Oh! Rowan Tree, Oh! Rowan Tree.


Like many other birds, Algy is extremely partial to rowan berries. Despite his obvious enthusiasm for the fruit, however, he is not unaware of the other properties of this most beautiful West Highland tree.

          How fair wert thou in simmer time,
          Wi’ a’ thy clusters white
          How rich and gay thy autumn dress,
          Wi’ berries red and bright.
          On thy fair stem were many names,
          Which now nae mair I see,
          But they’re engraven on my heart.
          Forgot they ne’er can be!

               Oh! Rowan tree!

[From the old Scottish song The Rowan Tree, whose lyrics were written by Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766-1845). Many different versions of this lovely Scottish air have been recorded over the years. Try listening to this recording by John McDermott on YouTube.]

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Algy’s Adventures: Temporarily Interrupted

Algy apologizes for the sudden interruption of his adventures.

Sadly, Algy’s friends suffered a family bereavement in mid-May 2012, and had to go away from home for a while.

The funeral service – which was held in a strange city far away – included some verses from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

          “I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”

Algy Hears Snatches of the Loch Monster’s Song


Reclining quietly by the edge of the loch at the end of a busy day, Algy could hear faint snatches of the loch monster’s song, as it roamed the watery depths. It sounded very much like the song of the Loch Ness monster:

          Hovoplodok – doplodovok – plovodokot – doplodokosh?
          Splgraw fok fok splgrafhatchgabrlgabrl fok splfok!

[Perhaps you may not hear the monster singing in Algy’s loch, but you can read the full text and listen to an audio recording of The Loch Ness Monster’s Song performed by the poet Edwin Morgan himself.]


Algy Rides a Dragon as Swift as the Wind


Algy doesn’t like St. George’s Day, or beastliness to dragons on any occasion. Dragons are Algy’s friends, for without them, who would breathe fire into the sunset?

He remembered the Chinese nursery rhyme, and went for a very special ride:

          As the sun came up, a ball of red.
          I followed my friend wherever he led.
          He thought his fast horse would leave me behind
          But I rode a dragon as swift as the wind!

[Algy gratefully acknowledges the source of the image of this particular dragon, in a photo by wisefly on flickr, adapted under a Creative Commons licence.]


Algy Contemplates the Sunset and Evening Star

          Sunset and evening star,
                And one clear call for me!
          And may there be no moaning of the bar,
                When I put out to sea

Of course Algy is still much too young to think about crossing the bar or putting out to sea in Tennyson’s sense, but he appreciates the poem, and he loves to sit at the top of his tree as the sun sets, and gaze at the evening star.

[From Crossing the Bar by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.]