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Of course , you’ve left something out, said Carrie.

What do you mean? I replied, ordering a refill of my previous

drink.

Well, you’ve rabbited on about blackberries and Michaelmas, but you

didn’t mention Domhnach Curran, Carrot Sunday.

Are you having me on? I asked suspiciously.

No-not at all.  My Scottish granny told me all about the traditions in

the Hebrides where the wild carrots were gathered on the Sunday before

Michaelmas.

And…?

..and the carrots were brought in on the Eve of St Michael, having been dug

out of triangular holes, representing the shield of the saint, by three pronged

mattocks, making a reference to the Trinity, or in pagan times to the three

stages of womanhood.

Who brought the vegetables in- the men?

No, the lassies, who tied the bunches up with red thread.  If they found

one with a forked root, it was considered lucky.

A kind of fertility symbol?

I suppose so.  Remember the poem ‘Goe and Catch a Falling Star’ by John

Donne?  We studied it at Uny.

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...

Oh yes: ‘get with child a mandrake root’.  I suppose root vegetables can

be rather phallic.

Yes, hmm… Anyway, there is a special carrot on Uist, the daucus carota..

Look, why am I getting into all this?  You can Google it on www.

carrotmuseum.com….The women would chant something about their progeny

being pre-eminent over every other progeny.  It reminded me of the

belligerently aspirational yummie mummies around here.

The ones who only want carrots for their kids, but no sticks?

The very ones.

  That sort would probably hope that St Michael would oversee their little

darlings being weighed in the balances and would ensure that they were not

found wanting, I laughed, remembering having seen medieval wall paintings

on a similar theme.  They’d probably start arguing with the Archangels of

Heaven and Hell, wanting favourable outcomes for their special offspring. 

They’d complain to God Himself if they didn’t get their way.

Yes, Carrie grinned, enjoying the scenario.  But the angel from Hell leaned on

the scales to tip the balance in his favour.  Negative discrimination!  That’s

why St Michael had to supervise the operation of the Last Judgement.

So, cheats never win! I cheered. Well, maybe next year I can write a poem

about all that.  By the way, I like the look of that cake you just had.  What

was it?

Carrot, said Carrie.  I hope it doesn’t promote fertility.

No.  In that case, I’ll have the courgette and lime slice. 

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