Cruickshank Carnival

By Rachel H Grant

Leaves fluttered in a soft night breeze, a gentle lullaby teasing the twilight with a daytime dance. And then all was still. Night claimed the garden, as flowers slept and trees stood silent.

Each Halloween ghosts would gather in the Cruickshank Botanic Gardens, intent on night-time partying after a long day of injecting their inspiration to unsuspecting students.

For these ghosts were the greatest scientific minds ever known on Earth. From Newton to Darwin, from Tesla to Einstein, from physics to planets, and from maths to metals, all sciences were represented. It was a ghost gallery of genius.

Why they chose Aberdeen’s Botanic Gardens is unclear, however their impact was crystal certain. For ghosts like to have fun. Students from nearby University of Aberdeen would enjoy a quiet lunch in the gardens, closing their eyes in the autumn sun as a ghost whispered equations in their ear.

Suddenly, University of Aberdeen rose through the league tables, as each year shortly after Halloween dramatic discoveries and incendiary ideas flowed from its students like water from a science-savvy swan.

University of Aberdeen became the place to study science, a world class school famous for its increasingly successful graduates.

However a veil of silence surrounded the science graduates. They never revealed where their inspiration had come from. It was a student secret, whispered at night in the corridors of student halls, but never publicly acknowledged. Little by little, the science students learned to visit the Botanic Gardens on Halloween. And year by year, scientific breakthroughs were born in Aberdeen, a gift to the world from the unseen souls of yesterday, a present from the scientists who never sleep, the great minds who can not stop … for the inventions that stretch to infinity, for the world we can be, for a newly discovered destiny, and for all our tomorrows.

To scientists everywhere, we thank you for all you do.