Wednesday 20 April 2011

Don't hear a Cuckoo on an empty stomach

Talking of interesting Islay stories, I was told one today by my colleagues at work who were simply amazed that I had not heard it before.  We were talking about hearing the cuckoo for the first time, and one of the girls had indeed heard one down near Portnahaven a couple of days ago.  I have not been so lucky however, and I was told to make sure I always had 'something in my stomach'. 
It seems that it is well known that to hear the first cuckoo with an empty stomach is to meet a certain and sudden end.  There are still folk on Islay, I am assured, who sleep in the springtime with a digestive buscuit and a glass of water by the bed, which they eat as soon as they wake up, quickly, for fear that they will hear a cuckoo before they do so.  Once they have eaten and subsequently heard the bird, they will be just fine until next year...
Photo: John Carey

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