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Heron

A humphy-backit heron

Nearly as big as me

Stands at the waterside

Fishin for his tea.

His skinnie-ma-linkie lang legs

Juist like reeds

Cheats aa the puddocks

Soomin mang the weeds,

Here’s ane comin,

Grup it by the leg!

It sticks in his thrapple

Then slides doun his craig.

Neist comes a rottan,

A rottan soomin past,

Oot gangs the lang neb

And has the rottan fast.

He jabs it, he stabs it,

Sune it’s in his wame,

Flip-flap in the air

Heron flees hame.


J K Annand


This clip taken on our recent trip to Carnoustie brought to mind this wonderful poem by J K Annand.


Don’t panic English learners - it’s written in Scots!


Scots is one of three native languages spoken in Scotland today (the other two being English and Scottish Gaelic). We do include exploring Scots words and expressions in our English courses as language is so expressive of culture and we want you to experience our land (people, place, history, art, music) as much as possible.


For example, what do you think,


Yer bum’s oot the windae,’ means?


(clue, I’d never say it to a guest, but Kenny hears it quite regularly!).


We tend to combine this kind of language ‘research’ with traditional food and a dram or two (whisky or non-alcohol equivalent), and as we invite a guest storyteller (or two) it all makes for a fun-filled evening.


Artist June McEwan reading Burns poetry at Blue Noun, Burns Night 2020.


Here’s further links about the poem and Jk Annard:


“'Heron', by JK Annand, is one of the poems from 'The Kist' - an anthology of Scots (and Gaelic) poetry and prose that was digitised by Education Scotland and gifted to the Scots Language Centre so that teachers and learners can continue to benefit from this valuable resource.” Find out more here.



“James King Annand was born and brought up in Edinburgh. His bairn rhymes continue to delight Scots children, but he was also the author of poetry for adults, and an active promoter of the Scots language.” Find out more here.


Live language learning!



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