by Margo Fallis
The Highland Triplets
A cold and wintry Highland
wind blew through the glen; its icy breath swirling around the lonely
croft cottage. Inside it was a different story. A warm peat fire glowed in
the fireplace as Mrs. MacTattie gave birth to a set of identical triplet
boys. Mr. MacTattie was delighted and so proud. He named the boys Duncan,
Douglas, and Donald. Each of them had big blue eyes and lots of Highland
red hair. The winter months in the glen were bitter. The MacTatties stayed
in the cottage where it was warm.
One day Mrs. MacTattie
looked out the kitchen window and saw a lone buttery-yellow daffodil
blooming. Spring had arrived. "Time for the boys to go outside in their
prams and get some fresh Highland air," she announced.
She put Duncan in his pram
and wrapped him tightly in a MacTattie tartan blanket. It was bright blue,
like his eyes, with yellow and white stripes running through it. She put
the pram in the back garden, near a rowan tree. Douglas was put in his
pram, wrapped snug in his MacTattie tartan blanket, and set out in the
back garden near a wild rose bush. Donald lay in his pram, warm and cozy
in his MacTattie tartan blanket, near a cluster of prickly purple thistle.
The warm sun shone down on the triplets.
Duncan laid awake,
goo-gooing and watching the new, tender leaves of the rowan tree dance in
the gentle breeze. A large Highland cow with long, reddish-brown hair,
came walking by his pram and looked in it. She let out a soft, curious
‘MOO’. Duncan started giggling. The cow, surprised, mooed again. Duncan
burst out laughing. The cow fluttered her long eyelashes and tickled
Duncan’s nose with her ears, being careful not to poke him with her long,
handlebar horns. She stood by his pram the entire time he was
outside, keeping him happy.
Douglas was enjoying the
fresh air and watching the butterflies fly from one wild pink rose to
another. A Highland sheep, covered with thick, eggshell-white wool,
trotted up to Douglas’s pram and peered inside. It let out a soft ‘BAA’.
Douglas started to chuckle. The sheep went ‘BAA’ again. This time Douglas
giggled and laughed with glee. The sheep tickled Douglas’s chin with its
wool. It stayed at the pram playing with Douglas in the warm sunshine.
Donald watched a big, black
and yellow bumblebee buzzing around the feathery purple thistles. He was
cooing and smiling happily when he spotted a long-eared hare. It was
hopping about the back garden, nibbling on Mrs. MacTattie’s carrot patch.
Donald watched the hare carefully as it hopped onto his pram. Its long
whiskers wriggled and its wet nose twitched. Donald started to laugh. He
thought the hare was funny. It tickled Donald’s cheeks with its long, gray,
furry ears. He laughed out loud. The hare stayed perched on Donald’s pram
and played with him as the bees buzzed by.
Mrs. MacTattie noticed it
was feeding time. She went outside to gather her triplets and bring them
in. She saw the Highland cow standing near Duncan’s pram. She was worried
that the cow might accidentally poke her baby with its long horns. "Shoo!
Away wi’ ye!" she shouted and shooed the cow away. Mrs. MacTattie took
Duncan’s pram inside. She put him in his wooden cradle in front of the
When she went out to bring
Douglas in, she saw a Highland sheep near his pram. She didn’t want the
sheep touching her baby with its dirty wool. "Shoo! Away wi’ ye!" she
shouted, and shooed the sheep away. Mrs. MacTattie took Douglas’s pram
into the cottage and put him in his cradle near the fire.
Mrs. MacTattie went out to
get Donald. Sitting on the edge of his pram was a gray hair with long
ears. She didn’t want the hare touching her baby with its long ears.
"Shoo! Away wi’ ye!" she shouted and the hare hopped into the ferns. Mrs.
MacTattie took Donald’s pram inside and laid him in his cradle next to his
She was just about to fix
supper when the boys started crying. ‘WAA! WAA! WAA!’ Mrs. MacTattie
rocked the cradles and tried to stop their crying. It didn’t work! They
kept crying. ‘WAA! WAA! WAA!’ Mr. MacTattie picked each of them up and
patted their backs. That didn’t work either! They kept crying. ‘WAA! WAA!
WAA!’ Mrs. MacTattie took the boys and sat them on the floor in the
kitchen. She gave each of them a pot and spoon to bang. Even this didn’t
work! The triplets kept on crying. ‘WAA! WAA! WAA!’ Mrs. MacTattie didn’t
know what to do. Nothing worked! Then she thought of something brilliant.
She handed the boys to Mr.
MacTattie. "Put them in their cradles," she said, and then went outside.
When she came back inside, the boys were still crying. She opened the door
wide and in came the Highland cow. It went ‘MOO’ and walked over to
Duncan’s cradle in front of the fire. She started tickling his nose with
her ears. Duncan stopped crying and started to laugh. Mrs. MacTattie
stopped worrying about the cow poking Duncan with its long horns.
The Highland sheep came in
next. It went ‘BAA’ and trotted over to Douglas’s cradle near the fire. It
tickled his chin with its soft, fluffy wool. Douglas stopped crying and
started laughing. Mrs. MacTattie didn’t think the sheep’s wool was that
dirty after all.
Then the hare hopped
through the door. Mrs. MacTattie shut it behind him. It hopped over to
Donald’s cradle, near his brothers, and jumped up on it. It’s long
whiskers wriggled and its wet nose twitched. Donald started to giggle. It
tickled his cheeks with its long, gray, furry ears. Mrs. MacTattie didn’t
seem to mind that the hare was touching her baby with its long ears.
Mr. MacTattie stared at the
animals standing in his house. He didn’t know if he liked that or not, but
the boys weren’t crying anymore. Every day from then on, when the boys
were out in their prams; the three animals came to play with them. Every
night, when Mrs. MacTattie was trying to fix supper, the animals came
inside and played with the boys some more.
Mr. and Mrs. MacTattie were
happy. The Highland cow, sheep, and hare were happy; but most of all
Duncan, Douglas, and Donald were happy.
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