"Weíre heading south again,
arenít we?" Bonnie asked as the two butterflies fluttered through the
"We couldnít go any further
north once we hit Durness, could we?" Bruce replied.
"We went up the east side
of Scotland and are going down the west side. I wonder what adventures
will come our way on this side of the country," Bonnie said.
"Thereíll be a lot of
fishing villages and sea birds and lets not forget the mountains," Bruce
"I see them. Theyíre
beautiful and so rugged. I suppose you know all their names, Mr. Walking
Encyclopedia," Bonnie snickered.
"Well, as a matter of fact,
I do. That one over there is Quinag. That one is Suilven. I like it. Itís
very ominous. Those other two are Arkle and Canisp. As you can see, the
moors are all around too," he said. "The Highland Clans lived in this
area. Itís full of history."
"I see. Whatís that down
there, on the shore of the loch? Is it a castle?" Bonnie asked.
"I believe that is the
ruins of Ardveck castle and that is Loch Assynt. It looks cold, doesnít
"Itís dark and looks deep
and yes, cold," Bonnie agreed.
"Should we head to that
village? Itís called Lochinver. Or would you rather land in the hills and
run into a few wildcats, deer and eagles?" Bruce questioned.
"I think the village is
just fine," she replied. They fluttered down and landed on the roof of one
of the houses. "What is that?" Bonnie asked.
"What? Where?" Bruce
replied, wondering what she was talking about.
"That! The red thing with
the long tail?" Bonnie answered. "Over there. Itís standing on the chimney
of that house."
"I donít know. Be careful
and weíll check and see," Bruce said. They flew over to the rooftop. The
large bird was perched on the stones of the chimney, watching them.
"Squawk! Hi!" it said.
"Pretty bird," it squawked again.
"It talks," Bonnie
whispered to Bruce.
"I want a cracker," it said
"Iíve never seen a bird
like that. Look at it. Itís got red feathers, brighter than any apple Iíve
seen and its also got yellow and blue feathers. Look at that tail!" Bruce
"Iím looking at the beak.
It looks like it would like to eat us, not crackers," Bonnie said,
shivering with fear.
"My name is Dominick. Iím
from the Caribbean," the large bird said. "Iím a parrot."
"A parrot? Whatís that?"
"What are you doing in
Lochinver? This is a long way from the Caribbean," Bruce said to the
"I am a pet of Ian
McGregor. He went out and left his door open, for the first time. I canít
believe he was so careless. I walked right out the front door and flew up
to the chimney. I didnít know Lochinver was such a nice little town,
though a bit cold for my likes," Dominick squawked.
"You like to talk, donít
you Dominick," Bonnie laughed. "You donít eat butterflies, do you?" she
"No, just fruit and bird
seed, nuts and all that," he replied.
The butterflies moved
closer. "Bruce can tell you all about Lochinver and the area. He learned a
lot when he was down south," Bonnie boasted.
"Oh, he can, can he? Well,
Bruce, why donít you tell me something interesting? Whatís the name of
that big mountain or stone over there?" the parrot asked.
"Itís called Suilven. Itís
rather magnificent, isnít it?" Bruce said.
"Iíve noticed the places
have odd names around here. Why, some days I canít understand a word Ian
is saying," Dominick said.
"Heís speaking Gaelic,"
Bonnie answered, proud that she remembered.
"I did hear him say there
was some good salmon and trout fishing in the rivers around here. This is
a big fishing port too. I donít like fish. I suppose you two donít
either," Dominick squawked.
"No, we like flowers. Say,
are there any flowers around here?" Bonnie asked.
"Follow me," he called and
flew off. The butterflies had to flap their delicate wings quickly to stay
up with him. "Here you are. This here is auld Ms. Maggieís house. Sheís
got a lovely garden. Iíve never seen it but have heard Ian and his mates
talking about it. Letís go and see what sheís got."
They walked into the back
garden. "Ah, look, Bonnie," Bruce said, excited. "Itís a rose garden.
Weíre in heaven!"
Bonnie didnít wait. She
flew right over and started sipping nectar. "Mmmmmmmm. This is good."
Dominick bit a petal and
chewed it. "Canít say I like roses too much. Now, give me a piece of
melon, or apple, and Iíll follow you anywhere," he said.
"Oh, there you are," Ian
said, walking up to the rose bush. "What are you doing in Maggieís back
garden? I didnít know you liked roses, Dominick."
SQUAWK! SQUAWK! SQUAWK!
Ian picked Dominick up and
carried him home. "Well, that was interesting. Here we are in northern
Scotland and find a bright red parrot, who talks and likes to eat apples
and melons. Now thatís something you donít see every day!" Bruce said.
"Hee hee hee hee hee,"
Bonnie laughed. "Letís finish our rose nectar and then weíll go and say
goodbye to him. They stay a while longer and then fluttered down the
street to Ian McGregorís house. Bonnie looked in the window. Dominick was
standing on his perch, nibbling on a piece of apple with red skin.
Bruce tapped on the window.
Dominick looked up. "Cheerio, Dominick," Bruce waved.
Dominick squawked loudly, "TTFN,"
and went back to eating his apple.
"We might as well go on,"
Bonnie said. "Letís head south where itís a wee bit warmer."
The two butterflies
fluttered away, leaving the squawking parrot behind them.