BURNS' VOICES WINNERS
 
First prize: Jack Cuthbertson, P7, Conon Bridge Primary, Highland
Second prize: Molly Burns, P7, St Boswell’s Primary, Scottish Borders
Third prize: Hannah Wright, P6, Sound Primary, Shetland 

Itchy Coo and the Centre for Robert Burns' Studies are delighted to announce the winners of our Scots writing competition, Burns' Voices. 
 
We asked you to write in Scots from the point of view of a creature or character which appears in a poem by Robert Burns. And you sent us scripts with the voices of cuddies, mice, bairns and beasties, and even a cat. 
 
Liz Lochhead who was the judge of this competition said all the entries were 'lovely fresh and creative, full of sound and Scots voices'. Many thanks to Liz for reading through all the entries. 
 
Ah'm cawed Meg and ah'm a fine grey mare....
Jack Cuthbertson from Conon Bridge Primary is our winner for his exciting retelling of Tam o Shanter. Weel done, Conon Jack!

To read Jack's story, scroll doon.
 

Commended
Euan Burns, P6, Sound Primary, Shetland
Ross Bunting, S1, Duncanrig Secondary, South Lanarkshire
Katie Tait, P6, Sound Primary, Shetland
Fred Culley, P7, Cleish Primary, Perth & Kinross
Emma Clanahan, P7, Girvan Primary, South Ayrshire
Amy Platt, S1, Duncanrig Secondary, South Lanarkshire 
 
Special Mention
Rachel Muirhead, P7, Bowhouse Primary, Falkirk
Amy Gordon, S2, Larkhall Academy, South Lanarkshire
Megan Ferguson, S1, Banchory Academy, Aberdeenshire
Megan Collie, P7, Gardenrose Primary, Scottish Borders
Marnie Archibald, Jamie Ozad, Kelsea Hendry & Mary-Jane Flynn, St Marie’s Primary, Fife 

1st place
Meg the Horse
 

 
Ah’m cawed Meg and ah’m a fine grey mare. 
 
Ah ken fine horses dinnae aften speak but ah’ve git a tale tae tell. Ah wis waitin ootside the auld tavern for Maister Tam who’d been inside as usual wi his auld freend, Souter Johnie. He lowpit on tae ma back, nae a care in the world, ignorin his ain wife Kate’s advice no tae stay oot tae late and nae git drunk. We galloped on through the nicht, Tam singin his hairt oot until we cam tae the auld Kirk Alloway. The lichts bleezed on sae ah slowed doon and wis afraid tae gang any further sae Tam urged me on tae investigate. Ah stood hinkin aboot the hey that wis waitin for me in ma ain stable aw warm and safe until ah pit ma heid up tae see an unco sicht o warlocks and witches dancin roon the graves. Ah looked even further tae see the Deil himsel playin his pipes. The great black hairy beast sat there horns as shiny as polished pearls and his tail lookin as shairp as if it had a sting in it. Ah stood there, ma mooth drappin doon further and further tae the groond ablow until ma stupit maister blurted oot, “Weel done, Cutty Sark!” Nae sooner had he said this then the lichts went oot and the band o ghosties and ghoulies cam poorin oot. Tam skelped ma back and we chairged aff intae the stormy nicht. Ah wis gaun as fast as possible but ah had a haill load o witches on ma tail. We heided for the river because witches cannae cross runnin watter. “Why did he no take his wife’s advice and steyed at hame?” ah thocht. 
 
“Thae bloomin witches,” Tam scraiched. He dooshed me harder and harder until ah could gae nae faster and ah lowped. Jist as ah did this, a witch poued ma tail and ah felt an almichty tug. We were safe. 
 
Ah made it ower the keystane o the brig but yon witch tore ma braw grey tail richt aff. Sae there ye are. Ma maister’s an eejit and ah’m a grey mare wi nae mair tail tellin ye this tail aboot hoo ma tail come aff. 
 
Jack Cuthbertson, P7, Conon Bridge Primary, Highland 

First runner up
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… 
 
Ah hae nae mair strength. Ah cannae say fareweel tae ma faimily. Ah maun juist finn a wee place o rest til the derkness cams. Ah ken ah’ll ne’er see a bonnie pink sky again or gang sportin ower the bonnie braes. Nae mair…. 
 
Molly Burns, P7, St Boswell’s Primary, Scottish Borders

Second runner up
Meg


Da streen I lost me tail. Lat me tell de whit happened. Tam wis in da inn gettin fou. He wis drinkin nappy and whisky. He wis haein an aafil lot o beer. He wis bein gavelous and traan. I wis waatchin aa dis fae furt. I wisna aafil blyde! Joost afore Tam and me wir aboot ta leave an aald wife cam up tae Tam and spoed aboot wir gaet hom. 
 
Dan we left da inn and started wir vaege hom. It wis a braaly ill nicht. It wis blashy and da wind wis oobin. We geed across da rigs. It wis aa guttery and I wis eltit aa ower wi gutter. Dan Tam and me passed da aald vod Kirk Alloway. Dere wis witches and aa sorts o tings rantin. Dir wis a devil near da window playin da bagpipes. Dey were gaen faster and faster, dan suddenly Tam shouted oot, “Weel done, Cutty Sark!” Dan it wis aa mirk. Suddenly da witches and warlocks ran efter wis. Dey were gaen as fast as dey could go. Da witches couldna go oer da water. Dan whan Tam and me were joost aboot ta reach da idder edge dan wan o da witches jamp, and insteid o gettin Tam, dey gripped me tail and yarked it aff. 
 
Hannah Wright, P6, Sound Primary, Shetland 
 
Writing in the Scots Language for P6 – S2

Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns was a very skilful writer. He could look at a person or a creature and write down exactly what that character was thinking and feeling.

P6-S2 Burns' Voices Competition Pack (152kb pdf download)

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