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Fraser's Scottish Annual
Old Crofter in the Highlands of Sutherland


IN the Highlands of Sutherland- shire there lived an old crofter who had been long known as a hypocrite by all who knew him. On various occasions he had stolen his neighbour's potatoes, and usually in the morning he retired to the back of a dry-stone dyke to ask forgiveness. One day while he knelt down at the back of this dyke, a group of youths bent on mischief followed him up, and listening at the other side of the dyke, heard him pray thus: "Oh, may I be forgiven for stealing the potatoes yesterday. May this dyke fall on me if I ever do the like again." The youths on hearing this, put their shoulders to the dyke and toppled it over, thus nearly killing the old man, who, rising from the debris, was heard to mutter: "Weel, it's hard that a man cannot say a thing in fun but it must be taken in earnest."

SANDY TAMSON had a wife whose tongue was quite equal to the task of "deaving a miller." One very wet, windy night, as the minister was passing the joiner's house, he was surprised to see Sandy standing in the midst of the rain. "Dear me," said the minister, "what are you doing outside on a night like this?" "Oh, I'm shelterm' frae the storm," said Sandy, somewhat sadly. "Man, it's naething ootside tae what it's inside."


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