The Croft



Load of bullThree bulls from Eriskay (descendants of poor Bernie nach maireann) heard through the grapevine that their owner was going to bring yet another bull onto the croft, and the prospect raised a discussion amongst them.

First Bull (Donald Angus): "Boys, I've been here 5 years and am the best bull south of Clachan Farm in North Uist. That's why I get the chance to choose the best 50 cows. Now, I ton't know where this new fellow is going to get his cows from, but I'm not giving him any of mine."

Second Bull (Iain Angus): "I agree with Domhnull Angus. I've been here 3 years and have earned the right to the 25 cows we've agreed are mine. I've even taken some of them for a drink to 'Am Politician', just to keep them impressed. I'll fight till I chase him back to Ludag or even kill him, but I'm keeping all my cows."

Third Bull (Lachlann Angus): "I've only been here a year, and so far you boys have only let me have 10 cows to take care of, and they are all pretty ugly. I have to take a 'steall' from the bottles I found hidden on the machair before I can go near them, but, when you live in Eriskay, you can't be too fussy so I must keep all my cows."

They had just finished their talk when an 'Eilean Na H-Oige' steamed into the pier with only one animal in it; the biggest bull these animals had ever seen. At 3.5 tonnes, each step he took towards the croft made the ground shake like a Geirinish rocket.

Donald Angus: "Oh cak... You know, its hactually been some time since I really felt I was doing all my cows chustice. Perhaps I can spare a few for the new fellow."

Iain Angus: "I'll have plenty of cows to take care of if I just stay on the opposite end of the island from him. I'm certainly not looking for a fight."

They look over at young Lachlann Angus, the third bull, and find him pawing the sand under his feet, shaking his horns, snorting and making rude gestures towards the new bull.

Domhnull Angus: "Lachie a 'bhalaich, let me give you some advice. Let him have some of your cows and live to see the causeway completed!"

Lachlann Angus: " H-ot, he can have all the cows he likes Iain, I'm just making sure he knows I'm a bull."

In certain island areas, locals don't require timekeeping devices - they can rely on the regular behaviour of a few individuals whose lifestyle revolves around opening and closing times at the pub. Once, one such gentleman was seen standing in front of the Lochmaddy Hotel door fifteen minutes before opening time. A surprised passer-by who was taken aback at seeing the gentleman outside the door so early, shouted to him "The bar won't be open for another fifteen minutes Lachie". "Huh, it won't take me long to wait fifteen minutes" came the reply.
The same man was speaking to a tourist when he was asked the question "Have you lived here all your life?" The man answered "Not yet".
Tractor"Why don't you buy a tractor?" the visitor asked the crofter from Elgol (Skye's only Spanish resort). "I would but us crofters are poor and I'd much rather buy a cow" the crofter explained. "But you'd look pretty stupid going to Broadford on a cow" remarked the visitor. "Not half as stupid as I'd look milking a tractor", answered the crofter.

A man drove across the Scalpay bridge and down to the pier to look at the fishing fleet. As he reversed on the pier he heard a yelp from underneath his car. Realising he had run over something, he stopped and got out. There underneath the car was a flattened dog.

A distraught looking fisherman walked over to the man and told the driver it was his dog. "Don't worry mister, I'll replace your dog" said the worried driver. "Well I don't know how," answered the fisherman, "are you good at catching rats?"

A little boy from Staffin didn't go to school one day. The next day he was grilled by the head teacher . He replied, "Our cow was in heat, so I had to take her to the bull." "How disgusting," said the teacher. "I'm sure your father could have done that." "No Miss MacLeod, he couldn't have. He takes care of the sheep."

We all know that in the Uists Catholics and Protestants live together very amicably - a pity the rest of the West of Scotland and our Celtic cousins in Ireland couldn't do the same. Imagine if this good relationship were to break down - all because of a pair of wellies! Well folks, it almost did......

A few years ago staff at North Eastern Farmers in North Uist received a 'phone call from a regular customer in the deep south. This fellow, a man renowned for his strength and fighting prowess, was wanting to order a pair of NEF's best size 14 wellies, along with his regular delivery of three tonnes of oatcakes and his favourite aftershave - sheepdip. The ever obliging manager quickly despatched his best outrider who headed 'up souss' into bandit country with the order.

When the driver reached the customers house, a ravenous looking collie was lurking at the gate so he tiptoed over to the byre and left the consignment at the door where it could easily be seen from the crofthouse. He then jumped into his van, hooted the horn and drove away to continue his deliveries.

Before the driver returned to the store at Locheport, the manager had another telephone call from the same 'Deasach' though this time the air was blue (or should I say green) with every 'guidheachan' under the sun being used to describe the staff. The manager had no earthly idea what he was on about and all sorts of things went through his head as he listened to himself being described in ways he had never heard before - had the driver crashed the van into the customer's gate, had he run over the dog, had he chatted up the customer's girlfriend or even worse, her lamb?

No! All became clear after about five minutes of abuse - "You Protestants think you're funny, huh? I know yous lot call us 'left footers' so yous thought you'd have a laugh at my expense. Chust you wait till I get a hold of that ****** driver!" The manager looked up at the row of neatly placed wellies in the shop and saw that there was an odd couple of two right footed green boots on the shelf. Yes, the driver had not been paying attention and had picked up and delivered a pair of left footed wellies!

As soon as the driver was back, a 'Heckler and Coch' semi-automatic was mounted on the front of the van and he was re-dispatched south once more on the most dangerous mission of his life. When he reached the house he didn't even stop the van - he threw the right footed welly at the door of the house and drove away at full speed until he reached past Creagorry. It then dawned on him that he should have picked up the spare left footed welly but wisely decided it was too dangerous to go back and face the 'hopping' mad Deasach!

We are glad to report that diplomatic relations were later restored and that the driver didn't get the boot for his mistake.

CatrionaA tourist was driving along a side road on the west side of South Uist when he lost his way. As he drove around trying to find the Lochboisdale - Lochmaddy road, he saw hundreds of sheep running around the crofts (quite nice looking ones they were too).

Suddenly, his eye caught something really strange. He did a double take, muttered to himself and then looked a third time. He wondered if he had seen correctly - it looked like a sheep with a wooden leg! He found the track to the croft and drove up into the yard, where he was met by the crofter, wearing the regulation blue boiler suit, suit jacket and 'Argyles'.

"Excuse me," the tourist said. "I was just driving by and looking at all your sheeps, and I noticed something that I just had to stop and ask about. Tell me, did I see right? Is there really a sheep out there with a wooden leg?"

The crofter smiled. "Oh, that would be old 'Catriona' you saw. She's the finest sheep a man could ever hope to have - and smart too! Well, let me tell you a little about that sheep.You see that burach in the field over there. That's archaeologists from Sheffield looking for a Viking village. A few weeks ago, Catriona called me over there and scratched her foot on the ground. Right at her foot was a load of Viking gold worth 30 000. It usually takes me a couple of months to make that sort of money with the subsidies from the Department, compensation from the rocket range and corncrake payments from SNH."

"There's another thing, too. One night a couple of years ago I went drinking in Orasay and I guess I had more than I should have. When I got home, I crashed the tractor into the byre. That started a fire in the hay and old Catriona smelled the smoke. She went into the house and woke up my wife, as I was too drunk to walk out of the tractor. My wife phoned the fire brigade from Balivanaich and they put out the fire before it destroyed all the hay and reached my stache of playboy magazines. There is no question about it - that night old Catriona saved my life and a lot of money and you know that is not the sort of thing a man is going to forget too easily."

"Why," the tourist said, "this is all amazing! I have never heard of a sheep like this before! This is fantastic! But tell me, how did she get that wooden leg? Did she get hit by a rocket or something?" The crofter laughed and said, "Well you know mister, when you have a sheep that smart, you don't want to eat her all at once!"


All over the islands, the poaching season is about to get into full swing with crofters and other vagabonds filling their freezers with illegal salmon and sea-trout. (As a measure of self preservation for the poacher, the odd one also finds it's way into selected VIP kitchens - those of the local minister, doctor, policeman and JP.)

Amadan thought it would be interesting for our viewers to learn some tips from the seasoned professionals in Lewis, where poachers regularly compete against ex SAS henchmen and marble mouthed landlords, so we have installed a covert camera at Grimersta to watch the proceedings............


Amadan thinks one of the poachers looks like Peter MacAulay!

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