A Bonnie Fechter
Author(s): Sheila Templeton
Copyright holder(s): Sheila Templeton
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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A Bonnie Fechter. 2020. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved October 2020, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1486.
"A Bonnie Fechter." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2020. Web. October 2020. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1486.
The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "A Bonnie Fechter," accessed October 2020, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1486.
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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2020. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.