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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

The Tale o Bruce The Mervel     by: Blackhall, Sheena

Bruce wis a wyce wee loon fas fingers war aywis ettlin tae collect things.
Aathing that furled or clickit or rugged or rived, ony auld bolts or nails or
screws, wad en up sometime in his wee kist. His da hid gaen him a
meccano set fur his birthday, an it keepit him quate fur oors, wylin oot
levers frae wheels an biggin them thegither till he'd vrocht a bobbydazzler o
a tractor. Bit syne, he weariet o meccano. It wis ower easy.

His mither hid a wee timmer clock wi a birdie on a spring that shot oot ilkie
oor, opened its wee timmer mou an craiked; 'Cuckoo! Cuckoo!'
Bit yon wis aa it iver said. Bruce thocht he'd gie the birdie mair tae say.
Mebbe, gin he fichered wi a puckle knobbies it micht sing anither tune. He
tuik the timmer clock aff the waa an spent a winnerfu hauf oor scutterin wi
its intimmers. Bit fin he tried tae pit aa the fyky wee footerie bits back
thegither again, there wis a wee pucklie screws left ower.

Ye wad hae thocht his mither wad hae bin pleased wi him fur bein sae busy,
bit nae a bit o't. Fur noo, fin the widden birdie shot oot ilkie oor, it hung
doon like a clootie dallie on the en o a booed bedspring, an insteid o cryin
'Cuckoo', aa that it managed tae hubber wis 'Coo'. An far the ither 'coo' hid
vanished tull, naebody cud faddom.

Bruce hid a bike wioot a wheel (Fur he'd taen the nuts aff that sud hae held
it on, tae add tae his collection), a door wi hauf a hinge (Fur he'd unscrewed
the ither hinge an tint it) an a pair o ice skates that wadna skyte. (Fur he'd
taen the blades aff an cudna pit them on again.) Whyles, his mither grew fair
scunnert o Bruce an his fixin things,an syne there'd be a row. He'd takk aff
his glaisses an dicht them hard an his lugs grew as reid's tomataes, fur he
kent he'd bin coorse again.

The day, he wisna even allowed oot tae play, fur he'd birled aa the knobbies
on the TV an the wifie fa sud hae smiled an telt ye the news, wis aa lines.
Her hair wis streetched oot like cattie's cradles, an her teeth war zigzaggy as
a saw blade. Bruce kent his mither wisna plased, fur she wis spikkin tae
hersel. She left him scutterin wi his collection, powkin aboot like a hamster
raikin in its winter hoard, an gaed aff tae wash the windaes. It wis lanely an
wearisome fin ma wis in a rage an nae spikkin tae him.

Bruce cud hear the washin machine whirrin an birrin as it washed the
wikk's fule claes, an syne, aathin gaed quate.Efter a while, the front door
banged. His da wis hame. Bruce ran doonstairs tae see fit wis adee. Da wis
rummlin aboot throw his box o tools, mutterin nesty wirds aboot washin
machines that broke doon. His da lay on the fleer, haimmered a pipe, an
syne there wis a glug an a splooter an watter flew aawye, ower the fleer.

"Oh fit'll we dae noo?" girned his faither. 'We canna afford tae pye an
engineer tae sort it."
Bit Bruce kent fit HE wis gaun tae dee. He ran upstairs an cairriet doon his
kist o nuts an screws an bolts.

"Weel, yon's handy,' cried his da. 'Div ye ken this Bruce, there's twa nuts
here that'll be jist the verra dab tae sort yer mither's machine.'
Sae thanks tae Bruce an his wee collection, the wikkly wash wis feenished
efter aa!



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