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Picture Book

Ever since they were wee lads, brothers Dougal and Tavish MacWoods, didnít get along. They fought like cats and dogs. Dougal was a year older than Tavish and he liked to boss him around. Tavish didnít like that at all. As the years passed, they continued to fight. They were always getting into trouble at school. Their teacher would say to them, "Imagine, brothers like the two of you, fighting all the time. Itís a shame!" That didnít stop them though. They kept bickering. When they grew up to be men, the two of them still fought all the time, until one day, that is.

It was a beautiful Scottish morning. The sun danced on the heather, the blue bells seemed to be ringing joyful music as they swayed back and forth in the gentle breeze, and the burns and streams flowed merrily through the moor. The birds chirped, the sheep were content as they nibbled on the grasses, and the cows seemed to moo in rhythm with the flapping of the eagleís wings. It was a glorious morning. Dougal and Tavish were invited to play golf that morning with their neighbor, Duff.

They left the house together; grumbling because each felt the other had gotten a bigger portion of porridge that morning. They snarled and growled and didnít even look at each other. "Porridge hog!" mumbled Dougal as he marched out of the house. He picked up his bag of golf clubs that heíd put outside earlier that morning and headed for the golf course.

"Iím no the porridge hog. That would be you, oink oink!" snorted Tavish. He threw his napkin on the table and stomped out of the door, grabbing his bag of golf clubs on the way out. He followed Dougal in silence, except for an occasional Ďoinkí that he threw in just to make him angry.

By the time they got to the golf course, dark gray clouds had moved in front of the sun. It began to sprinkle. Duff stood waiting for them. He could tell they had been fighting. Both looked very unpleasant. "Do you want to golf? Itís going to rain," he pointed out to the brothers.

"Yes," snarled Dougal.

"Of course," scowled Tavish.

"Letís play then. A little rain never hurt anyone," Duff added.

The three began their game of golf. The rain stayed just a drizzle for the first few holes and then it began to pour. Tavish hit his ball and it rolled onto the green, just a few feet away from the hole. Dougal hit his ball and it ball rolled off the green into a bush. "You did that!" he screamed at Tavish. "You knocked my ball into the bushes."

"I did not. I canít help it if you donít know how to play golf," Tavish angrily answered.

Duff stood back and watched as a fight began between the two brothers. He was very tired of them and their fighting. He picked up his golf bag and walked home.

The rain was pelting down as Dougal and Tavish fought. Just then a bolt of lightning flashed and hit the ground not far from the two men. The thunder roared and they both collapsed. When they woke up, they were home, in their beds. Dougal had a broken arm, and a golf club wrapped around his forehead. Tavish had a broken leg and a golf club firmly in place over his head.

Their mum, a pleasant woman, came into the room carrying some cock-a-leekie soup. She looked at her two sons. They still had angry looks on their faces and did not like being in the same room, never mind in beds right next to each other. "Now lads, this fighting has to stop. Look at you both. Broken bones, golf clubs bent on your heads; enough is enough! Eat your cock-a-leekie soup and Iíll check on you later," she said, leaving the room.

All day long they snarled at each other. Every time one of them looked at the other, they growled and mumbled. The hours passed and neither could move. They were both getting bored. Tavish looked over at Dougal and saw the way the golf club was wrapped around the front of his face. He started to laugh. It did look rather silly. "What are you laughing at?" Dougal grumpily asked.

Tavish was laughing so hard he could hardly speak. "You look like a fool with that golf club on your head."

Dougal looked at Tavish and started laughing at him. "You look like a fool with that golf club on your head too," he laughed.

Both of them laughed and laughed, so loud, in fact, that their mum came through. "Now thatís more like it," she smiled, bringing them some trifle with lots of cream. "Eat up!"

The laughter seemed to have broken the ice. Tavish looked at Dougal. "Iím sorry, brother," he smiled. "Since weíre going to be cooped up like this, I suppose we ought to try to get along, for Mumís sake."

Dougal smiled back, "I suppose youíre right." He reached his good hand over and Tavish shook it.

From that day on, Dougal and Tavish started acting like brothers. They fought now and then, but most of the time they got along. They took the two golf clubs that had been stuck on their heads and very difficult to get off, and put them up on the wall, to remind them of their foolish behavior.

Good things started to happen. Duff enjoyed playing golf with them, they were invited to parties and to go hunting and fishing. They both realized that people enjoyed them much better when they were nice and not so grumpy.

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