14th February

Jack and the Puddock

‘Whit’s love, Mither?’ Jack asked.

‘Mair o yer daft questions,’ his mother said. ‘Who’s been tellin ye aboot love?’

Jack held up a tattered old book. ‘There’s a story in here aboot a lassie that faws in love, and I wondered whit it was,’ says he.

‘Weel, ye’ll no find it in a book,’ she says. ‘Away ye go tae the well and hae a look for it there.’

So Jack’s away to the well and he draws a bucket of water and up it comes with a puddock* in it.

‘I’m lookin for love,’ Jack says. ‘Is it doon that well?’

‘It might be,’ says the puddock. ‘There’s water doon there, and that’s whit puddocks love maist, so aye, ye could say that.’

‘Weel, I’m tryin tae find oot whit love is,’ says Jack, ‘but I dinna think it’s water. Maybe for a puddock, but no for me. Ony ither ideas?’

‘Weel,’ says the puddock, ‘sometimes in stories a lassie finds love when she kisses a puddock.’

‘But that’s the very thing that happens in this book I was readin!’ says Jack.

‘Aye, weel,’ says the puddock. ‘That proves it.’

‘Dae ye think it would work for me?’ says Jack.

‘Dinna ken,’ says the puddock. ‘Ye could try.’ So Jack puckers up and closes his eyes and lands a kiss on the puddock’s mouth, but nothing happens.

‘Sorry, Jack,’ says the puddock. ‘Wrang puddock.’

‘Maybe it’s because I’m no a lassie,’ Jack says.

‘Aye, weel, maybe,’ says the puddock. ‘I suppose if kissin a puddock works for a lassie, kissin a lassie might work for a laddie.’

‘Ye could be right,’ says Jack.

Just then this bonnie young lassie comes to the well to draw some water. So Jack says, ‘Excuse me,’ he says, ‘I’m lookin for love,’ and he plants a big kiss right on her lips.

As soon as he’s finished she wallops him, a really hard slap on one cheek, followed by another slap on the other. Then she gets her bucketful of water and marches off, leaving Jack in a daze with his ears ringing.

‘Is this me in love noo?’ he says.

‘Naw, Jack,’ says the puddock. ‘Wrang lassie.’

* frog (Scots)

Reader: James Robertson
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
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