Written by Becky Carnaffin for the #DareToDream day of action on Thursday 27th October, part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival of Dreams 2016.

A lintie sits oan a branch o a tree. A man walks up tae the tree. He sees the lintie, an no havin seen a lintie afore, he goes, ‘whit’re you?’ An the lintie says, ‘I’m a lintie’. An the man goes, ‘whit’s a lintie?’ An the lintie says, ‘I sing’. An the man says, ‘but whit’s a lintie?’ An the lintie says ‘I sing.’ ‘Are ye a bird?’, the man says. ‘We’re aw birds’, the lintie says. ‘I’m no’, the man says. The lintie says, ‘whit are you then?’ An the man says, ‘I’m a man’. An the lintie says, ‘whit’s a man?’ An the man takes a shotgun fae affay his shoulder an shoots the lintie deid.

A lintie sits oan a branch o a tree. A man walks up tae the tree. He sees the lintie, an no havin seen a lintie afore, he goes, ‘whit’re you?’ An the lintie says, ‘I’m a lintie’. An the man goes, ‘whit’s a lintie?’ An the lintie says, ‘I sing’. An the man says, ‘but whit’s a lintie?’ An the lintie says ‘I sing.’ ‘Are ye a bird?’, the man says. ‘We’re aw birds’, the lintie says. ‘I’m no’, the man says. The lintie says, ‘whit are you then?’ An the man says, ‘I’m a man’. An the lintie says, ‘whit’s a man?’ An the man takes a shotgun fae affay his shoulder. An the lintie goes, ‘that wis a joke. I’m a man as weel’. An it pulls oot a gun fae under its wing. Points it at the man, pulls the trigger. But it’s jist a wee gun, wi wee sma bullets nae bigger than seeds, an they wee sma bullets barely break through the man’s jaiket. The man laughs an shoots the lintie deid.

A lintie sits oan a branch o a tree. A man walks up tae the tree, sees the lintie, goes ‘whit’re you?’ The lintie says ‘I’m a lintie’. The man says, whit’s a lintie? The lintie laughs. ‘That wis a joke’, it says. ‘I’m a man’. An the lintie pulls oot fae under its wing a gun near twice the size o it. An it shoots the man. An the man faws deid. The lintie laughs, an stumbles back aff the branch. An bein a man noo, an no actually a lintie, it cannae fly, so it faws an breaks its neck.

A lintie sits oan a branch o a tree. It feels something cauld under its wing, diggin in. It brings the cauld thing oot, and wonders at this strange metal contraption, wonders how it came tae be in sic a place as under a lintie’s wing, wonders how it came to be at aw. The lintie doesnae see the man wi the gun below. The man raises his gun an shoots the lintie deid.

A lintie sits oan a branch o a tree. The lintie sings. A man walks up, raises his gun, shoots the lintie deid.

A lintie sings. A man shoo/

The man stops. He listens. He feels like he kens the sang, like he’s heard it afore. Mibbe when he wis a bairn. Mibbe when he wis in his mammy’s belly. The man sits doon oan the grass an closes his een. The sang’s caught him in a place where he’s no used tae feelin things. He’s no used tae this feeling, this feeling is different. Aw he kens is that he doesnae want the sang to finish. But it does, the lintie finishes its sang. An it sees the man sittin below wi his een closed. The lintie asks the man, ‘are you okay?’ But the man doesnae answer the lintie’s question. Because there’s a question in his heid that’s louder, a question that wisnae there afore.

Whit are you?

‘I dinnae ken’, the man says. Tae the grass. Tae the lintie. Tae the world. Tae hissel. ‘I dinnae ken’.