Once a year, all the sheep
in the glen get together to compete in the Highland Games. It is always
great fun and this year promised to be the same. Today’s main events were
Sheep Jumping, Haggis Eating, Sock Knitting, and everyone’s favorite, the
Highland Fling. Other less popular events, such as, Bluebell Ringing,
Thistle Picking, and River Walking, took place throughout the day.
The sheep started showing
up, each dressed in their flock tartan. The first sheep to arrive were
Brodie and Florrie, participants in the Sheep Jumping event. Small fences
had been placed all around the edge of the meadow. Many other animals of
the glen, such as deer, fox, and hare, had found a place to sit in the
center, to get the best view. Keith, a large ram, was to be the judge.
Brodie and Florrie stood at
the starting line. Keith let out a loud ‘BAA’ and the two sheep were off.
They hopped over the first fence. Keith counted ‘one’. They leapt over the
second fence. Keith counted ‘two’. By the time they’d reached the tenth
fence, Keith was asleep. He had fallen down on the grass and was snoring
as the two sheep ran and leapt. They didn’t know when to stop, as Keith
wasn’t awake to do the stop ‘BAA’. After twenty times around the meadow,
all the other animals that were watching were asleep. It’s not easy
counting sheep. Brodie was so tired that he tripped on a fence post and
Florrie, too tired to leap another fence, just stood there. About that
time, Keith woke up. He saw Brodie lying on the ground and Florrie
standing at a fence. He didn’t know whom to call as winner, as he’d been
sleeping, so he called them both over and announced it was a tie.
In another part of the
glen, tables had been set up for the Haggis Eating Games. Calum and
Ramsay, two large rams, had bibs tied around their necks, ready to eat.
Nellie, a ewe, sat across from them. She was the judge - the counter of
the haggis. Crowds gathered around, eager for the Games to begin.
The first plate of steaming
haggis was brought out and placed on the table in front of the two sheep.
Calum sniffed it. He wasn’t particularly fond of haggis but had starved
himself for two days so he’d be really hungry. He was so hungry right then
that he’d eat anything, even haggis. Ramsay, however, loved haggis. He
could hardly wait for Nellie to say ‘BAA’, so they could eat.
Nellie looked at the two
hungry rams and said ‘BAA’. Calum and Ramsay ate the first haggis in
seconds. Plate after plate of hot, delicious haggis was brought to the
table. Twenty-five haggises’ later, the sheep were full. As much as Ramsay
loved haggis, he couldn’t eat another bite. Calum, once a starving sheep,
was so full that he thought he might explode, but he wanted to win, so he
forced himself to eat one more haggis. Nellie counted. That was twenty-six
haggises for Calum. He was the winner! He won, but was too full to move or
watch any of the other Games.
For all the other animals
in the glen it was tea-time. They wandered over to the food stands. Tables
were piled high with rich, buttery shortbread, raisin filled scones,
sugary tablet, treacle toffees, sausage rolls, onion and potato filled
bridies, and meat pies. Others were content to sip their tea and nibble on
A horn sounded to announce
the Games were about to continue. The animals went over to a cluster of
rowan trees and sat down. The Sock Knitting Games were about to begin. Two
ewes, Annabel and Kelsi, and one ram, Clyde, were the only three to enter.
They were also the best knitters in the glen. Each brought a ball of wool,
some of their own fleece, which had been spun and carded. Annabel’s was
creamy and white. Kelsi’s was light brown, and Clyde’s wool was deep
‘BAA’ went Niall, the
judge, and the three started knitting. Their knitting needles clicked
together as they knit two, purl one. The socks began to take shape. Soon
all had finished their first sock. Niall gathered them and slipped them on
his hooves. All three were soft and warm. Clyde finished first. His pair
of dark brown socks was splendid. Annabel finished second, followed by
Kelsi. The woolen socks were put on display for all to see. Later, a
raffle was held. Niall walked away with the brown pair on his legs.
The last event of the Games
was the Highland fling. The crowds of animals found their seats in the
center of the meadow. The tables had been hauled away and a wooden
platform put in their place. Stewart, the bagpiper, stood, warming up. The
dancers would soon arrive.
Ailsa placed six swords on
the ground, making three X’s on the platform, then trotted off into the
audience to watch. The bagpipes began. Rianna, dressed in her green, blue,
and yellow tartan kilt, stood above one of the sets of shiny steel swords.
She was followed by Euphamia in her red, green, and white tartan kilt.
Last on stage was Gavin. He wore a yellow, black, and white tartan kilt.
All three sheep looked dashing in their flock tartans.
With the three sheep in
place, Stewart began to play faster. They danced the Highland fling, their
legs flailing about, very controlled and precise. As the music came to a
stop, the crowds clapped. A winner was announced. Euphamia had won first
The winners of all the
Highland Games for that year gathered for one final applause and each one
was given a trophy. This year’s festivities and games were a hit. The
sheep and other animals looked forward to next year’s events.