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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Heron by J K Annand


'Heron', by JK Annand, is one of the poems from 'The Kist' -  an anthology of Scots (and Gaelic) poetry and prose that was digitised by Education Scotland and gifted to the Scots Language Centre so that teachers and learners can continue to benefit from this valuable resource.

Heron by J K Annand


A humphy-backit heron
Nearly as big as me
Stands at the waterside
Fishin for his tea.
His skinnie-ma-linkie lang legs
Juist like reeds
Cheats aa the puddocks
Soomin mang the weeds,
Here’s ane comin,
Grup it by the leg!
It sticks in his thrapple
Then slides doun his craig.
Neist comes a rottan,
A rottan soomin past,
Oot gangs the lang neb
And has the rottan fast.
He jabs it, he stabs it,
Sune it’s in his wame,
Flip-flap in the air
Heron flees hame.


Learning Resources




Read the poem and listen to the audio file. Think about what the heron sees, hears, feels and thinks as he waits.


  1. What size is the heron?
  2. What does it look like?
  3. Where does it live?
  4. What does it eat?
  5. How does it catch its prey?




Task 1

Many of Annand 's poems are about birds. look at the table below, which has Scots names for birds. Try and find out the equivalent words in English and write them in the table.

Do you know any other Scots names for birds?








robin reidbreist


















tommie norrie




Task 2

'His skinnie-ma-linkie lang legs'

Do you know where the poet got this description from?

  1. Try to imagine the thoughts of a heron standing, staring into the water, waiting for a chance to catch something.
  2. Find images of herons, if you can.
  3. Try writing your own bird poem.
  • Before you begin to write, choose a bird that you can observe at school or at home. Make notes on its size, appearance, colour, environment, sounds, feeding habits, behaviour and flight. Think about what the bird will see and hear.