The Stem Mull
by: Gillanders, Elizabeth
The hairst is baled an, stackit,
Roon things, happit in plastic or tied up wi tow or
Fit iver tak's yer fancy;
Nae soun - naethin' - jist the chunterin, of the muckle beast;
a yalla or green fairlie crawlin, ower the park.
Githerin' an, spewin' an' drappin' aff, an, ah thocht'
"That's mechanisation for ye! bit ye man move wil the times an' 'at's fit coonts - less hans, nae trachle, bit a michty sicht mair siller not'.
Sae ah gaed back a wheen of 'ears tae fan ah wis a bairn
An' the steam mull wis traivlin,' roon.
The hairst hid bin githered; birsled sheeves in their stooks
- cairts of 'em heisted tae the rucks an' bigget;
A braw sicht; the cornyaird fu,
waitin' for the day an' a' the steer o' the mull.
It wis Stoneys' thrashin' an' sae -
Widdies' an' Lochies An' Craskins an' Culsh
an' Hillocks an' Teeties an Reekitlane
an' their feed loons wis a' ther' tae len' a han,'
Doon the Slack cam the engin fan, an abody inside an' oot got yokit.
In the kitchen, yavel hottrin in ae pot slung ower the swey,
Milk, broth in anither, aa mammy an, thick,
An close by a bucket o' tatties cleaned an reedy t' bile
The gweed wife steerin' an' tastin
an' at the same time
Turnin' the breid on the girdle
an feenishin' 'em aff afore the fire
an keepin her ee on the servant lass.
Syne aff tae the milk hoose for a jug of cream,
a bowel of crudie an a kebbuck a' full of carvey seeds.
A lot tae be deen tae feed aa body!!.
Haf twal an' lousin time - a quick sweel at the pump
An' the soun' of tackity beets ower the fleer;
Noo tae full up the wame - broth wi aathin in tillt
an' as thick as the speen wid stan up b' itsel
Tatties, aa' floory an' het;
a pot reemin fu jist in the middle of the table;
"Jist rax an' help yersels"
The milk broth thick wi barley
an washed doon wi' bowels of milk .
Syne if ye wer still nae stappit
tea an breid wi' cheese or crowdie;
The gweed wife mak's a rare kebbuck!.
An' aifter a bit of sklaik an' banter wi the kitchie deem,
back tae the yokin'. A short lousin' that!.
Tichen up the nicky tams;
rax the shooders,straichten up,
Feed the sheeves frae the tap.thro' the shakker
Ane. twa. three.
Corn oot the bak an strae in frunt,
wi caff aff the fanners fleein' in the win'
an' the stour aawey;
Cairt the fu corn secks up ower the barn
an big up the strae tae eese for the nout,
bit keep the caff, it's not!
An' abune the racket an dirlin' o' the mull,
whustlin' An lauchin' an shoutin tae ane anither.
"Are ye gaun tae the fair the nicht?
Ah hear Bogheed his a neow han' comin' hame at the term?
Is't Lochies for the mull the morn?
Ach Tam ! Heist 'em heicher. Pit some fushen in til't.
Ye're fair forfochon ? weel sae are we aa,
bit ye can hae a sit doon the noo
for here comes the weemin fowk";
Baskets ower their airms - fly time,
Het tea,scones wi a smeerach of seerup,
milk, fresh frae the coo,
an' mair breid an' cheese an' loaf forbye;
Anither ooer an' it's lousin' time; a lang yokin,
Bit it's gran' tae see aathing sae snod;
a' the crap in an' thrashed
an' the corn yaird teem
bit for the scrapin' an scratchin
o the hens aifter the leavins
The gweed wife an' the lass are aye at it tho,
Sittin' in the licht of the lamp, shewin the tiken bags,
Ful tae burstin' pint wi fresh caff
an' they're steekin them weel
for they'll hae some roch han`lin'.
New beds a' roon the nicht at Stoneys, prickly an' yokie
Bit winnerfu warm an ye dinna get a caff bed frae a Combine!!