Tormod was a
highland bull that lived in the mountains of northern Scotland. One day he
was walking through the heather-covered hills and fell into a hole. It was
a big pit that someone had dug long ago. It was so deep that he couldn’t
get out. A black crow named Kyle was sitting in a rowan tree and saw the
bull fall into the hole. It sat on a branch listening to Tormod angrily
moo, as it tried to climb out, but kept falling back down to the bottom.
Kyle flew down to the ground and stood at the top of the hole. “I see
you’ve fallen into the pit. Perhaps I can help you get out,” he said to
Tormod replied, “How can one crow help a large highland bull get out of a
pit this deep?”
“I shall think of a way. Perhaps if I get a vine from the nearby woods, I
can tie it to a branch of the rowan tree and throw it down to you and then
you can climb out,” Kyle suggested and then flew off to find a vine.
Tormod mooed and snarled and kept trying to get out of the deep pit. A
while later, Leslie, a deer, came prancing by. She almost fell into the
pit herself, but stopped at the edge. She looked down and saw Tormod
walking around, trying to jump up. “Help me get out of the pit,” he
Leslie walked around the edge. “ I think if I go and get one of the Angus
cows to come and help, she can throw some rope to you or pull you out with
her strong body. I shall go and find her,” she said and ran off, leaving
Tormod in the pit.
Lamont, a fox, came running past. He almost went right by the pit but
stopped when he heard Tormod mooing. He looked down. “Do you need some
help getting out of the pit?” he asked the bull. “I can put my tail in
there and you can hold onto it. I’ll try to pull you out.” Lamont dropped
his bushy tail over the edge. Tormod jumped up and tried to grab hold of
it, but Lamont’s tail was too short. “I’ll go and get a ladder from Farmer
Crawford’s place. I’ll be back soon,” Lamont said and ran off, leaving
Tormod sitting in the bottom of the hole.
He stopped trying to jump out of the pit. He was tired and knew he
couldn’t do it. He lay down and waited for help. Harry, a hare came
hopping by. He leapt over the hole and then looked into it. He saw Tormod
lying down. “Can you help me get out of here?” Tormod asked.
“What can a small hare do? I can barely lift the carrots I dig out of the
farmer’s garden. I know someone who can help. I will be back,” said Harry
and he hopped off to get help.
Fingal, a small gray squirrel, jumped through the treetops. He looked down
and saw the bull lying in the pit. He swung down over the pit and said,
“If you grab my tail, I can pull you out.”
Tormod, knowing it would never work, but desperate, grabbed hold of
Fingal’s long tail. He pulled and pulled, but instead of Fingal pulling
the bull out of the pit, Tormod pulled the squirrel into it. “Now we are
both trapped,” Tormod said.
Fingal looked up and saw a crow standing near the edge. It was Kyle. “I’ve
brought a vine from the forest. I’ll tie it to the rowan tree and toss the
other end into the pit. Tormod, you can pull yourself out.” As Kyle was
about to toss the vine over the edge, he tripped and fell into the pit
with Tormod and Fingal. The vine lay buried in the heather. It was so
crowded that he couldn’t stretch his wings and fly out.
Leslie showed up and looked down at the 3 animals. “How did you fall in?”
she asked the other two animals. “Never mind. I’ll get you out. I brought
Allison, the Angus cow. He’ll get you out.” Allison was backing up so that
she could help the others out and she accidentally knocked Leslie into the
pit. As she turned around to have a look, she tripped on a stone and fell
into the pit too. The five animals looked up. How would they ever get out?
Lamont showed up a while later. He had a ladder on his back. “I’ll lower
it into the pit and you can all climb out,” he said. The fox took the
ladder into his hands and held it over the pit. As he was trying to lower
it, it got stuck on a branch above his head and he couldn’t move it. He
climbed up the ladder and jumped up and down on it. Just then, the ladder
broke and it, along with Lamont, fell into the pit with the others.
Harry, the hare, came to the pit. He looked down and saw six animals. Next
to Harry stood Bairdie, an old and very strong bear. “Bairdie will get you
all out,” Harry said. Bairdie lay on his stomach and lowered his muscular
arms into the pit. The squirrel, Fingal, held onto the bear’s arms and was
lifted out of the pit. He jumped into the tree and swung away on the
Bairdie lowered his arms into the pit again. This time the crow climbed
on. Bairdie lifted his long arms. When Kyle got to the top, the black crow
flapped his wings and flew away.
Bairdie lowered his hairy arms into the pit once more. The deer, Leslie,
held onto the arm and was lifted out. When she got to the top she pranced
into the forest and disappeared. The bear lowered his arms for the fourth
time. This time Lamont, the fox, held on and was lifted out. He ran off
into the trees and didn’t go near the pit ever again.
Bairdie had two more animals to take
out of the pit. He lowered his arms and Allison, the Angus cow, grabbed
hold. It was hard for the bear to lift Allison out. The cow was large, but
Bairdie pulled with all his might and soon Allison stood beside him at the
top of he hole. Only Tormod was left. He was also the largest of the
animals. He was a very big highland bull. Bairdie lowered both of his
arms. Harry and Allison watched as the bear struggled to bring Tormod out
of the hole. Harry held onto Bairdie’s short tail and pulled, helping the
bear lift the bull out of the hole. Soon Tormod was standing next to the
other three animals. “Thank you for getting me out of the pit,” Tormod
said. He mooed loudly and walked into the hills and nibbled on the
Bairdie went to the river to get a drink of water and rest. Harry pulled
some branches off the trees, and then some thick, heavy leaves. He covered
the hole so that others wouldn’t fall in when they went for a walk. After
he’d finished, he carried the broken ladder back to Farmer Crawford’s
house, went into the garden and pulled up some of his biggest, tastiest,
orange carrots. As he lay in his burrow nibbling them, he felt weary. It
had been a long, tiring day and pulling a highland bull out of hole in the
ground was not an easy job!