At Doune library the novelist James Robertson read from his collection ‘365 Stories’ a tale of working at the nearby Blair Drummond Safari Park as a student. During the very long, hot, dry summer of 1976 a pit was dug so that an elephant with sore, cracking skin could have a mud bath.

Afterwards as night fell on Flanders Moss footsteps are firm where a month ago they squelched, tadpoles have disappeared from the frogspawn filled peat-puddles, the only creature a black ribbed slug- an antlered “monarch of the moor”- making his own moist trail, wetly silvering the boardwalk in the moonlight over the elephant skin cracks of the bog’s dry surface.


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