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Elphinstone Kist   Play, History, Family & Home, Education

Walker     by: Wheeler, Les

The action all takes place in the playground of a country school in the early
1950s.


CHARACTERS:
Jean Anderson, Grace Smith
Maggie Copeland, Ruth McKenzie
Alice Brown, Sandy Gammie
Peter Forbes, Mary Rae
Sally Hay, Patsy Clark
Annie Stephen, Betty Cauld
Kirsty Green, Miss Wright(Teacher)



Curtains open to children playing games then they suddenly freeze as ENTER
SINGER.


SINGER: O thir changin aa the toons
My bonnie lassie o
O thir changin aa the toons
My bonnie lassie o
O thir changin aa the toons
In the bothies thir's nae souns
For thiv walked the plooman loons
My bonnie lassie 0.


Ye'll nae streik yir horse's hair
My bonnie lassie o
Ye'll nae streik yir horse's hair
My bonnie lassie o
Ye'll nae streik yir horse's hair
For the stable's swypit bare,
Noo it's tractors nae a pair
My bonnie lassie o


Fit's tae come o femlies then
My bonnie lassie o
Fit's tae come o femlies then
My bonnie lassie o
Fit's tae come o femlies then
Fan thiv finished wi the men,
An thir bairns are left thir lane
My bonnie lassie o.


As the Singer leaves the stage a chant starts up. It should slowly get louder and louder........ JEAN ANDERSON'S WALKER.... and continue as groups run around until JEAN and her friends face MARY and her group. MARY'S GROUP continue to chant.


ALICE: Shut up! Shut up you eens an leave Jean aleen!

MARY: Ha!Ha! Jean Anderson, yir faither's caa'd walker! Yir faither's caa'd walker!

ALL MARY'S GANG: Yir faither's caa'd walker! Yir faither's caa'd walker!

JEAN: No! He's nae. He'd hae tellt's if he wis. jist awa an leave's aleen.

ANNIE:Aye he is an so are yee. Sandy Gammie tellt's this mornin.

SALLY: Quite richt, Annie. We'll seen be rid o her!

MARY:Ye'll hae tae leave this skweel an ye'll nae be the teacher's petty ony langer.

BETTY: Aye, nae mair tap o the class for you. It'll be anither biggin for the
walker's bairn an anither skweel awa fae here.

MAGGIE: Niver you min' them, Jean. Jist shut up you twa an hud yer traps. Ye ken nithin aboot it onywye. Jist cos yir faither's hae gotten a blast up at Nedderton disna mean Mr. Anderson's caa'd walker.

GRACE: Your ain faithers'll maybe be walker yet. It's happenin aawye. Dinna pye ony attention tae them, Jean. They're gyte they dinna ken ony better.

ALICE: They'll say onything tae caas trouble.

ANNIE: Fit div you ken aboot it ony wye, Alice Broon? Yir feel!

MARY: Jist youse eens wait an see. We'll ask Sandy fan he comes oot o the skweel.

SALLY: He'll ken if onybody dis!

KIRSTY: Sae he will: jist you eens wait an see.

PATSY: Sandy's faither's the grieve an he kens aathing that gings on at Drummie's.

ALICE: That's mair nor you lot ken, onywye!

RUTH: They're jist pests, Jean. Aye botherin ither fowk.

MAGGIE: Jist ignore them, Jean. They think they ken aathing!

GRACE: They're aye jist trying tae caas trouble.

JEAN: I ken fine fit thir like, but fit if their richt? Ma faither wis some worriet
that Drummie wid gie up the horse this year an stick tae his new
tractors. He only needs twa men for the tractors an a baillie for the
nowt.

ALICE: Aye, that's happenin aa ower ivnoo. I'm jist gled that ma faither his the shoppie.

MARY'S GANG: We tellt ye! We tellt ye! Jean Anderson's caa'd walker! Jean
Anderson's caa'd walker! ...........

MAGGIE: Stop it! Stop it! The lot o ye! Wirk's nae easy tae come by for onybody noo on the fairms an it micht be yir ain faithers next even if they did get a blast this year. They'll maybe be walker seen. So there!

RUTH: Onybody's faither could be a walker. Ye niver ken.

BETTY: My faither's a tractor driver. He's nae a horseman.

SALLY: Your faither'll be aa richt then, Betty. Nae like some!

JEAN: My faither wis a heid horseman an plooman, Sally Hay, an the fairmers
that he wirkit for aa thocht a lot o him!
BETTY: Aye, an muckle gweed it's gyan tae dee him. Eh, Patsy?

PATSY: My faither's a baillie an fowk'll aye need milk.
KIRSTY: Onywye we'll ken in a meenit for here comes Sandy Gammie.

ENTER SANDY GAMMIE and PETER FORBES

MARY: Sandy! Sandy Gammie! C'mere a mintee! Sandy, c'mere!

PETER: Come on, Sandy, ignore them. Quines are jist a pest.

SANDY: Fit are you seekin, Mary Rae? I've nithin tae say tae you. Aye gettin fowk intae trouble. It wis you that clypit tae the teacher aboot ma puddock. You did it for coorseness, jist as usual!

MARY: It wis jist a wee caper for a lauch. I niver thocht the Wifie Wricht
wad gyang gyte aa ower a wee puddock bein in yer pooch.

ANNIE: Ye widna think she'd ging feel aboot a wee little puddock.

SANDY: Weel she did an ye ken fine fat she's like aboot things like that! She's fae Aiberdeen! An I got keepit in an lickit an hid tae pit the puddock back in the lochan. Sae you jist leave me aleen an bide awa fae me.

PETER: An I got keepit in an lickit as weel an I wis only haein a bit look at the
thing.

PATSY: Bit, Sandy, wiv something we hiv tae speir at ye an yir the only een that can tell's the truth.

ANNIE: Aye, yir the only een that really kens, Sandy.

SANDY: Fat wad I hae tae tell you eens, like? It's aa scutter wi you quines an niver ony peace!

PATSY: Yir faither's grieve ower at Drummie's. Div ye ken if Jean's faither's bin gaen a blast or is he caa'd walker?

SALLY: Aye, is it walker for Jean's faither?

SANDY: Weel, that's nithin tae dae wi ye, really, bit, if ye must ken, the Mannie Anderson's walker alang we fower ithers. Nae mair horse at Drummies - thir aa bein sellt. Ma ain faither wis lucky he got tae bide himsel. Aul Drummie thinks he can rin the fairm withooten onybody.

GRACE & ALICE: Oh, no! Nae Jean's faither!

JEAN: Is ma faither really walker, Sandy? Oh, is he? Say he's nae, Sandy!

SANDY: A'm affa sorry, Jean, bit thir's nae wirk for ploomen noo an that's jist the wye o't.

PETER: Wir aa affa sorry, Jean. I some think that my ain faither'll be next the wye things are gyan on the fairms ivnoo.

MARY'S GANG: Jean's faither's caa'd walker! Jean's faither's caa'd walker!
...... (Continue chant getting louder and LOUDER)

JEAN: Stop it! Stop it! Tell them tae stop!

PETER: Shut up for gweed's sake! It's nae funny ye ken.

SANDY: Aye, you quines ken nithin: An stop caain at fowk. It's nae fine tae be walker. It'll be a gie job gettin ony wirk aroon here.

KIRSTY: Fa cares! It's jist Jean Anderson!

SALLY: She's that stuck up aa the time!

MARY: It's fine fan it's Jean Anderson's faither. She thinks she kens aathing
dis teacher's petty!

SALLY & PATSY: Teacher's petty! Teacher's petty!..... (Continue until SANDY finishes his first sentence)

SANDY: You quines are aa gyte! A'm better awa fae ye!

PETER: Richt, Sandy, let's get awa fae this lot. Them, an aa thir scutter! (SANDY & PETER move away but remain on stage)

MARY'S GANG: Teacher's petty! Teacher's petty!....... (continue... )

MAGGIE: Leave Jean aleen! Stop that shoutin at her. Yir richt coorse you
eens! Worse than futtrats!

MARY'S GANG: Jean's faither's caa'd walker! Jean's faither's caa'd walker!
(Chant goes on getting louder and LOUDER)

JEAN: Stop it! Stop it!
(MISS WRIGHT, a teacher, enters during the noise)

TEACHER: Quiet! Quiet! What's all this shouting?
(Noise slowly dies away)
My goodness! What a terrible din! It's enough to awaken the dead.
What on earth has got into you all?

MARY: It's Jean Anderson's fault, Miss.

SALLY: It's aye her caasin trouble, Miss.

ANNIE: So it is, Miss, an we aye get the blame.

ALICE: It's nae, Miss. It's them. Their aa shoutin at Jean an cryin her names.

RUTH: It's that Mary Rae that steers it up!

GRACE: Aye, Miss, Mary Rae. She's jist a bizzom!

TEACHER: Now! Now! One at a time, please, and do stop shouting. I am not
five miles away. Now Mary, what's the cause of all this commotion?

MARY: It's Jean Anderson, Miss. Her faither's been caa'd walker an she wadna
believe's fan we tellt her.

TEACHER: Her father's called walker? What on earth?? Now, dry your tears, Jean, and try to explain to me what on earth is going on. It's not like you to be involved in any noisy goings on.

JEAN: Ma faither's walker, Miss.Wiv tae leave Drummie's at the term.

TEACHER: Do you mean that your father has been dismissed from his job?

JEAN: He wasna gaen a blast. That means that thir's nae mair wirk for him at Drummie's.

RUTH: Thirs jist nae mair wirk for ploomen.

PATSY: Aye, Miss, ploomen hid got ower big for thir beets, my faither says.

SALLY: They wir aye thinkin they wir better nor aabody. Weel, thir'll be nae mair ploomen or pairies noo!

KIRSTY: No, an they wir aye blawin aboot themsels onywye.Serves them
richt!

BETTY: Aye, my Da said that the ploomen wad hae tae pye for bein aa ahin the times.

MARY: That'll fair quaetin you lot for a stert!

JEAN: Please, please tell them to stop, Miss.

TEACHER: Yes, I think we have had enough name-calling and shouting for one
day. Jean, you and your friends stay where you are: the rest of you run off and
play. Off with you now. I'll talk to you later.
(MARY'S GANG disperses but remains on stage playing games)
Now, Jean, let's try and sort this out. As I understand it your father
has lost his job.

MAGGIE: Aye, Mr. Anderson's caa'd walker.

ALICE: An fower ithers as weel, Miss. It's jist nae fair on Jean, is it, Miss?

TEACHER: Aren't there any other jobs for your father, Jean? I'm sure he
could do most jobs on a farm.

JEAN: He's a plooman, Miss. Thir's nae mair wirk for ploomen. Tractors an combies is aa fairmers wint nooadays. The horse are aa bein sellt.

TEACHER: But couldn't he drive a tractor?

JEAN: Only ae man's needit for a tractor, Miss. Besides, ploomen are special men.

TEACHER: I'm sure they are, but there are other jobs on a farm.

GRACE: Nae for ploomen, Miss. Aabody kens that ploomen canna jist be strappers or orramen.

TEACHER: What will your family do then, Jean? Will your father move to another farm? I'm sure there will be plenty of work on other farms.

MAGGIE: Thirs nae jobs left ava Miss. Weel, thirs jobs, but jist for twa-three bits o men an a baillie tae muck oot an caa the nowt. Lots an lots o men are gyan tae be lookin for wirk at the term. Even at the hairst thir sayin the fairmers'll nae be seekin hardly onybody.

TEACHER: Yes, I think I'm beginning to understand. But, sad as it seems we have to learn to live with progress, don't we? We cannot go on living
in the past.

JEAN: Bit fit are we tae dae? Aa the fairms is the same. An it's nae iist roon
here that aa this is gyan on; it's aawye. Ma faither wis jist sayin foo lucky we are up here, for in the sooth hunners o men his already bin stood aff. The fairmin warld's full o walkers.

ALICE: Fit'll ye dae, Jean?

GRACE: Will ye hae tae gyang awa fae here?

JEAN: I jist dinna ken. Ma mither wis sayin that we micht hae tae ging an bide in Aiberdeen for that's aboot the only place far ma faither micht get wirk. I'll niver manage there. Fit'll I dae for a skweel in Aiberdeen?

TEACHER: But, Jean, that's no worry. There are plenty of fine schools in
Aberdeen. I went to school in Aberdeen myself and thoroughly
enjoyed it.

JEAN: Aye, Miss it wid've been fine for you, bit the fowk in Aiberdeen lauch at hiz an caa hiz teuchters an country doddies. I dinna wint aabody lauchin at me an the wye I spik. I dinna see onything wrang wi the wye I spik an I wint tae bide here amang fowk fa are my freens.


ALICE: Aye, Miss. Mind the wye aabody here lauchit at you fan ye first cam
here, aa cos o yir spik an you nae kennin ony o the richt wirds.

TEACHER: I didn't know that people laughed at me because of the way I
spoke. Did they really laugh at me, Alice?

ALICE: Weel, thir wis nae hairm in it an ye div spik kinna oddwyes
compared tae the lave roon hereabouts.

TEACHER: Well yes,perhaps compared to the people round here, but you have to let people everywhere understand what you are saying. I mean, out of school or at home, your speech is quite.. . er nice and ... er.. . quaint but it would not do for all of us to talk like that, would it? Where would the world be then? The sooner everyone adopts the Queen's English the better off we all will be.

MAGGIE: Bit if the Queen wad spik like hiz then mair o's wad ken fat she wis gyan on aboot!

TEACHER: MAGGIE!! The very idea! We'll have to get these sort of notions out of your head. Now, Jean, I'm sure you'll soon get used to Aberdeen and forget all about farm life. And don't worry about the way you talk: you'll soon lose that accent and forget all these dreadful words once you're in the city.

JEAN: Bit lots o bodies in Aiberdeen spik funny kin'an aa, nae like you.

TEACHER:That's only the common people and you don't want to be talking like them., do you? No, I should think not. Aberdeen is a modern city with modern amenities, like theatres and cinemas. You'll soon grow to love it.

JEAN:Bit it's nae fair. I wint tae bide wi ma freens here. I dinna wint tae bide in Aiberdeen wi its smoke an steer an traffic. Aabody's a stranger tae
aabody else in Aiberdeen.

TEACHER: But we cannot always do what we want. It's not your parent's fault and it's not the farmer's fault. It is no one's fault. That's what progress is. We must move on and these things happen as part of the price we pay for progress. There may be a little inconvenience at times for a little while, but that will soon pass. It will all be for the better in the end. Just you wait and see.

JEAN: Bit fit aboot fowk? Dis fowk an femlies nae coont, Miss? Hiv they nae richts at aa?

TEACHER: Yes, yes, of course they do, but we can't always have our own way. Sometimes we have to move with the tide as it were. We have to learn to accept change and adapt to it for the benefit of others. We cannot be selfish.

JEAN: Ye mean fowk hiv nae richt tae a hame that they wint tae live in? A place far they wint tae bide?

ALICE: If we aa get put awa thir'll be nae mair need for a skweel here or dominies either, Miss, will there? If thir's nae fowk thir's nae need o a skweel.

TEACHER: Oh, I'm certain that there will always be a school in every village and parish. No schools! No teachers! What an idea! Now, Jean, put your mind at rest. Look on this move as an opportunity to improve yourself. I'm sure everything will turn out for the best and you'll become part of the movement that is making progress possible.
(TEACHER begins to move off, but turns just before EXIT)
And, Jean, forget your local dialect it's just about dead anyway. It has no practical use or worth.
JEAN: Bit it's oor langwidge! Wir ain tongue! An, Miss, wiv wir harne, wir beasts, wir cats an kittlins an dogs, aa wir freens an aabody! Dis fowk nae coont, Miss? Dis naebody care aboot the fowk ony mair? His fowk nae richts at aa? Eh, Miss? Fit aboot the fowk, Miss, fit aboot the fowk?
(The chant `Jean Anderson's walker! ` begins very softly in the
background. Continues until ENTER SINGER then everyone freezes)

SINGER: Noo it's quaet in the toon
My bonnie lassie o
Noo it's quaet in the toon
My bonnie lassie o
Noo it's quaet in the toon
Kitchie deem an orra loon
Aa thir dancin days are dune
My bonnie lassie o

Noo the bothy's caul an bare
My bonnie lassie o
Noo the bothy's caul an bare
My bonnie lassie o
Noo the bothy's caul an bare
Jist the sangs o ghaists are there
Noo the ploomen are nae mair
My bonnie lassie o.

....................... CURTAIN ........................
NOTE:The song is sung to the tune of 'Kelvingrove'



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