PISTIE AN THE PUDDIN’S GHOST

Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 232-234

At nicht whun Pistie gaed tae bed,

Sauners M’Cormick gar’t him gang

Doone tae the cupboard, there tae steal

A bluidy Puddin thick an lang.

His Grannie, yt jaloose’t fu weel

The wey her puddins aye wus lost,

Said if he did another steal,

He’d surely see a Puddin’s Ghost.

Neist nicht, whun comin fae the skule,

At half-past sax o’clock at nicht,

Whun mair nor half-wey through the merse,

Puir Pistie gat a fearfu fricht.

Startin frae oot the reeds amang,

Sune efter he the Lane had cross’t,

Something aside him row’t alang,

Look’t mortal like a Puddin’s Ghost.

Wi fricht his mooth it open’t wide,

His hair wi horror stood on en’;

He got sae fley’t, if it wus best

Tae stan or rin he didna ken.

At last he ran, but in a wee

The wun his hat blew aff an lost;

He look’t ahin, an there did see

Close at his heels the Puddin’s Ghost.

Puir Pistie ran wi micht an main,

An rair’t wi a’ his strength an force,

But whuther he ran fast or slow,

The Puddin at his heels wus close.

Whun naur untae the dyke he came,

He tae hissel begood tae boast

Yt he wud noo get safely hame,

An see nae mair the Puddin’s Ghost.

But haith! it sune lap ower the dyke,

An efter him ran up the hill;

An whun intae the hoose he got,

Puir Pistie on his knees he fell.

His Grannie, weshin o’ the floor,

Thocht Pistie had his senses lost;

*Says Grannie, “It’s the Seckiebaun.”

Cries Pistie, “Here’s the Puddin’s Ghost.”

An whun he gat intae his bed,

Sauners M’Cormick he did tell

Yt whun he did a puddin want,

He’d better gang an steal’t hissel.

He also tell’t him he’d as weel

Gang barefit oot mang snaw an frost,

As he’d anither puddin steal,

An see anither Puddin’s Ghost.

*Another wey o’t haes —

Cries Pistie, “Gudesake, bar the door,

For here’s the Bluidy Puddin’s Ghost.”

A dinna ken gin he saw ony mae or no, by he didna get leave tae forget that yin.

Pistie wus awfu clever at figurs, but that wus aboot a’ he could learn, an the Dominie gied him awesome lashins, trying tae gar him gowl, but Pistie wus a great warrior, an wudna ‘a gowl’t tae please Nebuchadnezzar hissel.

A heard he gaed tae America, an the Indians roastit him an ett him. They wud be sair tue’t afore they gat him, A’m thinkin, for he wusna easy cowe’t, an he wud be teucher tae eat.

There wus anither ghaist wus seen in the merse, but it wus aul’ Jock Craig saw’t, an it wus the ghaist o’ a wee droont sailor boy, yt wus seen sittin on the tap o’ his ain grave, joost whaur he wus fun droon’t. Folk use’t tae imagine the Torr whuskey had haen mair or less tae do wi that yin; but hooever, John expectit half-a-croon for tellin aboot it.

A MODEL LAIRD

THE SECKYBAN

Partial Glossar

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

  • Gar ‘To make, cause; to force, compel, esp. to make (a person) do (something).’ [GAR]
  • Jaloose ‘To suspect, be suspicious of, to have doubts or suspicions about, guess, surmise.’ [JALOUSE]
  • Merse ‘Flat, alluvial, freq. marshy land bordering upon a river, a river estuary or the sea, specif. applied to the land (partly reclaimed) bordering the Solway Firth.’ [MERSE]
  • Lane ‘A slow-moving, meandering stream or its bed.’ [LANE]
  • Row ‘To roll.’ [ROW]
  • Fley ‘To frighten, scare, terrify.’ [FLEY]
  • Ahin ‘Behind.’ [AHINT]
  • Begood ‘past tense of begin’ [BEGOOD]
  • Haith ‘A mild oath or exclamation or asseveration of surprise.’ [HAITH]
  • Lap (past tense of lowp) ‘To leap.’ [LOWP]
  • Seckiebaun ‘A kind of wraith or doppelgänger appearing like a shroud.’ [SACBAUN]
  • Gin ‘If (condit. and interrog.), whether.’ [GIN]
  • Dominie ‘A schoolmaster.’ [DOMINIE]
  • Gowl ‘To howl, yell, roar (both of men and animals); to growl, whine; to bark (of a seal); to weep noisily.’ [GOWL]
  • Tue’t ‘Exhausted.’ [Tew]
  • Teuch ‘Tough.’ [TEUCH]