Just like most “mornings after”, the day following the Scottish Independence Referendum dawned grey and dreich. There was scarcely a breath of wind on the moor, nor any sign of sun in the sky, and Algy was feeling decidedly limp. He draped himself over the remains of a blasted rowan tree, and gazed for some time at the calm water of the lochan. As he perched there in the stillness, watching nothing very much happening at all, he remembered a poem, which he dedicates to all his Scottish friends who are feeling disappointed and depressed today:

          Hold fast to dreams
          For if dreams die
          Life is a broken-winged bird
          That cannot fly.

          Hold fast to dreams
          For when dreams go
          Life is a barren field
          Frozen with snow.

[Algy is quoting the poem Dreams by the 20th century American poet Langston Hughes.]


It was a very important day for Scotland. This was expected to be the busiest day ever in Scottish electoral history, with an exceptionally high level of turnout, so Algy felt that he ought to be right there on the spot, making sure that everything went smoothly. The local polling station was open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., but as there were only about 190 registered voters in this remote area – and a third of those were voting by post – activity was not exactly frantic …

Fluffy birds had not been granted the right to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum, so Algy could only provide moral support on this occasion. He flew the five miles or so to the polling station, and found himself a perch which was prominent, if not exactly comfortable. He then devoted all his energy to encouraging the local electorate with appropriate quotations from Shakespeare, such as this famous speech from Julius Caesar:

           There is a tide in the affairs of men.
           Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
           Omitted, all the voyage of their life
           Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
           On such a full sea are we now afloat,
           And we must take the current when it serves,
           Or lose our ventures.

Algy is thinking of all his friends in Scotland today, and sends you all extra special fluffy hugs from the West Highlands xoxo

[Algy is quoting a speech from Act 4 Scene 3 of the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.]

There were storm clouds brewing overhead at the start of the week in which the people of Scotland will vote in a historic referendum to decide whether or not Scotland will become an independent state.

Algy flew down to the peat bogs, beneath the heavy sky, and erected his wee Saltire on a prominent tussock. As he gazed at the gathering clouds, he wondered what the future would hold for all his friends in Scotland, and he remembered a famous poem:

          What makes a nation’s pillars high
          And its foundations strong?
          What makes it mighty to defy
          The foes that round it throng?

          It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
          Go down in battle shock;
          Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
          Not on abiding rock.

          Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
          Of empires passed away;
          The blood has turned their stones to rust,
          Their glory to decay.

          And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
          Has seemed to nations sweet;
          But God has struck its luster down
          In ashes at his feet.

          Not gold but only men can make
          A people great and strong;
          Men who for truth and honor’s sake
          Stand fast and suffer long.

          Brave men who work while others sleep,
          Who dare while others fly…
          They build a nation’s pillars deep
          And lift them to the sky.

[Algy is quoting the poem A Nation’s Strength by the 19th century American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson.]