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The Bull

The Bull

Story told by William Smith, 3 Keose Glebe in 1979 concerning Rev Simpson's bull

Aonghas Ban (Aonghas' an Ruariadh, 1 Keose) had served for 21 years in the Army and returned home on a paltry pension for services rendered. On his arrival home to Keose he was told of the ordeal locals (the womenfolk in particular) had to endure when going for creel-loads of peat on the Keose common pasture owing to a bull, belonging to the then parish minister, Rev Alexander Simpson (1793 - 1830) roaming the glebe lands which were unfenced, thereby putting the women in a state of fear and alarm. Aonghas Ban listened to the various incidents concerning this and one day he took a creel as well as the dirk of his soldiering days and went out to the moor keeping a sharp lookout for the bull. He hadn't to wait long before the vicious animal put in a very unfriendly appearance. Old Angus well knew some soft bogs in the neighbourhood and purposely walked in the direction of one such bog with the bull following. Of course the bull very quickly got trapped in the quagmire, and there old Aonghas Ban took out his dirk and stabbed the animal letting his entrails out. Straight away he returned to Rev. A. Simpson's manse at Keose and told him what he had done and why.

"Ta laochain" said Rev Simpson, "You will be sorry for what you have done today and I will see to that." Immediately thereafter Rev Simpson wrote to the War Office (Am bord Uaine) stating what Aonghas Ban had done and the result was that the old soldier lost his meagre pension. When Aonghas Ban got notice that his pension had been stopped he told his wife to prepare some oat bannocks and the following day he took a "packet" (boat) to Ullapool and from there walked to Whitehall where he explained from A to Z incidents concerning the bull. The result was that his pension was immediately restored.

Years after this Aonghas Ban's wife and a neighbouring wife had some disagreement concerning boundaries whilst cutting grass with the handsickle. It must have gone a bit too far for eventually they both had to appear begore the Kirk Session. Aonghas Ban, naturally, was not presenting himself in church following the previous incident with the minister, but on this particular day that his wife had to stand before the Kirk Session he sneaked into church and sat on the pew nearest to the door. When his wife's name was called to stand, Aonghas was on his feet in a flash and shaking his fist bawled out "Cuimhnich gu bheil mise an an seo fhathast." Rev. Simpson was at a loss for words and merely said apologetically, "Tha, tha, tha, suidheadh sibhse an drasd, Aonghais."


Title: The Bull
Record Type: Stories, Reports and Traditions
Gaelic Name: An Tarbh
Type: Legend
Record Maintained By: CECL
Subject Id: 7274