Readers of HSJ.co.uk will be aware that a four week emergency exercise to test Scotland’s resilience against pandemic flu was suspended last week in light of the swine flu outbreak.

But stranger than the fact that the exercise was halted was the name that the Scottish government chose to give it – Operation “Cauld Craw”.

HSJ approached Scottish friends to find out whether the name has any hidden significance, and guess what- it does.

Cauld Craw comes from a song called “The Thrie Craws”, which is about three cold crows sitting on a frosty wall.

Apparently one craw fell and broke his jaw, another couldn’t fly at all and the third was crying for his maw [mother].

Let’s hope the emergency exercise – if it’s ever carried out - has a slightly more positive outcome than the song.

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