Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Boon them a' ye take your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
We spent the morning reading Burns poetry--John Barleycorn, To a Mouse, To a Mountain Daisy, Bannockburn, For a' That, The Banks o' Doon, John Anderson, and, of course, the favorite of all, Address to a Haggis. The internet is full of videos of authentic Scotsman delivering the address, and my children were fascinated. Our little five-year-old was going around for the rest of the day repeating in a rolling Scottish accent, "Ggggggggreat chieftain o' the pudding-race!" and "He'll mak it whissle: An' legs an' arms, an' hands will send, like taps o' trissle."
I dug out the Scottish shortbread mold, with its "taps o' trissle," but no shortbread did we make. We had far more important things to do--getting ready to attend the most beautiful Traditional Latin Mass, for example. On the way there, I gave a little speech to my fifteen-year-old son saying, "Honey, you should make it your goal this year to learn more altar boy jobs--by the end of the year, you should know how to act as Thurifer (the acolyte who carries the censer) and then work toward eventually learning how to be MC." (Traditional Latin Mass goers will know these terms. Let's just say, serving at the Latin Mass takes a lot of training and study.)
When the bell rang for Mass to begin, the altar boys (all fourteen of them) filed out of the sacristy, and there was Neil--an almost imperceptible grin starting in the corner of his mouth as he caught my eye--swinging the censer. Don't let anyone tell you that fifteen isn't a good age for boys.
Here are The Corries singing the Robert Burns classic, The Battle of Sherramuir: