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solitudes were as happy as that of the maritime branch of
the Clan MacAndy — the branch that had to abandon the
hardships of Berneray for the amenities of wind and tide,
of quivered star and sickled moon.
The folks of Berneray declare that, when the long-tailed
duck is uttering his sharp, impatient cry, he actually is
sneering at his less fortunate brethren, who toil upon the
The Language of the Widgeons.
And there's an old Gaelic fragment come down to us, in
which the language of the Clann 'ic Anndaidh has been
reduced to writing. Some believe this fragment to have
been composed by Sir Norman MacLeod of Berneray, who,
as you will remember, was knighted after the Battle of
Worcester in 1651, and whose sword is one of the many
interesting relics preserved at Dunvegan Castle. The
following is a literal translation of one of the verses com-
posing this fragment :
" Clan MacAndy!
Clan MacAndy!
Weakly clansmen !
Puny clansmen !
Vioch ! voch ! vuch I
Uv-uv ! uv-uv ! uv-uv !
The widgeon, or long-tailed lach, is native to Hebridean
waters ; and without his fitful presence the Sounds of Harris
and Berneray, the Sounds of Eriskay and Barra, would
lack much. And you should lie in concealment by the
primitive landing-place at the Leac Bhan (the northernmost
point of North Uist, from which the Island of Berneray is
distant less than three cables), when this clan is skimming
across the troubled waters of the Narrows, or bobbing
rapturously in the tide-churned inlets of Bays Loch and
Loch Borve.

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