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Elphinstone Kist   Doric Prose, Family and Home, History

The Cowpit Cairt     by: Mackie, Dr Lewis

It wis a braw hairst day fan I walked intil the fairmyaird ready tae get yokit. I wis aboot fifteen meenits early as Mains wis a stickler for time. Sandy an Jock werna at far ahin an' then fa cam up the road bit the meenister, puffin awa at his pipe. He wis seldom wi'oot it in his moo fan he wis ootside. Says he tae Mains, " I thought I would give you a hand today as it's such a fine harvest day. It's a great day for being out and about."
The meenister wis aye lookin for an excuse tae be oot an aboot as he enjoyed smokin Bogey roll or Navy twist. Fan some o the Navy lads cam hame on leave, they aye brocht hame some Navy Twist for the meenister. He wisna allowed tae smoke it in the Manse because he had tae spit wi bogey or twist. I eence asked him fit he smokit in the Manse and wi a chuckle he replied, "Something more in line with my profession." Fan I asked him fit that wis he replied, "Three Nuns". I jist aboot chokit!

Howsomever, Mains wis aye gled o help o ony kine an the meenister wis seen up on the tractor wi the pipe makin mair fumes than the auld Fergie. Mains said he wid awa an tell Mrs Mains that the meenister wid be bidin tae his denner. Sandy an Jock lookit at me wi a grin on their faces an fan I said, "Fit's up?", they telt me that there wid be a good spread at denner an piece time.
"A hen!" says Jock. "
Clootie dumplin!" says Sandy!
Weel we worked awa, Sandy forkin tae the cairt an Jock at the rucks, an as I wis the youngest I wis put tae big the cairts. The mornin brak wis good, for hersel cam oot wi tattie scones an tea. Denner wis great wi broth, hen, tatties an clootie dumplin, as Jock hid prophesied. The aifterneen brak wis jist fantastic, wi hame brew, oatcakes an wisna peer cheese tae, it wis sweetmilk, an the Mrs Mains wis a great han at makin it. Fit a feast!

Aweel it got roon aboot lowsin time, an there wis aboot jist ower a load an a half tae tak in, bit the meenister wis in a hurry tae feenish so he wis shouting, "Grip it in laddie, we'll take the lot. "
''Och meenister," says I, "A'm far aneuch up already, it'll cowp."
"No, no,you'll manage fine," says he.
Noo it wisna for me tae argee wi' ma elders least o aa the meenister, so on the load wint an I found mysel farther aff the grun than I'd ever been wi a cairt. We rolled ower tae the gate an I hid tae say, "Canny noo meenister, it's an affa narra gate. Tak a wide turn."

Bit I doot he didna hear me, an he peyed me nae heed. The trailer took the edge o the gate an awa wint the load aa ower the road. That wis bad aneuch, bit fit wis worse wis that it happened in front o the half past five bus an it wis foo o fowk!

The meenister wis aff the tractor knockin oot the dottle o his pipe as though naething hid happened that concerned him, fan doon the road pounds Mains wi a face like fury. He lookit at the load, then at the bus an his face turned fite, then it turned reed and then blue. I didna ken far tae look I wis that sorry for the meenister. He on the ither han niver turned a hair. Says he, "For goodness sake Mains swear or you'll have a heart attack."

An Mains swore an swore an swore ... at me! Lang aifter that fan I wis demobbed I tackled Mains aboot that incident. I asked him fit wye he let fly at me.
"Good God, " said he "I couldna sweer at the meenister, an me an elder o the kirk!"

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