University of Aberdeen Takes you to the main page for this section
Elphinstone Kist   Doric Prose

Nae Eneuch Girss Ti Feed A Coo     by: Johnston, Mary

Eence on a rare ootin ti Ed'nbro, Chris Guthrie frae the Mearns veesits The National Galleries an is thinkin til hersel as she taks in Hieland Scenes, in parteeclar "Wandering Shadows" bi Peter Graham.

Time I was back in Kinraddie. I canna tak ony mair o iss. I waatch the fowk gawpin at eese Hielan pentins, aa dewy-een an scriftin Burns ti een anither;

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,

My heart's in the Highlands a chasing the deer.

Ye wid think wi a faither an mither frae The Mearns, he'd steer clear o aa aat sappy bletherins. Ti be fair ti Rabbie tho, I dinna think he huds wi't eether. It's in English an I hae ma misdoots fen he vrites in English at his hert isna there eether an it's aa up in his heid wi 'high falutin' English verse ti please the toffs in Ed'nbro, toffs riggit oot like aat mannie in the pentin maakin on he's fishin. He'll niver catch a fish in aat burn, the waater's in full speet!

"Wannerin Shaddas" he cries this pentin. Thon shadaas say ti me, ere's a muckle plout, a doon poo'er on its wye an ony meenit noo the mannie fishin (makin on he's fishin!) wull haive doon his rod an rin for bield. Bit there's nae a tree ti stan ablo an nae hoose door ti chap on an his bonny fite (fite!) breeks an bleck jaicket'll be ringin weet an he'll be seepit til e scuddie.

Hoo kin fowk mak a leevin in a place like iss? Hoo kin a man mak mait for his wife an bairns? Faar wid he grow barley and corn? The grun's nathin bit foggie peat an hedder. There's nae eneuch girss ti feed a coo!

An eese hills, muckle mountains, lowerin up abeen ye the hale day an ivery day, croodin in on ye an niver kennin fit wis on tither side. Aye winnerin gin coorse teuchter chiels wid come swypin doon the brae, mibees set fire ti yer wee bit craft, mak awa wi yer bairns and worse.

Aye, it's time I wisna here, time I wis back faar ye kin see the sky streetchin frae easin ti easin, faar ye kin see the skycin cloods pentin patrens on the parks anaith, faar ye kin see the ryen cloods heftin ower e Grampians an ken at seen there 'll be a growin shoorie, sic saft reyn, faain doon on the brierin corn. Time I wis back ti see ti the plooin, the harrain, the sawin, the mikin an caavin. Time I wis back faar wi ilky braith I tak in the hale lift an land.

© University of Aberdeen   Return to Home page