The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

Ewen Bain, was born in Maryhill (Glasgow), on the 23 June 1925. His family came from Skye (an Island on the west coast of Scotland) he studied at Glasgow School of Art, and became an art teacher by profession.

Ewen was very supportive of the monthly, pro-independence newspaper, Scots Independent, contributing a long series of editorial cartoons between 1978 and his death in 1989.

His comic strip depicted a quintessential (stereotype) 20th century highlander, Angus Og, that ran in the Daily Record and its sister paper The Sunday Mail.

This wee story was inspired by my love of Ewen’s cartoons.

It came to pass that a Lowlander had bought a smallholding down in Glen Brittle, and was in need of a good sheepdog. “Angus Og is the man you need to see, you’ll be sure to find him down at the hotel most evenings” said a local ferryman.

In the hotel that Saturday evening, there was Angus, at his feet a young Border Collie, it had come to his attention that there would be a lad in tonight looking for just such a dog.

Tom, the Lowlander, looked over the dog, “I am looking for a good dog mind, can he work sheep?” he asked Angus.

“Work sheep, I tell you, boy, you will not find a harder working dog in the whole of the island” he assured Tom. A deal was done.

Come Monday evening, an unhappy Tom was back in the hotel bar. He went straight up to Angus accusing him of being furtive. “I took that lazy dog out into the field yesterday, he lay down in the grass and refused rise, let alone do a stroke of work, what are you trying to pull here?” he accused Angus.

“Yesterday, did you say?” asked Angus.

“Aye, yesterday, Sunday?” replayed Tom.

“There’s your problem right there,” Said Angus, bold as you like, “You see that dog belongs to the Wee Free”.

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