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Elphinstone Kist   Folk-History, Sport and Leisure

    by: Leighton, Marischal

Fin I wis a young kin o a loon I fairly fancied mysel as a bit o a romeo wi the quines. Mind you I wis like a the lave in that respect, only I wis better, or so I thocht at the time. My very first encounter wi the opposite sex wis, tae say the least, a bit o a disaster. She wis a real good looker an could fairly play bools. In fact she wis that gweed that efter a while naebody wid play wi her. I saw ma chunce an struck fin the iron wis het.
“It’a an awfa shame” says I, “You sic gweed wi the bools an canna get a game. Niver min,” I continued, “Ye’ll hae mair time tae get better acquant wi me an maybe ging for waaks an sic like.”

Weel I’m nae afa sure fit happened bit I got the biggest crack i the lug I’ve iver hin. Whit a k-nell. Michty, I thocht, am I gaen tae survive aa this? Weel, a this wis a lang, lang time ago noo. Noo, ye micht wunner fit wye I’m lettin aa this oot o the bag, as it were. Weel, I need hardly tell ye at wis fin I wis at the squeel, an I’ve fairly come as far as gettin tae ken aa aboot quines. First o aa, it’s nae jist loons at play bools an secunt, the quines play a hard game, nae metter fit it happens tae be, an third, they’re affa cunnin wi’t.

Eence I wis up a bit an intil ma teens there wis ae nicht me an ma pals thocht we micht takk the bus an ging doon tae Johnshaven till a daunce that wis advertised in the local squeek. Noo as ye micht ken, the grass aye
his a greener look aboot it fin it’s viewed fae ower a dyke. As it happened ane o ma chums wis awfa pally wi the dother o the local baker. It eesed tae be said she wis the best little tart in the shop, by wye o a compliment I suppose. Onywye, lo an behold, she turned up at nicht at this daunce wi a cousin fa wis on holiday fae somewye doon sooth. I thocht mebbe Glesca bit I niver thocht tae speer. Now is quine, boy wis she somethin, fairly big kin bit nae ower muckle wi bonny dark hair. I’ve aye liked dark hair some wye or ither, onywye it disna maitter, there I wis gettin on fine by my wye o’t.

Me an her gaed awa fur a stroll, the nicht bein fine an the hall bein awfa warm. We spoke aboot this an that an of coorse time flees fin yer haein a good time. That’s the wye we missed the bus hame. She wis bidin in Bervie and of coorse I hid tae ging tae Stonie. So we set oot tae waak hame. Afore lang is car drew in aboot an oot jumped is mannie claimin tae be the quine’s auld man. Weel he jumped up an doon an socht my address, ye niver saw sic a cairry on, an did he gie me a lift hame ? He did not!

I wis left tae boot it aa the wye tae Stonie. A gran total o fifteen mile if it wis an inch. Mind you it wis a fine nicht an comin by Catterline road end the Todheid lichthoose fairly lichtent up the countryside ilkie time it swung roon. That wis far a futterat o a craitur, a weasel I suppose, kept ma company rinnin alang the ditch tae keep up. I suppose it tired efter a whiley an stopped an I niver saw the quine again, although I wis telt she asked for me noo an again at her cousin.

However I progressed on as ye dae an there wis ae nicht I wis conveyin this quine hame frae the daunce at Stonie. She bade oot intill the country, aboot three miles or so. Fitiver, there we were waakin alang fin suddenly I happened tae see a lick o flame as I thocht, at the back o this hoose. I drew er attention tilt an her an me come tae the decision till alert the fowk in the hoose that the place wis likely tae ging up in a lowe. Wi this intention I merched roon tae the front door an chappt real hard on’t.

A mannie looked oot o the windae up the stair an socht fit wis adee. I geed him the word an wi a muffled “hing on” he disappeared fae the windae only tae reappear at the front door. Now ye see it hid bin rainin, an the flag at the door hid a holla intilt, jist wi eese ye see. Noo, is mannie hid on his bonnet alang wi his nicht goon an of coorse he hid naethin on his feet. So the upshot o’t aa wis, fin ee stepped oot o the door tae see me better, ee got is feet weet. This didna gae doon weel, nae ava, especially fin I wis informed the forestry boys hid bin burnin haag, an that’s fit I hid seen.

I bid him goodnicht an said foo sorry I wis that he’d gotten is feet weet, the only thing that spiled it for ma wis the fact that the quine wis kecklin awa aa this time weel within earshot. Onywye, I teen her hame an fin waakin back it started tae rain an I got tae thinkin aboot bools an weet feet an trudgin hame. Fit is’t aboot quines? Hiv they aye been is wye, or am I jist unfortunate!



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