The photo is Tarlair Wall Hoosie beside Macduff and is the same place Johnny Gibb o Gushetneuk visited tae partake o the waters. My story is set a fair while afore that time and is written in the Banffshire Doric.
The wee hoosie tae the richt o the photo is the 'Water Wall' o Tarlair. Fowk wid come tae partake o its health giving waters. The posh fowk caad it 'chaleybeat spring' but the locals caad it 'The Ironeerie Wally' In taste it hid a zing tae it and it wiz this folk thocht gave it a health benefit. At the far richt o the wee bey jist far it bends wiz the scaups far the fisher fowk stored their mussels for bait in the rock pools tae keep them fresh. That’s Loch Craig.
If I Catch Ye I'll Eat Ye.
Afore nicht the fisher quines wid make their wye tae the scaups tae get mussels for the next day's line fishin. A puckle o them were bent on this and made their wye doon the wee track fae higher up. As they reached the wee Wall Hoosie o a sudden they heard a ghostly voice comin fae inside it 'If I catch ye I'll eat ye!' 'If I catch ye I'll eat ye!' Noo the quines teen flegg at this an set up an affa skirlin as they ran back up the cliff road back towards the toon the creels for their bait thrown tae the wins. In an affa sotter o swyte an fear they ran towards Wully Wazzie's hoose. Wully wiz employed by the parish as a kind o constable faa keepit the peace. Jist as they reached his door Wully wiz makin tae leave for his nightly visit tae the Ale Hoose far he spent the shillin a day he got peyed for bein the constable. He got the quines tae calm doon enough tae tell him fit wiz wrang. On hearin their story he squared his shooders like he thocht constables did and teen control o the situation. Noo Wully hid stood in the line at Waterloo wi the Gordons and mair by luck than onything else hid survived the butcher's shop o slaachter. He thocht tae himsel he'd better ging an pit on his uniform if he wiz gyan tae face the Devil again, he'd deen it eence at Waterloo so he could surely dee it again at Tarlair. But the quines set up sic a noise fin he made tae get his uniform so instead he put on the hat and picked up his musket & shot. He nearly forgot the gunpooder horn in aa the hash but he mind aboot it. Sic a feel he'd hae looked if he made his wye tae Tarlair athoot pooder. Slingin his musket Wully Wazzie set fit like a sojer towards Tarlair. He tellt the quines tae gang hame because this wisna work for weemin fowk. The quines peyed nae heed tae Wully and fell in line ahin him and tried tae march like sojers. Truth be tellt Wully wiz glaid o the company so he didna say onything.
At last they reached the Wall Hoosie and crouched doon ahin the wee drysteen dyke and waited. Sure enough the ghostly voice sounded eence mair 'If I catch ye I'll eat ye!' 'If I catch ye I'll eat ye!' Wully felt his knees turn tae water at this and the quines cooried doon ahin his back whimperin wi the fear. The lassies started puttin him on the back 'Go on then deet!' Wully turned roon 'Dee fit?'
The quines said in ae voice 'Shoot it !!'
Wully swallied his spittle at this and cannily got tae his feet. He unslung his musket and fummled aboot for his pooderhorn. He could see the door o the Wall Hoosie but coulndna see inside, it wiz jist black. The eerie voice sounded again and he shook gunpooder awye. Settlin doon a bittie he eventually got some charge doon the barrel and teen the ramrod and tamped it doon. As he made tae pit in the ball een o the quines said 'Fit are ye deein Wully?'
'I'm pitten in the bullet quine!'
At this the lassie said 'That's nae eese Wully ye winna kill a ghost wi a bullet ye'll need leven siller min!'
Wully pulled a face 'EH?' 'Fit's leven siller?'
The quine shook her heed at this 'Leven siller is siller that's been beaten!' That jist didna mak sense tae him ava. The lassie pit oot her hand 'Gimmet?'
'Gie ye fit lassie?'
'Yer pey that ye were on yer wye tae spend at the Ale Hoose. Reluctantly Wully handed ower the four silver thrupennies that made up that day's wages. The quine teen them and picked up a steen fae the dyke and bashed the coins intae the shape o a musket baa. Fin she finished as the ghostly voice sounded eence mair 'If I catch ye I'll eat ye!' Wully grabbed the leven siller shot and rammed it hame shook pooder intae the pan and closed the cover and pulled back the airm o the flint lock and set it at half cock. Squaring his shooders Wull faced the enemy jist as he did aa the years afore at Waterloo. He waited a minty or twa till his breathing became slower and raised the musket tae his shooder and set the flint airm tae full cock. Jist as he pulled the trigger the lassie aside him tripped in the exitement. She hut the musket barrel in the air jist as the flint sparked in the pan, there wiz a big flash and the musket discharged and fired Wully's day's pey ower intae Loch Craig. Wully screamed like a wee lassie as the gunpooder flame blew back intae his face the musket wint ae wye and Wully the ither. Wi hands ower his face Wully rolled aboot the grun shoutin 'Ma bliddy een hiv been blawed clear oot o ma heed!!' The lassie's tried tae get his hands awa fae his face but he widna let them dee that and jist shouted 'They're my een let ma be!'
Aifter mair priggin he let them see his een and tae abody's relief it wiz only the eebroos and eyelashes that were gone. Een o the lassies patted him on the shooder 'Dinna worry aboot it Wully they'll seen growe back an ye'll be as gweed lookin as iver!'
Even wi aa the noise the ghostly voice wiz still sayin 'If I catch ye I'll eat ye!' The fisher quines took maitters intae their ain hands and wint intae the Wall Hoosie an found wee Sanners MacKeerin in one corner a finger up his nose howkin for snotters sayin 'If I catch ye I'll eat ye!'
Sanners got a richt skelpit erse fae his mither for aa the cairryon he'd started then he got anither skelpit erse for pickin his nose and tellt if he kept deein that he'd end up wi ae nostril the size o an egg cup.
The fisher quines got their bait an wun hame w't chatterin aa the while aboot their adventure.
Wully meanwhile hid wint back hame feelin gye dejected an hingin luggit. Nae only hid he lost his eebroos and lashes an mair than a wee bit o self esteem but the thocht that his ale siller wiz at that very moment somewye in the middle o Loch Craig wiz hard tae tak.
Aifter a while though a chap came tae his door. The fisher quines were there wi a big handfae o coins they'd collected atween themsels tae thank him for being so brave.
There's loads more where this comes from over at Pat's blog page Sanners Gow.
And for those who struggle wi' the Doric - here's a glossary:
GLOSSARY OF DORIC-SCOTS WORDS
aliss- cry of pain or surprise
ana- as well
ava- at all
bachled- worn out
backie- back garden
cannily- slowly, with care
couldna- could not
cairryon- carry on
deet- do it
didna- did not
dinna- do not
dyke- stone wall
fit’s- what is
flegg- fear, shock
gie, gee- give
gimmet- give it to me
hingin luggit- dejected
puckle- a few
scaups- rockpool where mussels are kept for bait
siller- silver, money
tae- to, as well
teen- taken, took
widna- would not
winna- will not
wisna- was not
wun- made through