Away with the Birdies.

Loch Maree.

Enjoy the wonderful scenery around Loch Maree. There is a lovely campsite at Gairloch.

Eilean Donan Castle.

At the entrance to the Castle is an information board displaying the history of Eilean Donan.

I have chosen one story in particular which I hope you may enjoy.

Lachie’s Tale.

The story tells of the Chieftain of the clan’s youngest son Lachie;

Lachie fell out of favour with his dad for no apparent reason. As a young boy he was made to sup his first taste of wine from out of a raven’s skull. This gave Lachie the power to understand the language of the birds.

When the boy was still young his father asked him to tell him what the birds were saying. The lad replied that they were saying that one day his father would wait upon him as a servant. Greatly displeased his father banished his son and his cat, Tabbie, from the Castle.

Loch Katrine.

Lachie’s tale continued;

Many years later Lachie and his faithful cat landed in France. He had heard that the King was being disturbed by a messy invasion of pigeons.

Offering his special talents he was able to discover what the birds were saying. He told the King that the birds were saying that they were going to obliterate his Chateau.

The Ruler asked for his help so Lachie set Tabbie the cat among the pigeons. The birds took flight never to return. The King was pleased although he thought privately that the boy was away with the birdies.

He presented Lachie with a fully manned ship in which to continue his journeying.


Lachie’s tale continued;

On one of the voyages he was invited to dine with the Ruler of a distant country. Lachie saw that the Palace was infested with rats, some even sat at the dining table.

He offered his services to the King claiming that he could rid his Palace of this plague of rats. His offer was accepted gladly by the Monarch.

The next evening Lachie returned to the dining table with Tabbie in a bag under his cloak. When the rats had gathered around the dining table he let the cat out of the bag.

Hundreds of vicious rats began to attack Tabbie, nibbling at his toes and climbing up his tail. The pussy cat ran for its life, being pursued by the savage rats, out of the Castle and over the drawbridge.

Lachie ran after the cat and when all the rats were across the moat, he withdrew the drawbridge.

The Ruler was so pleased to be rid of the vermin that he gave the boy a barrel of gold as a reward.

Jacobite by Loch.

Lachie’s tale continued;

After many adventures a fine ship with a young man aboard anchored off Totaig. The sight of such a vessel caused a stir with everyone wondering who this rich young man could be.

The youth was received by the old Chieftain with great courtesy and invited to stay for dinner. Sitting him at the table the grey haired old man waited upon the young stranger himself, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of the birds.

After his father had sat down at the table and filled his belly with pheasant Lachie spoke.

‘Father, I’m Lachie, I was away with the birdies but now I’m home,’ he declared.

The Chieftain was now reconciled to Lachie whom he now acknowledged was his heir.

Footnote: For lovers of a happy ending;

Tabbie’s bones were later found unharmed and returned to Lachie in a shoe-box.

Joe Sharp.

For the adventures of Francie and Josie, click here.

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