Saturday, April 24, 2010
Haggis is simply the larval stage, as all Scotsmen ken, of the Loch Ness monster. It hatches among the crags and braes, eyeless, brainless and mouthless in the normal sense, having a circular array of inward pointing needle teeth with which it attaches itself to the nasal passages of sheep and by a slow, natural, if ovine, peristaltic migration acquires its customary contents. In its next phase, the wee beastie sheds its pointy teeth and grows instead a triad of bony plates arranged like the Tri-Force, at which point it becomes an oat eater with emergent limbs, making its way slowly downhill, whilst getting more and more bloated in the process. All highlanders recognize the haggis on sight by its peculiar habit of locomotion and shun it vigorously, especially the intensely malodorous greenish-black varieties but all are equally objectionable -- except in the case of visiting Englishmen, in honor of which occasion, the young monster is caught, decapitated, boiled and brought to table as a rare delicacy. It was no doubt a nearly fully-grown haggis that Saint Columba saw returning to the Loch, all those centuries ago.