Of course , you’ve left something out, said Carrie.
What do you mean? I replied, ordering a refill of my previous
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
..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.
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
Carrot, said Carrie. I hope it doesn’t promote fertility.
No. In that case, I’ll have the courgette and lime slice.