Document 1486

A Bonnie Fechter

Author(s): Sheila Templeton

Copyright holder(s): Sheila Templeton


That winter, snaw flew its feathers thick
smoorichin the hale Rannoch Moor.
I thocht the warld wud be white for iver.
Danny the Keeper said the stags
wud have tae come doon,
else they'd sterve tae death.

We'd niver seen red deer afore.
But these beasts wernae ony shade o red.
Ivery day as the licht hid ahint the Black Mounth,
they floated ower the high fence at the side o the line,
sepia angels biggen a brig ower cloudy drifts
against a grape slate sky. I thocht their hooves
could niver touch the grun,

until the day we heard a scraping
ootside the kitchen door. He was big.
His antlers telt a lang story, a hero's story,
of territory defended and hinds protected.
He eased back a bittie, but didnae flee.
At my mither's nod, I threw the tattie peelings
scudding intae the kirned up khaki snaw.

And waited and watched while he took his time,
his fine big heid lowered wi nae loss o dignity.
And so he lat me feed him ivery day, as the licht
left the sky. Nae to touch or stroke, but he'd lat me
look intae his een and watch him,

until the day he didnae come.The day I looked
and shouted and poked aboot the frosty dyke.
But nae use. My pail o slippy tattie parings frozen
in the night where I'd left it. I splashed bilin water
tae saften it for him. But nae sign. Winter gnawed on,

until Danny the Keeper said ower a nip and a fag
'Thon's a grand auld beast deid doon by the burn.
Funny that. How they hide awa, when they ken
it's their time. Like an auld war hero. Like ony
bonnie fechter fan he kens his time is up.'

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

A Bonnie Fechter. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 19 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"A Bonnie Fechter." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 19 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "A Bonnie Fechter," accessed 19 June 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1486

A Bonnie Fechter


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2006
Word count 305

Text medium


Text publication details

Part of larger text
Contained in Slow Road Home (Sheila Templeton) / Running Threads (Jim Hughes, Rowena M Love, Michael Malone, Sheila Templeton)

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 1075
Forenames Sheila
Surname Templeton
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs upbringing Protestantism, now Eastern Yoga meditation practice
Occupation Retired Teacher
Place of birth Aberdeen
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Troon
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Railway Engineer / originally farm worker
Father's place of birth Stoneywood
Father's region of birth Aberdeen
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Doctors' Receptionist
Mother's place of birth Dyce
Mother's region of birth Aberdeen
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work, at home, writing
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes At home, writing work mainly poetry