Black Angus: A Dramatic Dialogue by James R. Coggins

Illustration by Lincoln Doucette.

There are many black tails from the Scottish borderlands, but for shear betrayal, none can bleat the saga of Black Angus.

One fine misty morning, Angus was confronted by his brother Peat, saying, “I have a bone to pick with you.”

“What? You have a beef with me?” Angus demanded.

“Yes. What is all that lowing I hear?”

“I don’t know what you mean by lowing,” said Angus, taking the high road. “Are you talking about Bonnie and Heather?”

“I don’t care what you cull them,” Peat said sheepishly. “Bonnie and Heifer don’t belong this side of the Clyde. A true Scottish Highlander raises sheep, and you shouldn’t have imported those cows from England.”

“They are not English cows. They are Scottish cows, as any fool can see from the bagpipes underneath.”

“Bah! Don’t spin me a yarn. They are still cattle,” prodded Peat. “You shouldn’t be braising them in the lamb of Scotland.”

“You’re still living in the pasture,” Angus said. “Hay, when you come to a fork in the road, you need to change with the tines. You’re bleating a dead horse.”

“Hair it is! I newe it!” Peat cried. “It’s a slippery soap. If we let you bring in cattle, next you’ll want to bring in horses. Pretty soon, we’ll be overrun with elephants and giraffes!”

“Nay,” Angus said hoarsely. “I’d never bring in elephants and giraffes. They’re too hard to milk.”

“You’d butter stop stocking my anger or I’ll cream you,” Peat shouted.

“Don’t dance around the subject. A reel Scot wouldn’t fling such accusations,” Angus said. “You’re butchering the language.”

“You’ve always been the black sheep in the family,” Peat retorted.  

“You don’t realize what’s at steak,” Angus said. “You eat so much mutton, it’s affecting your health. You look haggis, your eyes are lassie, and you’re bordering on colic.”

“I ought to chop your head off,” said Peat. “There’s nothing better than a bit of mutton with tartan sauce.”

“Are you threatening to kilt me?”

“Yes. Scots should have brave harts, and you are nothing but a sniveling cowherd.”

“It’s just my allergy to lanolin,” Angus explained.

“I can’t take any moor of this. Wool never agree,” said Peat. “Ewe are a disgrace, and when a Highlander betrays his clan, it is better if he fleece.”

“I would prefer to hide,” said Angus defiantly.

There being no horses available on which to make his escape, he went on the lam.

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in British Columbia, Canada. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He briefly served as a Christian magazine editor (for just over 20 years). He has written everything from scholarly and encyclopedia articles to jokes in Reader’s Digest (the jokes paid better). His six and a half published books include four John Smyth murder mysteries and one other, stand-alone novel. In his spare time, he operates Mill Lake Books, a small publishing imprint. His website is
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3 Responses to Black Angus: A Dramatic Dialogue by James R. Coggins

  1. Shirley Strait says:



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