The Blather guide to Haggis Hunting…
American tourists want to hunt haggis
A third of all American visitors to Scotland believe haggis is an animal. Rsearchers have found almost one in four of those questioned said they had
come to Scotland under the belief they could hunt it. US tour operators are even selling haggis hunting tours.
Haggis Hunting for Beginners
It is a little known fact that the Haggis is derived from the legendary pigmy sheep endemic to the upper slopes of the Hills of Lethargy where they were bred by the micra-hating, wicked Witch of the North.
(thanks to Shakabu for pointing this one out)
HaggisHunt.com, with lots of fine modern so-called ‘webcambs’.
From ‘The Confessions of Aleister Crowley’
Available online: at hermetic.com or from Amazon.com/co.uk
From Chapter 50:
On April 27th, the good Tartarin, who had published a book (in the Swiss language) on our expedition to Chogo Ri, illustrated with many admirable photographs but not distinguished by literary quality or accuracy (in many respects), and had lectured in Paris and other capitals on Chogo Ri, dropped in. I was heartily glad to see him. He was the same cheerful ass as ever, but he had got a bit of a swelled head and was extremely annoyed with me for not leading him instantly to stalk the sinister stag, to grapple with the grievous grouse, and to set my ferrets on the fearful pheasant. He could not understand the game laws. Well, I’m a poet; I determined to create sport since it id not exist. More, it should be unique.
I opened the campaign as follows. Tartarin knew the origin of the wild buffalo of Burma. When the British destroyed the villages, their cattle escaped the bayonet and starvation by taking to the jungle, where they had become practically a new species. After the ’45 the British had pursued the same policy of extermination — I mean pacification — in the Highlands, and I thought it plausible to invent a wild sheep on the analogy of the wild buffalo. And more, the beast should be already famous. I described its rarity, its shyness, its ferocity, etc., etc. — “You have doubtless heard of it,” I ended; “it is called the haggis.” My ’52 Johannesburg completed that part of the “come-on”. Tartarin dreamt all night of scaling a lonely and precipitous pinnacle and dragging a lordly haggis from his lair. For my part, like Judas in the famous story of the Sepher Toldoth Jeschu, I did not dream at all: I did better!
Two mornings later, Hugh Gillies, with disordered dress and wild eyes, came rushing into the billiard room after breakfast. He exploded breathlessly, “There’s a haggis on the hill, my lord!”
We dropped our cues and dashed to the gun case. Trusting to my skill, I contented myself with the .577 Double Express, and gave Tartarin the principal weapon of my battery, a 10-bore Paradox, with steel-core bullets. It is a reliable weapon, it will bring an elephant up short with a mere shock, even if he is not hit in a vital part. With such an arm, my friend could advance fearlessly against the most formidable haggis in the Highlands.
Not a moment was to be lost. Gillies, followed by the doctor, myself and my wife, tiptoed, crouching low, out of the front door and stalked the fearsome beast across the Italian garden.
The icy rain chilled us to the bone before we reached the edge of the artificial trout lake. I insisted on wading through this — up to the neck, guns held high — on the ground that we should thus throw the haggis off our scent!
We emerged dripping and proceeded to climb the hill on all fours. Every time anyone breathed, we all stopped and lay low for several minutes. It was a chilly performance, but it was worth it! Tartarin soon reached the point where every bent twig looked to him like one of the horns of our haggis. I crawled and dripped and choked back my laughter. The idiocy of the whole adventure was intensified by the physical discomfort and the impossibility of relieving one’s feelings. That interminable crawl! The rain never let up for a single second; and the wind came in gusts wilder and more hitter with every yard of ascent. I explained to Tartarin that if it should shift a few degrees, the haggis would infallibly get our scent and be off. I implored him to camouflage his posteriors, which arose in front for my balaclava, heaving like the hump of a dying camel. The resulting wiggles would have driven Isidora Duncan to despair; the poor man was indeed acutely conscious that, anatomically, he had not been constructed with the main idea of escaping notice.
However, after an hour and a half, we reached the top of the hill, three hundred feet above the house, without hearing that hideous scream-whistle of alarm by which (so I had been careful to explain) the haggis announces that he has detected the presence of an alien enemy.
Breathlessly, we crawled towards the hollow space of grassy and heathery knolls that lay behind the huge rock buttress that towers above the garden and the lake, that space whose richness had tempted our distinguished visitor to approach so near to human habitation.
The mist drove wildly and fiercely across the hillside towards us. It magnified every object to an enormous size, the more impressively that the background was wholly blotted out. Suddenly Gilles rolled stealthily over to the right, his finger pointed tremulously to where, amid the unfurling wreaths of greyness, stood …
Tartarin brought forward the 10-bore with infinite precision. The haggis loomed gargantuan in the mist; it was barely fifty yards away. Even I had somehow half hypnotized myself into a sort of perverse excitement. I could have sworn the brute was the size of a bear.
Guillarmod pressed both triggers. He had made no mistake. Both bullets struck and expanded; he had blown completely away the entire rear section of Farmer McNab’s prize ram.
We rushed forward, cheering frantically. Gillies had to be first in at the death; the supply of oats with which he had induced our latest purchase to feed in that spot all the morning without moving, might, if observed, have detracted from the uncanny glory of that romantic scene. But next day at dinner, when we ate that haggis, the general hilarity passed unchallenged. The atmosphere had become wholly Homeric; there was no reason why the wildest glee should seem out of place.
Tartarin sent the ram’s head to be stuffed and mounted; a suitable inscription was to be engraved upon a plate of massive gold. For had not the gallant Swiss vindicated their race once more? Would not the Gazette de Lausanne literally foam at the mouth with the recital of so doughty an exploit?
Update January 26th 2004:
Revealed: the proud history of haggis hurling was just a hoax »… Irishman invented ‘ancient’ art in 1970s