by: Broomhill Reminiscence Group (Daisy Dey, Inverurie)
My auntie hid a craftie at Bennachie, an I eesed tae bide there durin the schule holidays. Oh, I likit the craftie. I got hurls roon the park on the fairm horse, Mikey. Mikey wis broon an milky coloured, a bonnie horse, an affa timid. My uncle eesed tae harness him tae the cairt, an drive him intae the mart, or intae the village for messages.
Sometimes he stoppit at the Butcher's Arms for a pint o beer, an Mikey wis tied up at a post ahin the pub. Aboot August on the craftie, the yowes war clippit. Fin the shearin wis goin on, I wid sit on tap o a gate an watch. It took twa men tae clip a yowe. Ae man turned the yowe roon on her back an held her legs, an then the ither man clippit her wool aff wi a haun shears. It didna hurt them, an they werena cauld efter, because it wis simmer ye've tae myn. Fin the fleece wis aa shorn, the men baggit it, an Mikey pulled the cairt loadit wi the bags intae the station, tae be sent awa tae be cleaned an spun inno wool.
Onywye, fin I wis 12 year auld I climmed the hill o Bennachie fur the first time. I got twa butter biscuits, a suppie milk in a bottle, an a daud o cheese tae takk wi me fur a picnic on the road up. It tuik me mair than an oor tae climm Bennachie. I wis sittiin doon fyles, lookin oot aroon the heather. Hauf up the hill, I saw a tinker's camp. I bedd oot ower frae tinkers. I wis a bittie feart o them. They warna bonnie. The wifie smokit a fite clay pipe, an wore a cloot roon her heid.A scraggy, broken luikin thing she wis, broon faced wi bein oot in aa weathers.
'Fit's brocht you up here? ' she speired.
I took tae ma heels an ran!
The tinker mannies cairriet packs wi aa their gear in them. I spied ae broken doon tent. Aboot five folk wad hae bedd in thon tent, I spotted five movin aroon ootside. I didna see ony bairns, tho. I dinna suppose the tinkers wad hae hurtit me, bit I didna wait tae fin oot!