Scottish Beasties

Hairy Horny Haggis

These are the original wild Haggis that used to roam far and wide across Scotland but have now been driven underground (literally into Hamelldaemes) by Human hunters. Some Hairy Horny Haggis live in Glen Wheesht which has protected them from Humans for centuries. Hairy Horny Haggis thrive in woodland areas and their goal is to regenerate the Great Wood of Caledon. They intend to do this by scattering Scots Pine seed (from a bag that they always carry with them) as they travel through the landscape or when they make / break camp. Hairy Horny Haggis are intelligent and caring creatures who are keen to make a positive impact on anything they embark upon.

Hairy Horny Haggis Hairy Horny Haggis

MacSporran

Traditionally, Highlanders hunted these beasties to make into their sporrans. Like the Hairy Horny Haggis, the MacSporrans were trapped to near extinction and sightings of these creatures in the wild are very rare indeed these days. Macsporrans are compact, tough, aggressive beasties who will happily take on foes much larger than themselves which may have been a contributory factor in their demise to Humans. Nowadays, they’ve learnt their lesson and they avoid Humans (but live undetected alongside them). MacSporrans’ favourite sport is tossing the caber and no self-respecting MacSporran would be seen in Public without a caber by his side.

MacSporran MacSporran

A Moortie

A Moortie is a shepherd of stones and like a Chameleon, it has the ability to change colour to match the shade of stones it is herding. Outwith their respective piles of rocks, Moorties have little interest in the rest of the world going on around them. To the human eye, Moorties look exactly like rocks but there is one vital difference. They are considerably lighter than stones and this has led to many a Moortie being skimmed into water only to float away, leaving the Human onlookers to assume that they had just thrown a piece of pumice into the water. This ‘floating stone’ theory suits Moorties very well and they remain undetected by Humans to this very day.

A Moortie A Moortie

Bampot

Bampots have been driven to near extinction by Man’s need for cookware. Simple creatures, Bampots take things at face value and are very single minded as a single thought is all that their brains can cope with at any one time (hence the Human insult of ‘Bampot’ or ‘Bam’ for a foolish person). At the appointed age, every Bampot undertakes the same ‘Bampot’ Rite of Passage of trying to find a way to repair the broken Moon. Only when the Moon is full once more, is the Bampot welcomed home in triumph to receive their ‘Lid’ of adulthood. No Bampot has ever failed in this quest which unsurprisingly takes exactly one month to complete each and every time.

Bampot Bampot

Bogle

A Bogle is a ghost-like spirit creature whose true enjoyment in Life (Death ?) is to tease and torment Humans who are travelling through it’s territory or who live in the place where the Bogle has taken up residence. It has been known in extreme cases for Bogles to try and kill Humans if the latter have managed to outsmart their ghostly enemy.

Bogle Bogle

Domesticated Haggis

The Domesticated Haggis is the result of many generations of farming to rear a delicious food source without Humans having to go and hunt for it. Sadly, this intensive breeding programme has bred out the natural intelligence of their wild forefathers, the Hairy Horny Haggis. Like many farmed creatures when compared to their wild counterparts (pig vs boar, dairy vs highland cow), the Domesticated Haggis has shed most of its original body hair and horns. It is a simple creature who enjoys the uncomplicated pleasures of life - food, shelter and a muddy puddle to wallow in. Domesticated Haggis get very excited when told that they are the guests of honour at Burns Suppers held on the 25th of January each year.

Domesticated Haggis Domesticated Haggis

Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle or in Latin, Aquila Chrysaetos is a magnificent, BIG bird of prey who will eat small mammals (Rabbits, Haggis, Macsporran), birds and carrion. They have even been known to attack young deer. In the UK they are found mainly in the Highlands of Scotland though there are some in South West of Scotland and a few in Cumbria, England. It has a wingspan of over 6 ft and can dive on its quarry at over 100 mph. Few victims escape with their lives after a Golden Eagle strike !

Golden Eagle Golden Eagle

Highland Midge

The Highland midge or Culicoides Impunctatus is a fearsome predator though it is only the female that bites as she needs a blood meal to feed her eggs. The Highland Midge has a wing span of 1.4mm and can detect its prey from 100 metres away. Once a female bites you she releases a smell to attract other females to the ‘free’ meal only making matters MUCH worse for the victim of the attack. They tend to feed at sunrise and sunset as they don’t like direct sunlight. A slight breeze can keep them grounded. Millions of midges can live within one acre of land.

Highland Midge Highland Midge

Blue Bottle Fly

The Blue Bottle fly or Calliphora Vomitoria (there’s a warning in that last bit !) to give him his Latin classification is larger than a normal house fly and hence noisier and more annoying that a house fly. Blue Bottles like to stand on animal pooh (they aren’t fussy which type) and then walk over Human food or buzz around Human faces. Lovely ! Their babies are white larvae known as maggots. After a few days of feeding on the dead meat where they were laid, the maggots crawl off and bury themselves in the ground until ready to appear as fully grown ‘Blue Bottles’ two or three weeks later.

Blue Bottle Fly Blue Bottle Fly

Cloud

Strictly speaking, Clouds are not Beasties but they can take the shape of any creature they choose as they do not have a fixed skeletal form. Clouds tend not to appear to Humans lest the surprise is too much for the person involved. However, if you stare long enough at the sky you can see lots of different beastie shapes despite the Clouds’ best efforts to hide them from you. Clouds can be air-headed (but not always) and you can tell their moods just by looking at them  – frivolous (Cirrus), happy (Altocumulus), blustery (Stratocumulus), angry (Cumulonimbus), deep in thought (Stratus) or depressed (Nimbostratus).

Cloud Cloud

Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster is believed to be a dinosaur called a Plesiosaur who was either trapped in the Loch at the end of the Ice Age or has easy access to it via undiscovered tunnels or waterways. Some people refuse to believe that ‘Nessie’ exists but there have been too many sightings for this to be correct. To date, however, Nessie has managed to evade all attempts to capture clear images of her. (Click here to read more about Nessie on Wikipedia)

Loch Ness Monster Loch Ness Monster

Faeries

Now let’s get one thing straight here. These are not the ‘pretty dresses, gossamer wings and grant you three wishes’ fairies of happy fairy tales. These Faeries (note the difference in spelling) are tough, self – centred, bullying wee folk with pointy ears and pointy noses. They love nothing better than making fools out of other creatures at every available opportunity. They dress in green for camouflage and cause their mayhem after sunset. Their greatest fear is being ‘caught’ above ground during daylight hours as they turn to stone if sunlight hits them. Thus the origin of Garden Gnomes is revealed.

Hugmahush

The Hugmahush is a relic of a bygone age, an ancient creature that to all intents and purposes appears like a small hillock. They are wise and as old as the hills and view matters on an equally long philosophical timescale. They have an untidy appearance but experienced Hugmahush spotters know to look for knolls bereft of any burrowing animals (rabbits, moles or even worms). Hugmahush hate draughts ! Although they tend to stay in one place for years at a time, Hugmahush can move to a new glen overnight, if required.

Hugmahush Hugmahush

Silkie

These are creatures that can transform between humans and seals by shedding their skin. If you know where a Silkie has hidden their seal skin when they are in human form you can control them by preventing them from returning to the sea. Silkies yearn to be in the sea and always grow restless for the water if they are caught on dry land. They are good, honest creatures unless crossed.

Silkie Silkie

Water Kelpie

Water Kelpies (or sea horses) live in the rivers and lochs of Scotland. As a magnificent looking horse, the Water Kelpie has no difficulty in having unwary people approach it. However, once a human is on its back for a ‘free’ ride, they find they are stuck there. Then the evil beastie plunges back into the river or loch where it drowns and eats its victim in the depths of its watery lair.

Water Kelpie Water Kelpie

Witch

There are two types of witch. The first practise black magic and enjoy casting evil spells over innocent people and fluffy pets. This is ‘old’ magic favoured by crones who don’t wash, spend hours practising their high-pitched cackles and grow warts as a hobby. The second is white magic where the witches spend their time countering the practices of their black magic sisters.  At present, it is white magic which is attracting the young, ambitious witches. They tend to be keen on personal hygiene, like designer clothes and prefer flying ‘executive’ coracles to uncomfortable old broomsticks.

Witch Witch