Wayfarer Column- The Young Can Be Involved in Dangerous Pursuits

Well the Referendum is over and it has been suggested that some of the promises of greater devolution for Scotland made by Westminster may be a tale too far. We shall just have to wait and see but we have tales of our own to tell and should leave politics to the politicians.

The young often have a charmed life, they can be involved in dangerous pursuits but still come out fit and healthy looking forward to their next escapade.

Back in May 1934 Thomas Watson from Dysart was only three years old when tragedy struck. Out playing with his brothers and friends, his six year old brother was pushing him in a two wheeled barrow along a path near a cliff when the barrow struck a rock, lurched to the side and went careering down the slope towards the cliff edge and was deposited on the rocks below. Some men working nearby rushed to where the child lay prostrate on the ground and were very surprised to find that all he suffered were a few bruises.

It may have been that young Thomas, unaware of how close to death or serious injury he had been, was thrilled by his flight and may have asked for a repeat.

But when you are young with flexible bones and joints accidents do happen, you do not wish a fuss to be made and as long as every part of you was in working condition you just want to get on with the next ploy.

However young Ewan MacDonald was not so lucky when as a young recruit in a Highland regiment he was hanged for murder in September 1752.

His body was cut down and removed to the surgeons’ Hall for dissection. However before they could start the surgeons were called away to attend to a patient in the infirmary and when they returned they found that MacDonald had survived the hanging and was sitting up begging for mercy. No mercy was shown as one of the young surgeons anxious not to be deprived of the opportunity of dissecting a body finished the hangman’s job with a mallet. Ewan MacDonald had been found guilty of murder and hanged, so he was considered dead and his further misfortune may have provided the surgeons with the necessary skills and knowledge to save many lives in the future.

Two tales which may be thought provoking, I am sure that a lot of readers looking back on their childhood can remember times when they had escaped without injury from a serious situation, and no doubt we all feel a certain sympathy for Ewan MacDonald. Look forward to seeing you next week with more tales.