It seems though that it is not all plain sailing and that perhaps more signals are being sent, in a roundabout way.
The BBC crew who initially went to film,were plagued with difficulties, one falling and breaking an ankle, the other falling violently ill with seasickness. The trip had to be aborted and a fresh crew dispatched, can can read the full report here, from the Daily Record.
And from todays Scotsman, we find more calamity, the rat-catchers themselves now trapped, their helicopter grounded by storm force winds.
Just to confirm my thoughts and the title of this post, we find that a ward in Glasgow Royal Infirmary was closed yesterday due to an outbreak of scabies, a disease caused by an allergic skin reaction to the parasitic mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrows into the skin like a Spinningdale mammal, causing intense itching. That naturally leads us to Rat Scabies, drummer with punk band the Damned.
Pied Piper ?
Links to previous BBC reports -
Rats probe under way on St Kilda
Hunting rats with wax and cocoa
Smelling a rat on a remote Scottish isle
Fishing leader disputes rats risk
Island fears over "trawler rats"
Crew rescued from stricken boat
Something else that is relevant is that 1st February is known as Brigid's Day in Irish mythology, the day before Imbolc, a cross-quarter festival day from ancient times and in fact dedicated to the goddess Brigid.
Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day. A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:
Thig an nathair as an toll
La donn Bride,
Ged robh tri traighean dh’ an t-sneachd
Air leachd an lair.
"The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground."
Been here before ?