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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

Donald Og and the Italian Wizard     by: Wheeler, Les

Donald Farquharson of Monaltrie or Donald Og (Young Donald) as he was known, was summoned tae London on the orders o the King. the wye o’t wis this,

An Italian cam tae London an he wis a grand, chiel, a wizard an magician fa wis said tae hae dealins wi Aul Nick himsel. He waaked the streets an aabody hid tae get oot o his wye nae maitter fa they wir. If onybody did say onything he challenged them tae a duel an he aye won. The best sworsmen in aa o England tried their luck an ilk een wis killt by the Italian wizard. Aabody, even the King wis worried aboot this Italian chiel fa could dae fit he liked an swaggeret aboot like he ained the place. Fowk in the City o London pit up a lot o siller tae be gaen tae the man that could defeat the Iatalian but naebody lived tae claim it.

The Italian even feed a drummer tae wak in front o him an let aabody ken he wis comin an tae let fowk ken he wis open tae a challenge, but fowk had got wise tae him an bade oot o his wye. The Queen, dother o Henry o Navarre, lookit sneeringly at the King’s coortiers an asked, “Is there neen o ye will fecht this man? Nae even for love o yer King? Nae even for love o yer country? Nae even for love o yer Queen?” An aabody in the coort jist hung their heids an said nithin. Aa except ae man that is fa cam fae north o the border. “Weel, Yer Majesty, there is ae man that micht dae the job, but he disna bide here.”
“Fa is this chiel?” spiert the King.
“ His name’s Donald Farquharson o Monaltrie or Donald Og as they ca him. He’s a gey haun wi the sword an nae mistak.”
“Weel, get a message tae him as quick as ye can an get him tae come tae London.” ordered the King an that’s fu Donald Og endit up in London.

The coort waited an waited an eventually news cam that Donald Og had feenished supervisin the shearin o his sheep an wis on his wye. Ae day the coort were aa sittin in the main chaumer fin they heard the paradiddle-prum o the Italians drum an een an aa hung their heids in shame. But as the Italian wis passing the coort Donald Og wis jist approachin the castel. The drum wis makkin its din an Donald, fa didna like a lot o din, took oot his sword an jabbit it richt throwe the drum – tap an bottom skin baith!
“Noo,” said Donald, “That’s eneuch o your din!”

The Italian loupit in afore his drummer an demanded tae ken fa this wis that hid offert this insult tae the greatest swordsman in aa Europe.
“I’m Donald Farquharson o Monaltrie an Tilliegarmont, Chief o the Clan Farquhar an I’m nae pittin up wi your din, my mannie. Ye can like it or lump it!”
“I will hae revenge,” says the Italian wizard.
“Please yersel,” says Donalg Og fa wis fine pleased tae fecht onybody. Fan he later foond oot that he had anticipated the King an Queen’s wish he wis mair pleased nor iver. He’d foond a real opponent for his sword.
Fan Donald left the coort he left ahin a King an Queen fa were pleased that he wis their champion an a lot o quines in the coort fa’d nivver seen sae handsome a cratur an thinkin he micht need a wife afore he wint hame!

Weel, that nicht Donald went roon tae the hoose far the Italian bade, waited till he wis in ower his bad an then then fell in wi the wizard’s servant fa wis jist jinkin oot for a dram. Donald bocht him een or twa drams an syne began tae butter him up. “My,” said Donald yer a man among a hunner! Fa div ye work for. He maun be a lucky chiel faivver he is.”
“I work for the great Italian swordsman. He is invincible!”
“Sae I’ve heard,” said Donald. “A wonderfu man aathegither I’m tellt.”
“An yer richt,” said the servin man, “an ye ken fowk still challenge him. Some daft gype his challenged him tae a duel the morn. Jist anither een tae dee!”
“Weel, that een better be sayin his prayers the nicht,” said Donald.
The servin chiel gaed him queer look. “I’ll tell ye this,” he wint on, “My maister his a charmed life. Nae man o woman born can kill him; nae man that carried iron on his body can hurt him; nae man that treads on leather can beat him; nae sword that ivver touched iron or leather sheath can pierce him an if the sword is teen oot o the wound it heals up richt awa. Tae top aathing, fan he’s fechtin he his twa ghaists on either side o him an his opponents think there’s three men an get aa confused. He ayewis wins.”

Donald left the servin chiel an that nicht a peer widda woman made a scabbard o the finest silk wi bonny embroidery an efterwards she wis affa rich.
That nicht a peer, neglected tailor unstitched a bonnie suit an darned it up again adding wee unusual bitties till it. Fae that time customers couldna bide awa fae hs shoppie.
That nicht a real souter made a pair o fine blue velvet sheen, decorated wi seed pearls in the form o a thistle an soled wi the bark o an aik tree. He hid plenty money in the mornin.
That nicht a descendant o the best armorer in a Spain, an exiled Moor, made a sword on a steen anvil wi flint haimmers, makkin sure it touched nae iron, an haundit it, polished an feenished, wrapped in a linnen claith, tae a man fa hid waatched him at work aa nicht. The Moor left that mornin for a pilgrimage tae Mecca an wi thochts o openin a shoppie in the Cairo mairket!

Bricht an early Donald Og wis oot o his bed an fan he went doon the stair a gweed curn o fowk had gaithert tae cheer him on. They had a gweed look at the wye he wis dressed but the let that pass an aff they aa went taemeet wi the Italian wizard. Fan they got tae the placie a great crood o notables hid gaithet for aabody winted tae see in the Young Scottish loon could see aff the Italian. Fan the Italian saa the wye Donald wis dressed he lookit a bittie worried an he tried tae touch Donald’s sword wi iron but didna manage.
“Fan ye touch my sword, my mannie,” said Donald, “it’ll be fan it is in yer body!”

The facht stertit an at eence three opponents were seen by Donald, but he only piyed attention tae the middle een. The spectatots didna see this they jist saa the swords flashin as the twa swordsmen made at een anither. The Italian wis confident o his charmed life an tried aa sorts o ploys tae catch Donald oot, but Donald carried the fecht tae him withoot bother an wisna lang in forcin his sword throwe the side o the Italian. Donald stabbed an pulled oot his sword.
“I’m hit!” said the Italian.
“Like a roast on a spit!” said Donald.
“The Deil has let me doon for nae man o woman born should ever hae killt me.”
“Dinna be feart aboot that,” said Donald. “I was cut oot o my mother’s side.

The Italian saa he’d bin defeated by a better man an slid tae the grun an wis seen deid. the siller wis brocht forrit an handed tae Donald.

Noo, some fowk were pleased that the Italian wizard hid breathed his last but there were some in the crood fa’s een were greener an were envious o Donald Og. The orra vratches stertet tae complain an niggle at Donald.
“See the way this Scottish beggar pockets our English gold!” said one o the coorse cyaards. Donald heard this jist is aabody that was there heard it an pulled the gowd coins oot o the pyoke. He threw the gowd coins an scattert then on the grun. The crood swept tae pick them up an pooch them. “Look at that, noo!” cried Donald, “See the wye the English dogs gaither up the siller they souldna win for themsels but they’d tae get a Scot tae win it for them. The English hung their heids but didna return the gowd coins. Donald Og threw his pladie ower his shooder an turnt his back on the crood fa hid gaithert up his gowd.
“It’s time I wis hame on Deeside far I can jine the company o gweed honest fowk!” said Donald Farquharson of Monaltrie an waaked awa wi his heid in the air.

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