The Black Wolf : Rough and violent. We carve up things to make lanterns.
Kara : Callm, they seem so scared of us. Do you think someone has said something about us to them?
The Black Wolf : I can’t think what. I mean, I’ve killed everyone who might say something. From the 16th century in Ireland and Scotland, the festival included folks going about dressed up, reciting verses, or singing a song. Nowadays it’s called trick or treating, or guising. We also have parties.
Kara ; Oh aye. We’re not savages you know. We are very sociable. Fallon, Callm’s wee daughter plays knife throwing. She can hit a hamster at 20 paces. That was a joke by the way. Although she can. She takes after her father that way. No we play ducking or dooking for hamsters, I mean apples in a basin of water, and then there’s the treacle game. That’s where we hang a treacle covered hamster, sorry, scone, on a string from the ceiling and you have to eat it with your hands tied behind your back as it swings back and forward.
The Black Wolf : Princess, did I ever tell you how scary you are?
Kara : When I went to the bother of getting the little sods a recipe?
The Black Wolf : You’re not exactly a cook. Anyway, they’d probably sooner spread treacle on your shoes and eat them.
Kara : Just the same. Here it is.
8 oz self-raising flour (all-purpose flour with baking powder in USA)
2 oz butter
1 oz caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons black treacle (molasses) or golden syrup (light corn syrup)
Pinch of salt
Approximately quarter pint of milk
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, treacle or syrup and enough milk to make a soft dough. Knead this on a floured surface until it is both moist and elastic. Cut into rounds. For hanging, the rounds, need to be large and flat. Hamster Dickens sitting on them as opposed to eating them would give the idea shape.
Grease a baking sheet (cookie sheet) and place the rounds on this. Brush with a little milk and bake for 10/15 minutes in an oven, pre-heated to 425F/220C/Gas Mark 7 until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack and hang. covered in treacle, voila —to quote by late father’s (courtesy of yourself Callm), French friend– from the ceiling.
The Black Wolf. Better hamsters than you have asked me that. But gather round,
let me finish this with a Scottish ghost story about a man who did.
Several versions exist, but they all involve the Earl Beardie, thought to be the 4th Earl of Crawford playing cards at Glamis Castle. One of Scotland’s most haunted castles.
The clock struck 12. Midnight. It was now the Sabbath so no-one would play on.
The earl was angry. He said he would play with the very devil himself.
The door flew open. A tall man dressed in black walked into the room.
The stranger was, of course, the Devil, who won the nobleman’s most precious possession – his immortal soul. After his death, Earl Beardie was condemned to gamble with the Devil for all eternity. Often, at night, the sound of raucous play emanated from the fateful chamber.
Eventually, the occupants of the castle had it sealed up.