How My Father Came By the Name of Cuthbert
A girl who would become a saint sat without oars in a boat of hide—a coracle— and waited for the gulls to feed her fish. One bird in particular would often take the gold-red hair escaped from her braids into its beak and work it back into place. The boat floated up the firth and when it was time for the girl to give birth, she cupped her hands into the water and aimed toward land through the center of each wave. The beach where she lay after the boy was born was called Culross. The mute sometimes uttered words when walking there; irrational folk experienced flashes of reason wandering that shore. And Mungo, the son, as an adult, became known by our crowd for bringing my poor pet redbird back from the dead.