10 Edinburgh… Literary Animals
A city of literature is not just its people, but also its animals. Here are some of Edinburgh’s literary furry friends.
Created by author and illustrator Aileen Paterson, Maisie is a mischievous kitten whose tales have made her an enduring Edinburgh icon. Her picture adorns the side of the number 5 bus to Morningside, where she lives.
The Tattoo Fox
The Royal Annual Military Tattoo, held at Edinburgh Castle every year, draw thousands of visitors but it has a furry fan who’s never bought a ticket. Alasdair Hutton made the acquaintance of the Tattoo Fox late one summer evening and was inspired to write her story.
The famous Skye Terrier – Greyfriars Bobby– is said to have guarded his master’s grave in the Greyfriars Kirkyard for 14 years, inspiring books and films. His statue still sits atop a Victorian water fountain near the graveyard. And it’s NOT considered lucky to rub his nose.
Everyone knows that a haggis is an animal, right? Perhaps not, but the story lives on in the form of Hamish McHaggis, the star of a Edinburgh author Linda Strachan’s books for younger readers.
Wojtek the Bear
Adopted as a cub by Polish soldiers in Iran Wojtek had his own rank and number and bravely carried artillery shells for colleagues in battle during the Italian campaign of WWII. Wojtek retired to Edinburgh Zoo and his story is published by Edinburgh publisher Birlinn as Wojtek the Bear: Polish War Hero.
Robert Burns’ Luath
Just a few steps up the road from Robert Burns’ first lodgings in Edinburgh on the Royal Mile are the offices of publisher Luath Press. Their name and logo are Burns’ own dog, named after a dog in Ossian’s epic poem Fingal, immortalised in The Twa Dugs, and responsible for bringing Burns and his wife Jean Armour together.
Clarence and Graham, Edinburgh Books
Clarence the water buffalo is the mascot of Edinburgh Books. It is rumoured that his entire body is on the other side of the wall. His colleague, Graham (a rather stuck-up Grouse), resides in the Scottish window display and disapproves of everything.