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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

The Flying Bannock (A German Folk Tale)     by: Wheeler, Les

Lang, lang ago in the days fan aa the eggs wir double-yokers, there wis a young pair bade in a wee hoose in the wids. Hans an Lisa they wir caad. Hans wis a widcutter an Lisa lookit efter the hoose, the kitchie gairden, twa-three hens an a goat. They hidna muckle but they wir verra happy thegither. Lisa thocht there wis naebody like Hans an waited ilka nicht for him tae come hame fae the wids an fan Hans lookit at her bonnie face an gowden hair he kent he’d nae swap her for aa the siller in the warld.

Efter they’d aiten Lisa wid sit at her spinnin-wheel an as it birled awa Hans tellt her stories. “There’s nae doot,” says he ae day, “that we’re happy, but eence upon a time life wis easier for aabody an the wee fowk wid come an gie fowk onything they wintit. Nooadays it’s aa a muckle tchaave.”

“I wish the wee fowk wid visit us,” soughed Lisa. “I’d like fine tae hae a new frock the colour o the lift an anither room tae oor hoose far we could sit on the sabbath, an fine tummlers made o crystal, an….”

“Haud on lassie,” said Hans. “I’m needin twa-three bits mysel..I’d like a gweed horse sae I could gyang huntin like a lairdie, an I’d like a cask o fine, aul Hungarian wine, a cask that wis nivver rin dry, an…”

“Weel, there’s little hope o that,” interupted Lisa, “we’ll nivver get aa that, we’ll jist hae tae be contented.”

Con-ten-ted, con-ten-ted, gaed the knock on the wa. An aff the pair o them wint tae thir beds.

Anither nicht an eence mair Hans an Lisa wir sittin, lauchin an tellin stories o aa kines o things, fan aa o a sudden the door cam ajar gey quaetly. In cam a wee, wee body, nae muckle bigger nor a poppy flooer an deen up in green silk.

“Gweed evenin,” says the eemock, for that’s jist fit it wis. “I’ve affen heard ye spikkim tae een anither fan I’ve bin restin on yir windae-ledge an I’ve hin a keek at ye throu the wee hole in yir curtain. I’ve got gey fond o ye an I think I micht jist gie ye three wishes.”

Noo, for a meenit or twa, Hans an Lisa wir jist fair dumfoonert an couldna say a wird, an fan they did come tae themsels they didna get tae spik afore the eemock said, “Nae a soond fae ye, noo. Tak tent an caa canny. Hae a gweed think aboot fit ye raelly wint. I’ll come back in sax days time.” An wi that the eemock wis awa as quick as she’d come.

“Fit’ll we say?” spiert Lisa. “That frock..the spare room.. a bonnie fine new steadin aathegither…”

“Na! Na! Umman!!” roared Hans. “Mine we hae jist three wishes an there’s my horse tae be thocht o an, an….Dyod! I jist canna think!”

Sae Hans an Lisa wint on day efter day, even nicht efter nicht, wunnerin fit tae wish for.

Syne cam a nicht fan Hans waatched Lisa makkin the supper. There wisna muckle tae ait in the hoose at aa. “Och! I wish there wis a muckle, stoot bannock sizzlin in that girdle ivnoo,” said Lisa, forgettin aa aboot the eemock.

Syne, near haun afore she’d feenisht spikkin, up cam the bonniest smell o cookin ye could imagine an on the girdle lad a muckle gran bannock.
“Hivvins!” said Lisa.
“Ye muckle gype!” cried Hans. “See fit ye’ve deen? The eemock’s gaed ye yir wish. This is the saxth day an wiv only twa shotties left. I wish that feen bannock wis stuck richt in yer face!”

Richt there an then the muckle yalla bannock flew throu the air an cam tae rest slap doddle on Lisa’s wee neb! An the quine began tae greet an the saut tears ran doon as the peer quine sabbit awa an pullt at the bannock wi little effeck.

Hans began tae calm doon. He pit his airm roon Lisa’s shouthers an said, “Noo, dinna greet. Wiv bin affa feel. Aathing will be fine for I’ll get the eemock tae help oot.”

An at that the eemock flew in throu the windae. “Fit’s wrang noo?” she spiert, tryin tae look affa innocent. “Och aye! I forgot aboot the bannock. Weel, this is the saxth day an it wis getting a bittie late, an I ainly did fit I promised tae dee, grant yir three wishes. Noo, I suppose weel need tae get the bannock aff Lisa’s wee neb.”

“Please! Please!” beggit Lisa.

Wi a wee lauch tae hersel the eemock liftit up her wand an awa flew the bannock an drifted oot o the windae. Eence ootside in the queeler air o the nicht it turned intae a muckle yalla buttrie an flew awa.

Awa wint the buttrie an wi it Hans’ an Lisa’s three wishes. Fan they lookit doon, Hans an Lisa saa that the eemock hid disappeared an aa.

The twa o them wir that gled that aathing wis aa richt eence mair that they thocht they’s be better aff being contented wi fit they hid an they nivver spiert for gifts fae the wee fowk again. An thirs a lot o fowk fa fun oot the same thing an that’s fu we dinna affen see the wee fowk at aa nooadays.

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