There were a couple of iconic things about Scotland that we were looking forward to.
We wanted to do a whisky tasting. And we wanted to see the Highland Cows. Scotland's famous, shaggy, red cattle with the long horns.
We were at the end of our second week and despairing that we still hadn't seen our first Highland Cow - or as they are called locally "coos". We were beginning to question why a country would choose a mascot that appeared to be in such short supply.
One day, we decided to take a short drive from our rental cottage to Ruthven Barracks, a place built after the 1715 Jacobite Rising to police the Highlands. Ruthven housed a company of infantry along with stables for the horses of the dragoons. it sits on a low knoll surrounded by an empty field.
We had the barracks completely to ourselves.
We explored the main buildings and then wandered out the back gate to check out the stables. As we rounded the back corner of the stables, this is who we found relaxing in the shade.
Judging from the short horns, they were teenagers. The one in the front could have cared less, he was playing it very cool.
The one in the back was a show-off. He got up and wondered toward us before offering what seemed like a very deliberate profile pose.
Then he turned toward me and made a beeline straight to the camera for his close-up.
After the shutter clicked he cocked his head slightly to the left, as if to say, "Your, welcome." and casually walked away.
That's when I decided to name him -- George COOney.
In searching for a good link to give you additional information about Highland Cows, I came across this website from Washington State. http://www.dirtyboots.com/highlands.htm
And another one from Arkansas. http://www.heartlandhighlandcattleassociation.org/
It appears we wouldn't have had to go all the way to Scotland to see them.