Monday, 1 December 2008

Bit Twa: The Big Caul Snap

Afore we commence on a braw new episode in the histry o' the Ulster Scot, ah need til address a wee point raised by yin o' oor raiders. In Bit Yin Ah made tha mistake o' usin the Inglis wurds, "Part One" insteid o' the richt wurds "Bit Yin". Ah'm wile sad tae a made that wee mistake an ah'll try fur nat tae dae it agin. Mainwile, back tae.....

Bit Twa.

The Big Caul Snap

In Bit Yin we hid a wee luk at the DINOSAURS!!!! the big bastes* that scoured oor wee land a lock o' million years hence. We lurned that they mebbe had a wee bit o' Ulster Scots in them but we niver found out whit happened til them. Naebodies tae sure but the palaeontologits reckon that it micht have bin a touch o' climate change that put a stap tae them. Nowadays we think o' this as been a wee bit o' warmin', which in my buk is nae bad thing, but back then it was global caulin' that was exercisin' the mines o' the DINOSAURS!!!!. It seems some kind o' cataclysmic happenin' happened that made the hole place caul, and the poor auld DINOSAURS!!!!, terrifyin' as they micht hiv bin, cudnae cope wi' it. As caul bludded bastes, they cudnae hannle the bad wither, an' when the hate went, they went with it, leavin' only a few bastes like frogs tae carry oan their genes. Palaeontolgits call this time the Big Caul Snap.

As the name Big Caul Snap suggests it got wile caul wile quick. The ice spread doon frae the nairth pole an' soon hit us here, so after a wheen o' years the hole o' Ulster was inunther the ice. Now we're not takin' a bad frost here, we're takin a guid few hunner feet o' ice, so there was nae danger o' oany normal type o' bastes gittin by in these parts. Whit ye micht hiv foun' roun' here wud a bin bastes that yid normally expek til fine aroun' the Nairth Poll taeday. Thus, if ye were tae visit County Antrim in 25,000 BC** ye micht hiv bumped intil a poler bear, a seal or a pinguin, but there'd have been nae chance o' meetin' any folk knockin' aboot.

"But whit?" sez ye, "Nae folk? This is near as bad as Bit Yin wi' the DINOSAURS!!! Whur dae ye fine Ulster Scots in the Caul Snap?". Well ye may say that, but yid be barkin' in the wrang park! Oor friend Wullie McIlveen, a properly qualified man frae Department o' Auld Larnin' at the University o' Mid Antrim, has also takin' a luksee at the Caul Snap. He raises a couple o' interestin' points.
  • Yin - Whur did the ice come frae? The most likely anser is frae Scotland, as it is generally cauler than here. If ye luk at the wither forecast frae time tae time yil see that the wither in the Free State is usually a wee bit warmer than here, so the caulness cudnae hae come up the ways.
  • Twa - Ye may recall that a wheen o' year hence the Ulster Scots actor Morgan Freeman taked o'er a wee film aboot pinguins. Naw if ye think back til that yil mind that it was called "March o' the Pinguins." It wasnae called "Feile na Pinguin" oer similar, an' fur guid reason. The bastes of the caul snap clearly came frae the marchin' tradition that is held dear in Ulster til this very day.

  • Thrie - If ye luk closely at oor picture o' the pinguins above, ye'll see a wee orange collar on thon necks o' theres. Need more be said? Yit agin Wullie McIlveen has hit the nail oan the heid, and allowed us tae git a fuller grasp o' oor past.
Nixt time, in Bit Thrie, we'll tak a we luk at whit came nixt - the arrival o' the mammals.

* Dinnae forget these may nae hae existed.

** We can't be tae sure o' years.


Anonymous said...

In my ain toon we always minded this time as 'the big snaw'. We still hae the odd bison on a Friday night roon here.

Oul Bin Hoker

Anonymous said...

An interestin' point Bin Hoker, and ye hiv shewn the rich variety o' the hamely tongue. Bein'frae posh Hillsboro' yis go fur snaw, but roun' these parts we hiv the Caul Snap. Nae bisons roun' here, but a fair few mooses.

Prof Billy McWilliams