Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sidehill Cronchers and Haggis

Joe Citro had some fun with his April Fool's commentary this morning. Known for telling tales about ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural happenings, this morning we learned about the elusive sidehill croncher, a deer-wild boar hybrid with shorter legs on one side to accommodate mountainside grazing.

One discerning listener, John from West Cornwall, thought it sounded familiar, and wrote us to tell a tale of his own:

I was struck by the commentary this morning on strange creatures of the Vermont woods.When the commentator talked about the diference in length of right and left legs, I knew the story was a hoax and taken from Scotland.

We all know the haggis, tasty Scottish culinary treat, now a sheep's stomach stuffed with goodies. But before it was made from sheep haggis came from the haggie, which roamed the Scottish glens, and had legs of different lengths on right and left, and could only run around the mountains, not up and down.

However, in Scotland the haggie were both clockwise and counter-clockwise runners. Their
mating ritual was particularly interesting when haggie going in different directions met. The resulting aerial acrobatics had to be seen to be believed, and could not be bettered even by Kelly Clark or Hannah Teter. The mating result became the sheep of today.

Haggie were captured to eat by running a fence up and down the hill. The haggie running into the fence and rolling to the bottom where they were quickly dispatched. The ease of catching them, coupled with the sheep being the result of their mating is why the haggie is not seen today, but is why the haggis is made from sheep parts. Thought you'd like the info.

Here's what we think: the Cronchers are related to the Haggie. A Haggie stowed away on a Viking ship to Greenland, moved south, and eventually mated with a wild boar. Simple as that!

Happy April Fool's Day!

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