Watch out, it’s haggis hunting season, and not a teddy bear in sight

If you go out to the hills today
You’re sure of a big surprise
If you go out to the hills today
You better go in disguise
For every haggis that ever there was
Will run away for certain because
Today’s the day the haggis end up as your picnic

No, it’s not a haggis, it’s just a teddy bear

The essential Guide, ‘How to Catch a Haggis’

Wild haggis are notoriously difficult to catch, being reclusive wee furry beasties that roam the glens of the Highlands of Scotland.

Central to the art is stealth. Like the deer stalker, the haggis hunter must be silent, invisible and without odour.

Fortunately, while the haggis has incredibly acute senses, these function over a very narrow range. Thus the haggis hunter has to be only a bit silent, a bit invisible and a little without odour.

Haggis, it has been said, have been known at times to run anti-clockwise around the hills, as their right legs are a wee bit longer than their left legs.  The traditional method involves hiding in the heather waiting for a haggis to wander by, then jump up and shout ‘boo‘ (or some other suitable Scottish uttering). 

You startle the poor thing, making it turn around to run away, but as its legs are of differing lengths, if it turns too quickly, it loses its balance and tumbles down the hill into your net you have strategically placed below.

The real skill lies in the tone and timing of the ‘boo’.  Too deep and it sounds like a Highland cow and the haggis will keep running past you; too high and you sound like a sheep that’s eaten too much heather, with the same result.

Traditional picnic whiskyFor your picnic you will need a bottle of whisky, tatties & neeps are optional, probably a bit messy, and a sharp knife safely tucked into your right sock (assuming you’re right handed) to do the necessary once your haggis is in your net.

And of course, perhaps most importantly, don’t wear a rustling raincoat over your kilt, traditional tweed jackets only, the haggis have sensitive ears.  A word of warning though, watch how you sit in your kilt, that heather can be a bit tickly.

Emergency haggisIf all else fails, bring a can with you.

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