Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 281-283

GORDON GOWKS, they use’t tae ca’ the Kenmur folk.

The Gordon’s o’ Kenmure had a gran tradition aboot they wey their family got their name an their lan; an of coorse it’s authentic, an prentit in a booke forby.

It’s raither an extraordinary tradition, because there’s nae Danes in’t, an nae battle, an nae Scots, an nae warrior savin them frae slauchter, an nae naething, – only an aul’ boar.

There’s waur things nor a gude boar, but this yin wusna a gude yin, for it wus a wil’ yin yt leeve’t at Corriedoo on the road frae Balmaclellan tae Minnihive; an it wus an unca cantankerous yin, an rampag’t a’ up an doon the country, killin men, women an weans, tae say naething o’ kye an sheep, an bits o’ odd things o’ that kin’. A dinna ken if it ett them, but it’s likely, or wudna a’ fash’t itsel killin sae mony o’ them.

Maybe it wus a teegar some o’ the Crusaders brung ower, but onywey it made an awfu stramash in the Glenkenns, an folk made an awfu sang abot it, an mony a yin try’t tae kill’t, but it ey kill’t them.

At lang an last the king got word o’t, whaever he wus, an he offer’t a’ the lans o’ Lochinvar tae onybuddy yt wud bring him the heid o’ this wunnerfu wil’ boar. The tradition disna tell hoo he wus gaun ‘a’ ken its heid frae ony ither yin, but that’s naething, – in a tradition.

Weel, there wus a great warrior leev’t at Mossroddoch, an they ca’t him Rory or Roderick, – maybe he wus the ancestor o’ the great MacRodericks o’ Arndarroch, wha kens? – an he thocht Lochinvar wud answer him bravely, sae he set aff yae fine mornin tae kill the boar, an cut aff its heid tae tak tae the king.

It’s queer he never thocht o’ killin’t afore, an him sae naur’t; maybe he had plenty o’ tame swine at hame, an didna need it.

Whun he got tae Curriedoo he wus kin o’ disappointit at seein the boar lyin deid an the heid aff’t, an anither falla lyin sleepin, an the heid lyin aside him. Weel, Rory wusna maybe joost as honest as he micht ‘a been, or thanse the devil tempit him; for he lifit the heid by yin o’ the tusks an ran aff wi’t tae the king, an tell’t him he wantit Lochinvar, for here wus the boar’s heid.

Next minute in jumps the ither falla a’ cover’t wi blude, an roars oot – “It’s me yt haes tae hae Lochinvar, for A kill’t the boar.”

“Hoo he’s leein!” quo Rory, “whun he kill’t the boar it wantit the heid.”

“An whun ye staw the heid it wantit the tongue,” quo the ither.

“Whaurs the tongue, than?” quo the king.

“It’s in my pooch,” quo the ither. “Efter A kill’t the boar A wus that tire’t yt A lay doon tae rest, an fell asleep; an efter A took aff the heid o’t, A cut oot the tongue, for fear some rascal like this yin wud steal the heid whun A wus sleepin.” An wi that he pu’t oot the tongue an flung’t on the table.

“Look if there’s a tongue in the heid,” quo the king; an they lookit, an behold! there wus nane.

Than the king speer’t hoo he kill’t the boar, an he said, – “A gore’t it doun wi my sword.”

“An wi that the kings says, -“The lans o’ Lochinvar ‘ll be yours, an yer name ‘ll be Goredoun, in memory o’ this great exploit. An you, ya meeserable sinner,” says he, speakin tae Rory, “get oot o’ my sicht, or A’’ll set the tykes on ye.”

Rory ran for’t, an the tykes efter him; an a’ his descendants haes the marks o’ their teeth in their heels tae the present day.

There’s nae Gordons noo, though; they took The Gentility, an it turn’t them ina Goddins an Gawdings.



Partial Glossar

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

  • Gowk ‘A fool; a cuckoo.’ [GOWK]
  • Forbye ‘Besides, in addition, as well, what is more.’ [FORBY]
  • Waur ‘Worse.’ [WAUR]
  • Nor ‘Than.’ [NOR]
  • Unca ‘Very, exceedingly, extremely, to a marked degree.’ [UNCO]
  • Wean ‘A child.’ [WEAN]
  • Kye ‘Cows, cattle.’ [KYE]
  • Fash ‘To trouble, bother oneself, to take pains.’ [FASH]
  • Stramash ‘An uproar, commotion, hubbub, disturbance, a broil, squabble, row.’ [STRAMASH]
  • Thanse ‘Else.’ [THAN]
  • Quo ‘To say, speak.’ [QUO]
  • Staw ‘Stole.’ [STEAL]
  • Speer ‘To ask (a piece of information, a question), inquire, make inquiries.’ [SPEIR]
  • Tyke ‘A dog, gen. with contemptuous force, a hulking uncouth ill-bred dog, a cur.’ [TIKE]