a kilt in a bog. Seein' the frozen birdie, the meeser bawled, "Ye cursed wee feathery fiend! Thanks tae you, I'm colder than a haggis at Hogmanay!"

So there ye have it, a wee reminder that a single swallow doesn't mean summer's here to stay. Just like the waster, we a' need tae be mindful o' the bigger picture an' nae jump tae conclusions based on a wee bit o' sunshine. Remember, patience is a virtue, an' thinkin' ahead can save ye frae shivery nights an' feathered faux pas.

Moral:  Just 'cause there's a wee bit o' good fortune, disnae mean the hard times are over.

The Sly Auld Wifie an' the Bamboozled Doc: A Bletherin' Bargain an' Blind Bluffs

There wis ance a wee auld wifie, her peepers as dim as a haggis in a blackout. Frettin' aboot her bleary vision, she consulted a chirpy doctor, an' the two o' them, in front o' witnessin' gawkers, struck a deal. If the doc could fix her blurry bits, he'd score a hefty fee. But if he fumbled, he'd leave empty-handed, tail between his legs.

So, the doc, smug as a haggis at a ceilidh, sets off a treatment plan. An' each visit, he'd sneak oot wi' a wee somethin' extra: a chair here, a rug there, till the auld wife's hame looked as bare as a kilt on a washing line. Finally, after the doc declared her cured (nae wink nor blink!), the hoose wis emptier than a dram at Hogmanay.

Furious at the thievin' medic, the auld wifie refused tae cough up the promised payment. The doc, his pockets as flat as a pancake, dragged her tae court, demanding his due. But the auld wife, sharper than a claymore, had a wee trick up her sleeve.

"Aye, doc," she cackled, "ye tell the tale rightly. But yer promise wis two-fold: fee for a cure, nothin' for a flop. An' I, laddie, am blinder than a beetle in a coal mine! When my eyes war nae sae bad, I could at least see a wee bit o' furniture clutterin' this hame. Now, even wi' yer fancy cures, I see nothin' but bare walls an' empty space!"

The judge, nae a fool himself, saw through the doctor's sleight o' hand. The auld wife, wi' her sly wit and bletherin' brilliance, won the case, sendin' the doc packin' wi' no loot an' a face redder than a kilt in a salsa class.

So there ye have it, a wee tale tae ponder. Don't be a doctor bamboozled by blethers, an' mind yer manners even when dealin' wi' sly auld wifies. Remember, a bit o' wit can outsmart any cure, an' sometimes, the most valuable lessons are learned in courtrooms, nae hospitals.

Moral:  It's okay to ask questions and challenge authority, especially if something seems fishy. Think for yersel' and stand yer ground!

The Moon's Moody Makeover: A Yarn o' Gowns an' Growin' Pains

Our wee moothie chum, the moon, wis fair feartin' aboot her wardrobe. One day, she pestered her mum somethin' fierce, "Mammy, oh mammy! I need a new frock! This auld one's duller than a kilt at a wake!"

Her mum, wise as a haggis simmered for hours, chuckled, "Och, bairn, that's nae an easy task. Yer figure, it's a wee bit... fickle. One night, ye're a wee smidge o' silver, an' the next, ye're a bloated balloon fit for a ceilidh! An' in between, well, ye're a bit o' a mystery, aye?"

Frustrated like a piper wi' a leaky chanter, the moon huffed, "But mammy, I want somethin' grand! Something as shimmerin' as a loch on a frosty mornin'!"

Her mum, ever patient, patted her wee cratered cheek, "Aye, lass, I get it. But maybe the magic o' the moon lies nae in fancy frocks, but in yer constant change. Ye dance wi' the tides, whisper tae the nightjars, an' guide lost travellers. That's a gown nae seamstress can stitch, a beauty nae mirror can reflect."

So there ye have it, a wee reminder that true beauty, even for moons, comes from within. Nae need tae chase the latest fashions or fret aboot fickle phases. Embrace yer ever-changin' form, shine on in yer own way, an' the universe will be yer runway.

Moral:  It disnae matter if ye're full or new, crescent or gibbous. Ye're still the moon, shining yer light in the vast sky.

The Auld Woodcutter's Axe: A Splash o' Honesty an' a Golden Gleam

There wis ance a braw auld woodcutter, sweat drippin' like Highland rain, whackin' away at a tree by a wee burn. Suddenly, his axe, as nimble as a kilt-wearin' corgi on a mission, bounced off the trunk an' went glug-glug into the water, sinkin' faster than a haggis at a ceilidh.

Dejected as a piper wi' a leaky chanter, the woodcutter stood there moanin', lamentin' his lost tool. Out o' nowhere, poof! There appears Mercury, lookin' as sleek as a silver spoon, an' asks, "Och, pal, what's wi' the dreich face?" Hearin' aboot the watery axe-tragedy, Mercury, bein' a kind soul, dives into the burn like a kelpie chasin' a dram. Up he pops, a flash o' gold in his hand, "Is this yer wee lost treasure?"

The woodcutter, eyes widenin' like a kilt in a hurricane, shakes his head, "Nah, that's nae mine, pal! Aye, it's fancy an' all, but I need my rusty trusty!"

Mercury, nae bothered by the rejection, gives it another go, dives in an' emerges with a silver axe glintin' in the sun. "Maybe this fella is yer missing mate?" he asks, hopeful like a piper at a Hogmanay bonfire.

Again, the woodcutter gives it the ol' head shake, "Nae, nae, that's bonnie an' all, but it's nae my workhorse!"

Now, Mercury, impressed by the woodcutter's honesty, decides tae give him his due. He plunges back in, an' voila! Up comes the trusty old axe, chippin' away like a bagpipe tune in the wind. The woodcutter, fair chuffed as a haggis at a Burns supper, beams his thanks, "Aye, that's the one! You're a star, pal!"

Mercury, seein' the pure joy, decides tae reward the honest woodcutter even further. He says, "Keep the fancy axes too, as a wee reminder that bein' truthful is worth more than silver or gold!" The woodcutter, his pockets jinglin' an' his heart glowin', goes off whistlin' a happy tune, a richer man in more ways than one.

Now, this wee yarn isn't just aboot shiny axes an' magical beings. It's a reminder that honesty, like a well-worn kilt, is always in fashion. Nae matter how tempting it is tae grab the golden axe, nae matter how much your neighbour's silver might gleam, stick tae the truth an' the good stuff will always find its way tae ye.

Moral:  Aye, life's nae always fair, but honesty brings peace o' mind. Keep yer heid held high and tell the truth, nae matter what.

The Gomeril, the Sly Tod, an' the Lairdy Lion: A Yarn o' Backstabbin' an' Bites in the Backside

Once upon a time, a gomeril o' a donkey an' a sly tod set off on a forage for a bite tae eat. Nae sooner had they set foot on the path, than they spotted a fearsome lion stalkin' their way. Fear gripped them like a kilt caught in a gale, but the tod, bein' a cunning wee blighter, hatched a plan tae save his own furry hide. He slithered up tae the lion, whisperin' in his ear like a bagpipe tune in the wind, "Aye, big fella, I can deliver that gomeril on a platter if you promise tae let me scurry free!"

The lion, eager for a meal an' nae fan o' donkey-huntin', agreed wi' a nod. The tod, smug as a haggis at a ceilidh, rejoined his gomeril pal an' slyly led him by a hidden pit – some hunter's wee trap for beasties o' the wild. The gomeril, oblivious as a piper wi' a broken chanter, took a tumble, landin' wi' a thump fit tae wake the loch monsters.

Now, the lion, seein' the gomeril trapped like a haggis in a skin, fixed his hungry gaze on the tod. In a flash, the sly fox was history, replaced by a juicy lion snack. An' then, at his leisure, the lion polished off the gomeril, his belly full an' his pride puffed up like a kilt on a washing line.

So there ye have it, a wee reminder that betrayin' yer mates might seem like a shortcut tae safety, but it often ends up wi' ye gettin' the sharp end o' the bargain. Remember, true friendship is worth more than a fearsome lion's feast, an' loyalty, like a well-worn kilt, will never let ye down.

Moral:  Aye, life's full of tough choices, but stand by your principles. Loyalty and honesty are always worth more than any fleeting gain.

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