There was a bold young climber lad in days of long ago
And he was wont to wander where the thyme and heather grow
His boots were made of leather and his gaiters they were blue
His rucksack came from Tiso’s and had cost a quid or two
He came at length to fair Kintail and up Gleann Lichd did go
And here he chanced to pitch his tent beside the River Croe
He climbed upon the rocky heights and scaled the Sisters Five
And sang as he cooked his instant mash, so glad to be alive
But a stalker owned the land around and also all the deer
And he’s great big belly pot from drinking too much beer
He wore a loose tweed jacket and a pair of tartan hose
And there was malice in his eye, and snot upon his nose
So jealous of his game preserve around it he did creep
And came to where the climber lay within his pit asleep
He pushed his shotgun through the tent and ordered him to stand
The climber lad did rise in fear and high did lift his hands
"Who gave you leave to walk my land, who gave you leave to come
And pitch your tent beside my burn, you filthy climbing scum?
Who gave you leave to light your stove, and sleep upon my grass?
I’ll have no more of trespassers; prepare to breathe your last!"
So saying did the stalker raise his shotgun for to fire
The climber’s life was at that moment all he did desire
But then up spoke the climber lad with sorrow in his eye
"Kind sir, my life be pleased to spare, for I’m too young to die!"
"Now tell to me" the stalker said, "Why I should stay my hand?
For I will suffer none to live that trespass on my land."
The climber said "I meant no harm, and now my life I crave,
For I shall never climb again when I am in my grave"
The stalker laughed both loud and long, "No grave you’ll have!" said he
For you shall lie upon the braes for all the world to see!
The ravens they shall pick thy bones, the crows shall gather round
That others may a warning take from one who crossed my ground"
"I’ll give to you my bivy bag, my crampons sharp and true
And I will give you Mars Bars three, and both my gaiters blue
Oh, take my instant curried prawns - and here’s a piece of cheese
And a bottle of Newcastle Brown; but sir, don’t kill me, please!"
The stalker looked him in the eye and said "What use could be
Your gaiters and your crampons and your curried prawns to me?
I care not for this kind of thing; your life is at an end;
So stand you up against that wall, and I shall count to ten."
The climber did as he was told: "One last request!" cried he
"Wilt hang my boots upon the branch of yonder rowan tree?
For I have climbed on many hills, and mountains by the score
But now my days are at an end, and I shall climb no more!"
The stalker raised his barrels two, and aimed with evil grin
He lined his sights upon the lad, and bent his finger in.
The stalker pulled the trigger, and the noise did fill the trees,
As his shotgun it exploded, and he fell upon his knees
"You yet shall reap the harvest of this fateful day!" he roared
"For my spirit shall return and haunt Gleann Lichd for evermore!"
Then rolling on his side he fell face downwards in the mire
And his blood did stain the heather as the stalker did expire
The climber stood dumbfounded as he watched this dreadful thing
And peed himself in sheer relief, and danced a Highland Fling
And then from out the mountainside a voice came cold and clear
"I am the ghost of Norman Collie; all shall stand in fear."
"This deed have I performed this night that stalkers all shall see
That those who seek the climber’s life shall perish just as he
But you, my lad, who stood in peril, you are free to go
So give to Mountain Rescue, and bow thrice toward Glencoe."
So saying, did the voice depart, the glen in silence lay
The climber lad did marvel as he went upon his way
His rucksack filled with carry-outs, his spirits they were high
For life is sweet to one who has so nearly passed it by
But the wicked stalker finds no peace, and wanders all alone
And through the shadows of Gleann Lichd his spectral angers roam
So be wary, all you climbers who come here the night to spend
For this evil figure’s shade will make your hair to stand on end
He knocks upon the bothy door; demands to know who’s there
And, impotent, his malice climbs a-creaking up the stair
For little love he bears the likes of climbers such as we
Who ramble on the mountains where we have the right to be