John B. Gough was fond of telling of a laird and his servant Sandy. The two were on their way home on horseback late at night, and both were much muddled by drink. At a ford where the bank was steep, the laird fell head first into the creek. He scrambled up, and shouted to his servant:
“Hold on, Sandy! Something fell off—I heard it splash!”
Sandy climbed down from the saddle, and waded about blindly in the shallow water, with groping hands. At last, he seized on the laird.
“Why, it’s yerself, mon, as fell oof!”
“No, Sandy,” the master declared stoutly. “It can’t be me—here I am.” Then he, added: “But if it is me, get me back on the horse.”
Sandy helped the laird to the horse, and boosted him up astride. In the dark, the rider was faced the wrong way to.
“Gie me the reins,” the master ordered.
Sandy felt about the horse’s rump, and, then cried out, clutching the tail:
“It waur the horse’s head as fell off—nothin’ left but the mane!”
“Gie me the mane, then,” the laird directed stolidly. “I must een hae something to hold on.”
So, presently, when he had the tail firmly grasped in both hands, and Sandy had mounted, the procession began to move. Whereat, the laird shouted in dismay:
“Haud on, Sandy! It’s gaein’ the wrang way!”