"What country did Vikings
come from?" Bonnie asked.
Bruce fluttered his wings
and answered, "They came from Scandinavia."
"Well, whatís that? Whereís
that?" Bonnie asked again.
"It means they came from
places like Norway and Denmark. They were sometimes called the Danes. Why
do you ask?"
"A lot of the places weíve
visited lately had connections to the Vikings. I was just curious," Bonnie
replied. She looked down. "What a lovely loch! Itís so close to the sea."
"Itís Loch Broom and that
village is called Ullapool," Bruce said.
"Ullapool? How funny."
"Itís where people can
catch ferries to the Western Isles," Bruce said.
"Uh, oh. I feel a history
lesson coming on," Bonnie sighed.
"This used to be a fishing
village. It was built in 1788 by a man named Thomas Telford. He built it
for the fishing trade. There were a lot of herring and mackerel in these
"I donít see many boats
now, just a few Russian trawlers," Bonnie said. The butterflies fluttered
down to one of the ships that were docked in the loch. "I see theyíve been
busy. Look at the shellfish!" Bonnie said, gazing down into the hold.
Just then a huge net came
up over the side of the boat. Water gushed all over the deck as the net
spilled its catch into the hold. "Watch out!" Bruce shouted. The
butterflies barely got out of the way. Tons of fish, shellfish, and
seaweed sloshed all over.
"Did they catch those in
the loch?" Bonnie wondered.
"Yes. Itís a sea loch,"
Bruce said. "This is dangerous here. Letís head into town."
Off they flew. They landed
on a signpost, announcing the name of the village. "There it is, Ullapool.
Quite nice little place, isnít it?" Bonnie said.
"The Picts settled here
long ago. They were partial to places like this, up north in Scotland,
where there are mountains and lochs and the sea. There are so many stones
about. I like the way the houses and shops face the water. Very lovely.
Hungry?" Bruce asked.
"Starving," Bonnie drooled.
"I noticed a patch of
heather back there a bit, just out of town."
"Weíre not going into town
then?" Bonnie questioned.
"Do you want to? Oh, look,
Bonnie," Bruce pointed. "Itís an eagle!"
"Do eagles eat
butterflies?" she worried.
"I think they prefer mice."
It didnít take long to
explore the town. It was small, yet beautiful in its own way. They flew
past a few shops. "Oh, look, Bruce. Pottery. Isnít it lovely? Itís called
Highland Stoneware. How sweet. There are poppies and puffins and fish and
sheep on them. I like this!"
"You know we canít have
pottery, Bonnie. How would we carry it around?" Bruce explained.
"I know, but I can drool
over it, canít I?" she scoffed.
A railing was built into
the seawall and they spent the rest of the afternoon watching the boats
coming and going. "I like it here!" Bruce said. "Letís stay a while
longer." Just then several seabirds came swooping down. "Yikes!"
A little boy was tossing
bread and chips into the air and the birds were catching the bits before
they hit the water. "Birds! They might be nibbling chips but soon theyíll
want to nibble us. Letís get out of here," Bonnie said. The butterflies
flew away as fast as their wings could move. "Now, where was that
heather?" she asked, after they were safely away from town and heading
back into the mountains.
"Over there," Bruce showed
her, "near that fallen log."
"Whatís that? Is it a
bunny?" Bonnie wondered. "It looks like a bunny."
"Shhh. It is a bunny. Come
on, but be quiet," Bruce said.
They landed on some tall
leaves. "Look how its nose twitches," Bonnie giggled. "It must smell
carrots or turnips."
"Donít be so silly. There
are no carrots or turnips up in the mountains. It must smell us," Bruce
Just then the bunny hopped
away into the bushes. "You were right. It did smell us. But weíre so tiny.
Oh well. That heather is going to taste good," Bonnie said, rubbing her
tummy. "I just thought of something. What if the eagle sees the bunny?
Eagles eat rabbits, donít they?"
"Yes. That might be why it
SCREECH! SCREECH! SCREECH!
"Thereís the eagle now,"
Bonnie said, pointing high above their heads. Itís circling. Oh, I hope it
doesnít get the bunny," she worried.
"Iím sure the rabbit is in
its burrow by now. Come on. The heatherís not too far away." They spent
the rest of the day in the heather, but always had their eyes open for
birds, especially eagles!