Monday, 25 January 2010

Not quite Burns

Burns Cottage, Alloway

The Puddock
by John M Caie

A Puddock sat by the lochan's brim,
An' he thocht there was never a puddock like him.
He sat on his hurdies, he waggled his legs,
An' cockit his heid as he glowered throu' the seggs
The bigsy wee cratur' was feelin' that prood,
He gapit his mou' an' he croakit oot lood
"Gin ye'd a' like tae see a richt puddock," quo' he,
"Ye'll never, I'll sweer, get a better nor me.
I've fem'lies an' wives an' a weel-plenished hame,
Wi' drink for my thrapple an' meat for my wame.
The lasses aye thocht me a fine strappin' chiel,
An' I ken I'm a rale bonny singer as weel.
I'm nae gaun tae blaw, but the truth I maun tell-
I believe I'm the verra MacPuddock himsel'."

A heron was hungry an' needin' tae sup,
Sae he nabbit th' puddock and gollup't him up:
Syne 'runkled his feathers: "A peer thing," quo' he,
"But - puddocks is nae fat as they eesed tae be."

I've been reflecting recently on how many guid Scots words are in common use in this part of the world. So much so that, having moved here just 18 months ago, our daughter now speaks a different language from us! When I mentioned puddock to an elderly lady this morning, she quoted me the above poem. It seemed pertinent to post it on the Bard's birthday, even though it's not one of Burns' poems.

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