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Angus was a goat that lived
in northern Scotland. He
lived at a croft with his owners, Mr. and Mrs.
MacDougal. Angus loved living in the highlands. Mr. and Mrs. MacDougal
gave him food to eat; mostly bits of turnips, potatoes, and a lot of
leftover haggis. He also loved to nibble on the thistle, gorse, and
bluebells that grew near the croft. Mr. and Mrs. MacDougal treated him
well. They brushed his long, shaggy, tan coat, kept his teeth clean and
polished his horns.
The only thing they ever
asked of him was that he never ate the washing that they hung out each day
on the clothesline. A nice breeze blew through the glen each day and dried
the wash, leaving it with a fresh scent. Mr. MacDougal loved his kilt to
smell nice and fresh. He wore it every single day. It was full of red,
blue, and green wool, woven into a lovely kilt.
Mr. MacDougal also played
the bagpipes. Angus would much away on prickly purple thistle and listen
to the bagpipes humming. Sometimes he would tap his foot and other times
he’d nod his head back and forth. Other times he’d even baa along with the
One day Mrs. MacDougal hung
out Mr. MacDougal’s kilt on wash line, along with his woolen socks and
then the two of them walked down the path at the side of the burn, heading
towards the castle on the hill. They’d been invited for lunch by a
neighbor, Jamie Campbell. Angus found himself alone at the croft. They
never bothered tying him up because he never wandered away.
After they’d been gone a
while it began to cloud over. Thunder began to boom and lightning flashed.
It began to rain. Angus clomped over the stones and took shelter under the
roof of the croft, next to the clothesline. He stood watching as the rain
pelted down on Mr. MacDougal’s kilt and socks.
Angus wanted to help so he
went to the line and grabbed the socks with his teeth. He tugged until
they came off the line. He put them down on the ground near the croft then
ran out to the clothesline to get the kilt. Angus stood with the corner of
it in his teeth. He tugged and tugged and suddenly a big piece of it
ripped right off the kilt. He stood with the torn piece of kilt dangling
out of his mouth in the pouring rain. He tasted it. It was wet and soggy
but it tasted rather nice. He wondered what it was made of. He swallowed
it. Yummy. It tasted delicious! He tore another piece off and ate it, then
another, and another, until he’d eaten the whole kilt. "Uh oh," he sighed,
as he realized what he’d done.
The rain stopped and the
sun came out. Angus had to think of a way to explain to Mr. and Mrs.
MacDougal, what had happened to the kilt. They would be angry with him. He
thought a lot about it. Finally an idea came to him. He’d let them think
that the wind blew it away. Yes, that was a good idea. He’d blame it on
the wind. Feeling happy with his explanation, he went off to eat another
A while later he saw Mr.
and Mrs. MacDougal coming down the path. Mrs. MacDougal had her shawl
wrapped tightly around her shoulders and Mr. MacDougal had his hat pulled
down over his neck. When they reached the croft, Mrs. MacDougal gave a
scream. "Mac!" she called to her husband. "Where’s your kilt?" She looked
up and down the wash line and saw the socks on the ground near the house.
"What’s this? Your woolen socks are over here!" She picked them up and
Mr. MacDougal said, "It
must have been the wind. That’s the only thing it could be. We’ll go and
look for it after." Looking around, he said, "Where’s Angus? Angus. Angus.
Come home. It’s time for supper," he called.
Angus heard Mr. MacDougal
calling him and he’d heard them talking about the wash and how the wind
blew the kilt away. Feeling safe, he trotted towards the croft. As he
arrived, Mrs. MacDougal screamed loudly. "Angus! Angus! You’re tartan!"
Mr. MacDougal came running
from inside the croft to see what she was screaming about. "Angus. You’re
tartan!" he cried out. Both of them stood staring at Angus the goat. Mr.
MacDougal lifted Angus’s wool up. "He’s tartan through and through!"
Just then Mrs. MacDougal
realized what had happened. "Why, Angus, it was you! You ate Mr.
MacDougal’s kilt, didn’t you? Naughty goat!"
Angus, realizing that he’d
been caught, let out a sad little baa. He felt very bad that he’d eaten
the kilt, but it had tasted so good. Mr. and Mrs. MacDougal started to
laugh. "Now I’ve seen everything," Mr. MacDougal said. "A tartan goat!"
Both of them laughed loudly. Mrs. MacDougal went into the croft and
brought out a whole plate of turnip chunks for Angus.
"Here you go, lad. Here’s
some supper, but from now on, don’t eat Mrs. MacDougal’s washing! Do you
understand?" Mr. MacDougal said. He took the plate from his wife and set
it on down on the ground for Angus to eat.
Angus went baa and ate his
turnip. The tartan-colored wool stayed with him for the rest of his life.
People would walk up the path to see him and laugh. Mr. and Mrs. MacDougal
laughed too. Angus didn’t mind. He was still the happiest tartan goat in