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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

    by: Wheeler, Les

Ae day a miller’s wife wis sittin wi her bairns roon aboot her tellin them a story, the wye fowk eesed tae dee, an rockin her youngest bairn tae sleep. She wis fusperin awa at the story fan she lookit up an, Dyod be here! there, staunin in front o her wis as bonnie a wumman as ivver ye’ve seen. She hid on the bonniest claes ye could think o, covert in brooches an bracelets o gowd, diamonds an rubies an on her heid a croon o Ythan pearls.

The Miller’s wife got a bit o a shock, for she’d heard naebody come in throwe the yett nor come up the stair. Ladies like this didna affen veesit mills but she got up tae welcome the veesitor like ony decent Scottish mither wid.

“Will ye tak a seat?” she spiert o the lady.

“Na, I hivna muckle time,” answered the wumman in a voice that ran like honey aff a het speen, “but I wid be obliged if ye could let me hae a basin o oatmeal. Wid that be possible?”

Weel it wisna the Miller’s wife’s business fit siccan a lady wintit wi a basin o oatmeal an she wint an fetched a basin a fullt it up tae the verra tap wi the best oatmeal in the mill.

Syne the wumman promised tae return the basin an oatmeal on ae particular day an turned tae leave. Een o the bairns, fa’d been aboot ten year aul at the time, pit oot her haun tae feel the lady’s goon as she waakit by but her haun wint richt throu an she felt nithin. Anither o the bairns ran tae the mill door an lookit oot jist efter the lady hid left, but there wis nithin tae see. The lady in the funcy claes an jewelry hid disappeared intae thin air!

Fin the bairns tellt thir mither fit hid happened she wis sair worried. She thocht een micht loose her hauns an the ither her sicht for she kent fine that the lady fa hid wintit the meal must hae bin the Fairy Queen hersel, she wis ower tall tae hae jist bin een o yer ordinary eemocks! But nithin happent tae the bairns an in spite o fit fowk affen think fairies are nae aye coorse an can even help fowk fa help them.

Weel, a puckle days efter, on the verra day that the Fairy Queen said it wid happen, the oatmeal wis returned, but nae by the lady hersel but by a wee little eemock dressed in green. “This is braw meal,” said the eemock, “ the verra best an ye must aa ait some o’t. Dinna forget noo, ye’ve aa tae ait some o this meal!” An wi that the wee green eemock wis gone.

The miller kent immediately that they wid hae tae dee fit the eemock said an he made siccar that aa his faimly ait some o the fairy meal, but een o his servin men widna hae onything tae dee wi it. “If I’m seekin meal,” said the chiel, “I’ll tak the meal that ye gies in wauges. That’s good eneuch for me. Forbye I dinna believe in fairy stories onywye!”

Weel, the man micht hae bin richt nae tae believe in the fairy meal. But within twa three month he wis deid - he jist dwammed awa ae nicht an the miller kent he’d bin richt tae get his faimlie tae ait the fairy meal. An that wisna the eyn o’t.

Ae nicht fin the miller wis gyan tae his bed he hear a gentle knockin on the mill door. He opent the door a wee bittie an there in front o him stood a wee eemock, dressed in green fa, in a hich voice, said, “Miller, we’d like ye tae stert the waater rinnin sae we can use yer mill. We’d like tae grind some corn. Dinna worry aboot it. Come the mornin we’ll hae it aa cleaned up an ye’ll nivver ken we’ve bin here.”

Weel, the miller wisna gyan tae argue wi the wee fowk an did jist fit he wis asked. Fan he got up in the mornin aathing wis jist as the eemock hid said except that there wis twa gowd coins lyin on the table far he kept his corn bags. The fairies hid kept thir promise an hid acted honestly an for mony years efter the miller wid gyan doon in the mornin tae find twa gowd coins an he kent that the eemocks hid bin at thir darg. But fowk roon aboot nivver did discover fu the miller an his wife seemed tae be much better aff than they hid bin afore.

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