HOARDS of Haggis on Selkirk Hill have been spotted scurrying for cover and preparing their defences in advance of the annual Great Selkirk Haggis Hunt, writes Bob Burgess.
Casual walkers over the ancient breeding ground may have missed this unusual activity. But the more observant Souters will have noticed that wind-blown twigs and loose foliage have gradually been disappearing to be used as hiding spots and fortifications.
Head hunter Jimmy Linton has a theory: “The hunt has been going now for many years and has become very popular – around 250 people last year. During that time the wee beasties have increased their brain power. Those that escaped have, I understand, formed an intelligence branch of the species.
“These super-haggi don’t want to become supper-haggi and have plans in place to confuse and evade the hunters on January 20. There is no doubt in my mind that The Hill haggis of today are a far more brainy breed than they were a few years ago.
“In the past we have endured Arctic conditions and saboteurs. But this is first time we will have faced haggis that have developed an almost supernatural power in their bid to outwit us. If Robert Burns was to come back today I think he’d have to write another poem.”
But the hunt veteran is confident all will be well. He went on: “It will be many years before the haggis has developed enough up top to outwit the Souters. The families that will take to The Hill for the Hunt will triumph.”
Headquarters of the Great Selkirk Haggis Hunt is once again the Town Arms Inn, with the backing of owner Mark Hay from Kelso. Certificates and badges will presented in the lounge afterwards.
Rules remain much the same – baggie nets, homemade bows and arrows and cricket bats are the only weapons permitted. Dogs are welcome under control. Hunters are asked to stay in line during the advance. The hunt (Sunday, January 20) begins with a stirrup cup in the Market Place at 11.02am, the Haggis Polka will be danced outside the Argus Centre en route to The Hill.