Tuesday, March 31, 2009

LONGTAILS AND BRIDLE PATHS - MY WORLD


What no longtails?

My World

Following on from yesterday I continue the path past the stumpy tree and find myself on the bridle path leading into town. Until as recently as two weeks ago this path was a sorry sight, submerged in muddy puddles, threadbare grass and desolate. Spring has sprung, the grass is seeding( and as you can see freshly mowed by the council) and the foliage is spouting in the meadow to the left. Even the archway of tree has sprung to life again on the right hand side of the image. Soon there will be birds on berries wild, wild, rabbits frolicking (yes definitely lots of frolicking of rabbits here) and of course longtails scurrying. What you don't know what a longtail is? You may know them as a different name. If I said Pied Piper would you know now? Ah yes you do, but why do we call them Longtails here?


Longtails are better known as Rats. One of the first things you learn when you move here is do not under any circumstances say the word Rat or Rats out loud.


The origins of this barmy superstition date to sea-taboos. Certain words and practices were not allowed to be mentioned aboard ship, for fear of attracting bad luck (or worse, bad weather.)This particular sea-taboo is one amongst many and never used to apply on land. It has become a popular modern myth that the word is somehow "unlucky" and has been adopted by some as a typical Manx weird saying, even though older Manx generations had no qualms in using the word, or its Manx Gaelic version "roddan". In modern times, even non-local and non-superstitious people will refrain from using the "r" word. They take it very seriously here you know. Other alternatives for the superstitious also include joey, ringie, queerfella, iron fella and roddan. Perhaps you know these.


Until I moved to the island I used to say the R. word. Not anymore. I have seen 3 since I moved here( which I have called all Basil of course!) but none when I lived on mainland Great Britain. Newcomers to the island can often be found laughing at the cheeky squirrel they nickname stumpy as they think it's lost it's tail. They are even known to feed them. We have no squirrels on the island, just cheeky longtails that you will sometimes see darting about the bridle path being chased by cat. Yes we can call a cat a cat but a ra.... is a longtail. Don't even get me started on what a longhair is!



Klaus, Imac, Fishing Guy, Ivar, Tom, Louise, Wren, Sandy and others are to thank for the My World neme. Click here for more my world's just for fun again of course.

One more thing before I go.



RATS, RATS, RATS!


No one said I couldn't type it!

62 comments:

koala said...

I'd just prefer not to see them rather so there would be no need to say 'Rats' (or type)

Olivier said...

les couleurs sont magnifiques...beau contrasme entre le ciel et l'herbe

Titania said...

Thank you Babooshka, I enjoyed your tale about the Longtail so very much. You live in a beautiful and very interesting place. I have learned new folklore, new words and also had a smile on my face while reading your story, you made my day.
mine is on thisandthat)

ViennaDaily said...

ah superstitions ruin lots of good things lol. including a beautiful blue sky haha. the weather there seems better!

Guy D said...

Great story with an equally impressive photo, very beautiful.

Have a great week!
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Sylvia K said...

Always love your posts and you always make me laugh! The photo is gorgeous! Amazing what a little warmth can do! And the sky is beautiful! Now, as for those r--- er, longtails you can keep them.
Thanks for the great post and the laughs!

Don said...

Yer mad B*gger. We called them joey down here. Thanks for the laffs.

Lanny said...

Your tale of tails has made me smile, thanks for the visit.

imac said...

Oh Rats- oopps sorry, but didnt say it just typed it.
Great pic and story, really enjoyed it.

Carolyn said...

What a wonderful post and thanks for the information on the "longtails". Isn't amazing how fast things green up with a couple of warm, wet days. Thank you for sharing your part of the world.
Smiles

Rob Inukshuk said...

Long tails indeed. So not saying it means they don't exist? Well, I'm never saying taxes again!

Carver said...

That's a stunning shot. I'd love to be walking under that sky looking for the new rats oops I mean longtails. Great story. I'd never heard about that before. I enjoy your island lore so much.

fishing guy said...

Babooshka: What a ratty post for certain. As if saying it would make more rats appear.

Jin said...

Rats! Rats! Rats!

ewok1993 said...

thanks for the education. very amusing post.

Tarolino said...

Totally fascinating saga again. I'm sure they exist on the mainland too. Those longtails. I shall refrain from using that three-letter-word in this company. Your world is very green. Very very green. I so long for green. It probably was made obvious? Yet rabbits merrily frollic in Helsinki too and multiply like ... well rabbits. How they got there is a mystery but now they are in their thousands and as there are little green things in winter they just eat practically everything.

I always thought those yellow terraced houses were quite English in style you know.

kayleen said...

I chuckled throughout! Longtails indeed! Great photo as always!

Small City Scenes said...

Rats!!!! MB

Buck said...

I'm so enjoying the 'My World' series, and not just for the photography. I hope you're having as much fun doing it as I am reading it!!

SandyCarlson said...

You make me laugh! These are wonderful.

Today's Blah... said...

Same here, taboo to name out the RATS out loud coz they say it'd come more often, hahahah....what a belief.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Ha! I enjoyed this post a lot. And the photo is lovely. It bears clicking to enlarge.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

another excellent vibrant photo.

Mannanan said...

OMG you said the R word.......Funny but I've seen less ringies here on the island than I did back in Brum. We had a nest in the attic and the shed urrggghhhhh. They gnawed through an old brick and cement into the cavity wall. Thankfully they weren't there for long as the dog heard them straight away. Got the council guy in and he did his bit.Is your image from along the old railway line? Cracking walk.

Jacob said...

Yikes. I much prefer the bunnies. We had a long-tail get caught in the a/c unit the other day. You wouldn't believe the noise it made.

He was dispatched to his maker.

I was going to say I'd like to walk along this path, but then you rodently surprised me.

Louise said...

You made me laugh... hard!

I like your photo, and I was thinking "Longtail" was going to be the bird I saw when I was in Bermuda. But the story you gave is hilarious.

gogouci said...

No longtails here, just pesky mice. We rely on the cats to rid us of them. Beautiful picture.

Virginia said...

The R word makes me insane. Had a bout with them in my last home. Nightmares to this day.

This photo is such a peaceful, beautiful place B. It makes me want to visit!
V

Marites said...

First pic is really pretty. It's interesting to know that some culture consider mentioning names of something as unlucky:). Really nice post you got.

Ebie said...

What a folklore, and thanks for sharing. Yes, we are all so thankful with the organizers and making this meme a success.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I'm a sucker for a path and learning something new, you've given me both tonight!

Thanks,

alicesg said...

Nice and funny post. I hate rats. Once I saw a very huge rat at a bus stop, I just scream and jump on to the bench...lol.

Barb said...

Babooshka - you are a great storyteller! But PLEASE, don't say the R word!

Lily Hydrangea said...

beautiful landscape! & so green! we could use some of that color over here.

Indrani said...

:D
The way you present your stuffs.
I always enjoy reading them.

Jack and Joann said...

Longtails makes the _ats sound so much nicer and lovable. Loved your historic explanation of the longtails.

By the way, since you live on an island off the mainland of Britain I thought I would mention to you a great book that I'm reading right now: THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, by Mary Ann Shaffer and annie Barrows. The setting is World War II and after on the island of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands between England and Normandy France that was occupied by the German Nazi soldiers.

Have a good week.

Arija said...

LOL, isn't it great to have superstitions. Where would we be without them?
When we hear pitter patter on the roof, we may silently point upward and say in a warning way "do not mention the Scottish play" lest we jinx it to stop.

Megha Chhatbar said...

Beautiful shot ans it a pleasure to be on your blog. BTW I have started a new blog dedicated to my sketch work — Art on Sketchbook

antigoni said...

Very funny post! But i don't think it's funny when you live next to ra... oh sorry, longtails.

Reader Wil said...

Ha, ha.. I love those stories! Superstition is something I didn't see much here in Holland. Your story is great! Some people however are rats, but how do you call them? Anyway..Thanks for your visit and have a nice day!

Bibi said...

I remember your 'rats' explanation. Can't stand even to see the white ones they sell for pets; don't like their naked tails. Would love to stroll through your photo, though.

Chrissie said...

Longtails Argh! There are so many in Peel but you only see them at night.

shaker said...

Thanks for sharing !

Brett said...

Great post yet again, love spending time here just wish i had more of it.

Gattina said...

Your photo is beautiful!
I personally have nothing against rats, when they are tame, they can be very intelligent and cute :-)

Mo said...

How did they get there? Did they all swim across or did the mainlanders ship them over, drop them off and say ha ha your problem now. Thought you might be interested in part of an overheard conversation. 'They should hold the G20 on the Isle of Mann, less distruption to us...' a response was ' yes the police could all hold hands around the island'. An novel approach.

Mojo said...

Figures. Sailors are a superstitious lot aren't they? Worse than hockey players. Or even bowlers!

Elisabeth's bright side said...

Beautiful photo, I really like your arch, it's a nice path you have there. I enjoyed your stumped treetrunk too!

Pam said...

Wonderful photo. Your story made me laugh out loud, Thanks!

william ding said...

Very nice!
My blog: http://go-joke-time.blogspot.com ! Join Us!

2sweetnsaxy said...

Beautiful area. I can only imagine how nice it must be to ride through there. Great info about the rats too. Who knew?
:-)

nomad™ said...

i love ur photoraphy....so nice...^^

Kelly said...

What a beautiful sky!

Lakshmi said...

thats a very interesting story..Ive been learning so much over the last few days about this wonderful world we live in

Christy said...

Beautiful image and great story to go along with it. Thanks for sharing it is always fun to learn interesting bits of history. Also thanks for stopping by my blog and for the nice comments you left for me there. Pictures of inside the sugarhouse are hard to get because the lighting is so dark. Although the day I took the image that I showed they were not open so I couldn't have gotten any that day but I have tried in the past and will most definitely try again in the future.

Boise Diva said...

You're so sassy - I love it.

allhorsestuff said...

Ooou! I would be heard in all parts if I saw one of them "Longtails' that actually does not have one?
OH! I do the the bridle path view though...just putting the ..rrrLongtail out of my minds eye!

I got something in the mail yesterday that made me think of you....a Crown coin piece that is on a string of Lapis beads. I bought from an American jewler I featured today for MWT. It is a 1984 Olympiad horseback rider jumping. The Isle of Man had it commisioned.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I have never heard of a longtail, interesting. It all just looks so English!

chrome3d said...

I liked the way you circled around the subject and then reveal it in all it´s red, red, red repetitious glory!

Lantaw said...

beautiful scenery!

I hate rats :)

Susie of Arabia said...

Such a pretty photo, and then... your longtail story! Funny how superstitious some people can be. We caught the biggest rat in our garage in Florida - yeccchhh!

Erin said...

a rat is a rat...lol.
but the substitute name is kinda cute in its own way.
enjoyed your post and photos as always.

^..^

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin