The Medium Has the Message

The Burns Monument, Ayr © Jenne Gray

A brand new challenge – check it out here: Min Min.
In no more than 250 words write a story inspired by ‘The Best Laid Schemes o’ Mice and Men Gang Aft Agley

The Medium Has the Message

This is crazy. Why did I even come here? Just because her stupid cat dies and she thinks he’ll come to her though a medium? She drags me along, and then it’s my name that’s called? There must be thousands of Janeys in the universe. I’m out of here. I’ve an essay to write on that Scottish poet. Choose a poem, they said. Write an essay, they said. What they didn’t say is how you’re meant to understand all that old Scots stuff.

What? No, I don’t know anybody called Kate. And who’s Tam? Her husband? Well I don’t know him either. Okay, if I don’t know them, how can I know Meg, whoever she is? Wait, she what now? Had her tail pulled out? This is ridic… Whoa, hang on a minute, could you ask him if his name’s Robert? It is? Robert Burns? Really? Now you’re talking. That’s Tam O’Shanter he’s quoting. He must want me to use that for my essay. *

What’s that? He says I’ve to choose A Man’s a Man for A’ That. He has to be kidding. Can you imagine what the PC brigade will make of that title? He’s adamant, is he? I’ve to take the last three lines as the heading for my essay and discuss them as he meant them and never mind the complainers? Okay, if that’s what he wants. Here goes…

It’s comin yet for a’ that
That Man to Man the warld o’er
Shall brithers be for a’ that. **

  • Tam O’Shanter is one of Rabbie’s famous poems. It tells the story of a man who rides home late, after an evening in the inn with his cronies. On the way he becomes entangled with witches and warlocks, and it’s his horse that pays the price… It’s a fun poem and translations are available!
  • ** It’s coming yet for all that, that man to man the world over shall brothers be for all that.


  1. Sorry, all too much for this Sassenach colonial. Ah dinnae ken, Jenne, but my understanding gang aft agley. Can you imagine what the Scottish PC brigade will make of that? 🙂


    • I humbly crave your indulgence – no, that won’t do! That’s archaic as well. Geez, I must be old! I’ve added some explanations, Doug. I hope that helps.Tam O’Shanter – even in translation – is a good read. And as C. E. says, those final lines of A Man’s a Man stir the heart every time. It’s the mission of the United Nations really. Thanks for reading – or trying to…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Superb tribute to our National Bard, Jenne, laced with humour as his words were.
    The video you share is well known to most Scots, but the closing stanzas still bring a lump to my throat.
    Gaun yersel, lass!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you kindly. And for explaining to our esteemed host.
      I get shivers up my spine every time I see Sheena Wellington rouse the audience to join in and hear the final stanza.
      Is it coincidence or did the Beeb once have a sense of irony, the camera passing by the royal family a couple of times when the worth of the common man is mentioned?


  3. I just love Burns’ optimism. Or maybe I’m just an old cynic. (With a tongue-in-cheek emphasis on ‘old’ as referenced by my archaic language.) See, I’m learning to be offended with the best of them in this current culture. 🙂 I’m only joking of course – I enjoyed the interchange in the comments as well as your inventive story. Well done.


    • Oh Sandra, I think if Rabbie had lived today, much offence wold have been taken and he would undoubtedly have been ‘cancelled’. And we’d have been the poorer for that. I have my teeth clamped together and my fingers on a leash at the keyboard to prevent me from a ‘rant’ about the current use of the word ‘offended’. I’ll just focus on thanking you for commenting so pithily and kindly, and saying that I share Rabbie’s optimism, in spite of much evidence to the contrary.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great & beautiful way to rouse a body of law and policy makers: remind them of the greater purpose and people whom they serve. And all joined in!
    And be ye Janet, or Meg, or anyone really, you’ll have to hold on tight and long to bring things right, and bring Tam back to his true home. Especially if he’s had his head turned by the fae.
    Same goes for school essays and Min Min challenges. 😉


    • You made me laugh with that last line, Liz.
      Yes, he was a real poet of the people and wasn’t afraid to speak the truth to power. I have to say – again – that I get shivers in the spine at that last stanza when Sheils Wellington got everyone to join in – including Prince Philip and the now King Charles, who were present for the opening of the parliament. As was Queen Elizabeth.
      Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. …will my colonial heathen show if I try for a musical joke reference to the Godfather of Soul, James (‘Seumas Broon>/em>) Brown’s masterpiece, ‘It’s a Man’s World’?

    ok… I’ll refrain myself, in the interest of lasting in the group more than two entries.

    Like the mixed media and the inclusion of one my favorite laugh-line, “Wait, she what now?


    • Your ‘colonial heathen’ is fine, Clark. Consider the ending ‘ that man tae man the warld o’er shall brithers be for all that.’ All welcome. (Although the pedant in me can’t prevent herself from changing Seamus – which is the Irish version – to Hamish Broon. AH! Edit! Oh no, the pedant is undone. You’re quite right. Hamish, I now know, is the vocative of Seamus. My humble apologies! * Bows out backwards, tugging forelock!)
      Thank you for commenting – and mentioning what is also one of my own favourite lines, borrowed from your side of the pond. ‘Wait, she what now?’


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