Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), p. 131

THEY wur real handy at Howdyins too, for they ey cairry’t a wee pickle sun-saut wi them – Saut yt they had made oot o’ saut-water theirsels; an as sune as ever the wean wus born, they stappit o’t inta it’s mooth, an than the Fairies wusna able tae cheinge’t.

Ye see if this wus negleckit, or gin ye didna use the richt kin’ o’ saut, or say the richt words whun ye wur don’t, than the Fairies wud watch the chance an tak it awa, an lea’ their ain canker’t, weezen’t-lookin gett in its stead, tae fash an torment folk wi its everlastinggirnin an ill-natur, till it ser’t them tae tak it awa again.

Whun they manage’t tae cheinge them, their barn wud get kirsen’t, an that wud save’t fae bein sacrifice’t tae the Deevil; for the Fairies haes tae sacrifice somebuddy every year tae the deil, an they naiterally dinna want tae use their ain folk, but try tae get their wans kirsen’t tae save them, for they hae nae pooer tae tak kirsen’t folk for ony siccan purpose.

Sae they’r ey hingin aboot lookin for unchristen’t mortals for the sacrifice, an that’s hoo sae mony folk disappears mysteriously.

Nae wunner folk’s particular aboot haein their weans kirsen’t.



Partial Glossar

Definitions frae DSL (links are tae the relevant entries).

  • Howdyin ‘Delivery of a child.’ [HOWDIE]
  • Pickle ‘An indefinite amount of any substance or collection.’ [PICKLE]
  • Wean ‘A child.’ [WEAN]
  • Stap ‘To push, thrust, cram, press, shove or poke (a thing or person) in(to) something.’ [STAP]
  • Gin ‘If.’ [GIN]
  • Canker’t ‘Cross, ill-natured.’ [CANKERT]
  • Weezen’t ‘Dried up, shrivelled, shrunken.’ [WIZEN]
  • Gett ‘Offspring, progeny, child; used contemptuously: a brat; a bastard, as e.g. in witch-‘ [GET]
  • Fash ‘To trouble, annoy, bother, inconvenience, vex.’ [FASH]
  • Siccan ‘Such, of such a kind, of a sort already mentioned.’ [SICCAN]