"Why do they call this the ĎWeeping
Glení?" Bonnie, the butterfly, asked her friend Bruce. The two of them
stood on a rock at the edge of Rannoch Moor. "Is it because itís so cold
that it makes you weep?" she asked, shivering.
"Itís not a good place to come in
the winter, thatís for sure. Itís bitter cold then and even now, in the
summertime, itís still chilly. Sometimes snow lies on the ground right up
until July," Bruce said. "It is called the ĎWeeping Glení because of its
"What happened?" Bonnie wondered.
"In the cold month of February, in
1692, there was a horrible massacre. The people who lived in this area
were mostly from the MacDonald clan. Some government troops were invited
into their homes for warmth and food and, under orders, slaughtered the
families. Many were chased out of their houses in their nightclothes, in
the bitter cold. It was a sad time and not quickly forgotten by the
MacDonalds," Bruce explained.
"That is sad. Itís very pretty here
though. Look at all the grasses. I see bog myrtle, cotton grass and there
are so many colorful flowers. I love wild hyacinth and violets. Remind me
to have a sip before we leave. I love the rugged look," Bonnie noted.
They fluttered about the glen. Bruce
pointed and said, "Thatís Glencoe. The mountains around here are
spectacular, arenít they?"
"They are at that. What types of
animals live around here?" Bonnie asked.
"I saw some red deer earlier and I
thought I saw a wild cat. I know there are badgers and mice and blue
hare," Bruce said.
"Blue hare? What is a blue hare?"
"Blue hares are indigenous to
Scotland. They run about in the mountains and glens. They love the
moorland and they arenít really blue, in case youíre wondering. In the
summer the hareís hair is gray mixed with black and brown, but in winter
it turns from brown to white. I suppose the white can have a tinge of blue
to it. They have smaller ears than most hares and have to watch out for
foxes, which love to eat them. The buzzards do too. The hares can run very
"Iíd love to see one anyway," Bonnie
"They mostly come out at night, when
itís safe, to eat the grasses and weeds. Maybe we can go to Loch Leven and
see the ducks and swans. You like swans, donít you, Bonnie?" Bruce asked.
They landed on a rock near the loch.
"Itís so clear but the water is so dark and cold looking," Bonnie noted.
Just then several swans floated up to the shore where the butterflies were
resting. "Look how pretty they are," Bonnie said. "Their necks are so long
"Would you butterflies like a ride?"
one of the swans asked, after hearing Bonnieís comments.
"I would," she quickly replied.
"Me too," Bruce added.
"Why donít you flutter over and make
yourselves comfortable and Iíll swim around the loch. You can get a good
view of everything and if you start to get cold, just cover yourself with
my feathers," the swan said. "My name is Shauna," she told them.
"Hello, Shauna. Thanks for the
ride," Bruce said.
The butterflies looked around as
they floated on the deep water. The swan told them all about the
mountains. "That mountain ridge is called Aonach Eagach Ridge. Itís
volcanic and glacial and very ancient. See those three peaks? Those are
called ĎThe Three Sistersí. Itís a beautiful place, Glencoe. If youíre
lucky youíll see a deer come for a drink, or maybe a sheep or two."
"Itís lovely," Bonnie said. A cold
wind blew and she covered herself with Shaunaís feathers. "Oh, these are
soft feathers," she smiled, feeling cozy.
"I warned you it might get nippy
here," Shauna laughed. "In the spring you see huge waterfalls plunging
down from the mountains. Och, itís just a grand place for a swan to stay.
Over there is Rannoch Moor. Itís covered with heather and moorland
grasses. You might find yourself some butterwort or sundew. Now, Iíd
better get going. The others are planning a wee flight over to Loch
Achtrochtan and I need to let you off here," Shauna said.
"Thanks for the ride," Bruce and
Bonnie called. The swan quickly swam to the other side of the loch and the
flock flew into the air. The butterflies could hear them honking as they
headed for the other loch.
"That was a nice day. We got to see
a lot of pretty things, but I say we head south. Iím freezing cold. Whoíd
ever believe it was the middle of summer with this cool air," Bonnie said.
"I agree with you," Bruce said and
the two butterflies fluttered south, to warmer temperatures.