How Tam o’ Shanter came to be written – a tale for Burns Night

A short story for Burns Night, full of bauchles and witches and wot-nots…

Marie Marshall

detail of Faed's Tam

Was it a year ago now, since last we piped in the great chieftain o’ the pudding race, that we raised an amber dram, that we all gave a hearty slainte mhath! There was one braw lad whose eyes were twinkling with glee and single malt, who rose and recited – without a prompt – the auld tale of Tam o’ Shanter, the skellum the blethering, blustering, drunken blellum. Aye, aye, and how we laughed, how we all chorused “Weel done, Cutty Sark!” And how we cheered on old Tam was he whipped Maggie his mare towards Doon Water and the Brig, held our breath at the last loup of Nannie the witch to grab the mare’s tale as Tam won to the key-stane o’ the brig, and yes, how we let it all out with a big gasp when he was hame and free. More, how…

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