Burns characters

The poetry of Robert Burns is packed with wonderful characters and memorable scenes. Molly Burns (no relation) from Newton St Boswells read Burns' poem 'The Wounded Hare' and wrote this excellent story in Scots from the point of view of the injured animal.

The Wounded Hare

Wi this hindmaist breath, ah’ll tell ye whit happened tae me this verra efternoon.

Ma day stairted aff like ony ordinary ane but if ah had kent that this day wad be the end o me, ah sweir ah wad hae enjoyed ilka moment o thae pink skies which had met me ilka mornin at the stairt o ma life. Noo, in ma verra last moments, Ah’ve said a lovin fareweel tae ma wee weans. Sic bonnie babbies. Ah hope they tak care o their mither.

Here’s ma tale then…

Ah stairted ma traivels doon by the burn. The winter glinted fair bonnie in the early mornin sunlicht as ah ran amang the drookit banks. Ah ran fair joyous-lik wi the cauld win blawin ower the lush green braes still covert wi the mornin dew. Ah wis fu o the joys o livin, no a concern or worry until…

A lood din rang ower the banks and braes followed by a blastit rattlin frae aw the craws fleein aff their perches. Ah lookit up and then doon and ah saw him – a man wi the deil’s murderous glint in his een, an awfy badness in his hairt. Frae that point ah kent ah wis feenisht. Ah heard anither unco bang and ah fell! The warm bluid oozed oot frae ma hurdies ontae the weet gress: the bankin wis scarred wi ma daith.

No lang efter, anither man cam alang but his face wis filled wi dowf shock when his een met mine. They lookit juist lik ma wife’s een – ma bonnie lassie. This man, he stairted mummlin that the hunter hadnae juist destroyed ma life. He had shattert ma faimily’s as weel. Ah’d been killed by no juist ony man, but killed by a man wi the hairt o the verra deil himsel. The man watchin me cursed that hunter and wishit the ruffian ne’er tae hae ony pleisure again…

    Molly Burns, P7, St Boswells Primary School, Scottish Borders