Baaaaaaaaaa

Adventures in Folklore

Some context: I am a folklorist, professionally. This means I am often studying and researching in various different places. My specialities are monster folklore, Scottish history, and American highway mythology. 

One year, I worked at the Islay Gaelic College, Ionad Chalum Chille Ìle, which was a mouthful to say when you picked up the phone. The college was digitising its folklore books, some of which were very ancient. I took a few home to study.

At this time, I was living in a caravan overlooking Bruichladdich, on the land of some very kind people with a beautiful farmer’s kitchen who always had fresh eggs from the local chickens, the yolks bright-orange. If you’ve never had this type of egg, you have never tasted why so many animals go after them in the wild. The caravan and land had a beautiful sweeping view over Lochindaal towards the Irish coast beyond the Oa, the spit of land on the opposite side of the water, where basking sharks often surfaced during the summer months. The island smelled of peat-smoke whisky and rainy wind, the sea-salt air cool in the morning.

At night, it was extremely dark and quiet, Bruichladdich not having much in the way of evening entertainment. The weather in Scotland also cools off considerably at night, regardless of how warm it was during daylight. The sheep, cows, and assorted farm animals roamed freely and I’d often encounter shaggy, ginger highland cattle on the Strand, the beach near Bridgend across Lochindaal where they’d wandered during low tide.

So, late at night, I was sitting in my caravan reading about the various ghosts and monsters that inhabited Islay throughout the centuries. I was wrapped in a blanket because the air was chilly and reading by the dim lights in the caravan, completely absorbed in the book and taking notes.

Out of nowhere, right next to my head, a loud BAAAAAAAAAA made me jump out of my chair.

And that was how I found out sheep huddle around warm buildings during cold weather to keep warm.

(For those of you who do not know what a flock of sheep sound like, imagine suddenly hearing this out of a dead silence in the middle of the night:)

The Harsh Reality

Bomin: Has won more than ten awards from math competitions; has super high grades even during trainee period; great at writing; debut as an idol; great at dancing and singing; super fit; very good looking; eloquent.

Me: Sitting on the bed, stuffing my face with snacks: “When adults call children kids… like goats. baaaaaaaAAA” [cues two minutes of hysteria]

IVE BEEN TO TOKYO AND TO SOUTH AFRICAAAAAAA SO MANY PLAAAAACES THAT YOU MAY SAY IVE SEEN IT ALLLL BUT MY FAVORITE PLACE IS THE WARM EMBRACE OF HOLDING YOUR HAIR BACK IN A BATHROOM STALL BAAAAA BAB ABBABABBABBA BA BA BA BBAAA BAAAAAAAA BAAAAAAAAAA BAAAAAAAA BAAAAAAAAA