In a shock move which will shock both supporters of and detractors of Scottish Independence, it seems that the Grand Duchy of Fenwick (reknowned home of Margaret Rutherford played by Grand Duchess Gloriana XIII: “It’s that nasty tin thing again!”) has ceded Scotland overnight. Mr Alec Fish-Cake (75% Salmon) was unavailable for comment although rumours are neither rife nor rife that he may be the first Scot in space when one considers the plot of the famous 1963 moving picture “The Mouse That Roared”: The Tiny Country of Grand Fenwick has a hot water problem in their castle. As a ruse to get the money necessary to put in a new set of plumbing, they request foreign aid from the U.S. for Space Research. The Russians then send aid as well to show that they too are for the internationalization of space. While Rutherford (played by Grand Duchess Gloriana XIII) is dreaming of hot baths, their one scientist is actually knocking together a rocket. Readers may or may not recall that both the U.S. and the Russians got wind of the impending launch and resulted in both Buzz “Buzz” Aldrin and “Stretch” Armstrong being the first and second people on the unaformentioned moon.
Other potential candidates for the honour of a joint Grand Duchy of Fenwick and Scotland space cadet include tax exile Sean Connery and Peter Sallis who, alongside Grommit, has a vast experience of space exploration and the technology thereby associated. Neither were available for comment. Similarly, Alistair Carmichael, Secretary of Scottishness in Her Maj’s Government was not available for comment given the thickness of the concrete on his present bunker. Readers may or may not recall said Mr Carmichael’s comments regarding Scottishness recently when he commented “in fact the truth of the matter is there is no such thing as homogenous Scottish or homogenous English values”. Strong words, we think you would agree but, as yet, no comment from Her Maj’s Government on the planned Scottish space exploration project .
Interestingly, and trying to stitch the various ideas together seamlessly (which as any four year old Indonesian knocking out cheap tee-shirts will tell tell you is virtually impossible) we were contacted by a local farmer. Mr R. Burns, who is, it would seem quite an authority on Scottishness and, strangely, on mice as well as being a reknowned ploughhman offered us some very sound words. Apologies to people, such as Mr Carmichael, who are unable to parley Scottishness but Mr Burns does have a strong accent:
Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim’rous beastie, O, what a panic’s in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, Wi’ bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee, Wi’ murd’ring pattle!
I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion Has broken Nature’s social union, An’ justifies that ill opinion, Which makes thee startle, At me, thy poor, earth-born companion, An’ fellow-mortal!
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen-icker in a thrave ‘S a sma’ request: I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave, An’ never miss’t!
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin! It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin! An’ naething, now, to big a new ane, O’ foggage green! An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin, Baith snell an’ keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ wast, An’ weary Winter comin fast, An’ cozie here, beneath the blast, Thou thought to dwell, Till crash! the cruel coulter past Out thro’ thy cell.
That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble, Has cost thee monie a weary nibble! Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble, But house or hald. To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble, An’ cranreuch cauld!
But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!
Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me! The present only toucheth thee: But Och! I backward cast my e’e, On prospects drear! An’ forward, tho’ I canna see, I guess an’ fear!