13th May

Jack and the Cave

There was this cave near Jack’s village that he’d always wanted to explore, because he had a notion there might be a pot of gold lying deep inside it. But he was fearful of getting lost, so he took a candle, and a ball of wool from his mother’s knitting basket, and away he went into the cave, unravel- ling the wool as he walked.

Well, he goes for miles, but not a thing of interest does he see by the flickering light of the candle – not a bat or a rat, and not a drop of gold either. Till at last he comes to a kind of room with three more tunnels lead- ing off it, and this is where his ball of wool runs out. That’s far enough for me, he thinks, and he picks up the wool and starts to retrace his steps, winding the wool as he goes.

After a while he finds himself coming out of one of those three tunnels, and he’s back in the same place. That’s odd, Jack thinks, I’m sure I never meant tae gang that wey, but there’s ma line o wool still lyin on the ground so I’d better pick it up and hae anither try. Off he goes, and a while later here he is again, com- ing out of the second tunnel into that same room. And the wool’s still lying there. He sets off once more, winding up the wool as he walks, but it just brings him back to where he was, this time by the third tunnel. Whit’s gaun on? Jack thinks. Here’s me wi three baws o wool but there’s the auld wool I cam in wi still lyin on the ground. So he gives it one last shot, and just when he’s about walked himself off his feet suddenly he steps out of the cave into the daylight.

He hurries home to tell his mother about his latest adventure. ‘Weel, Jack,’ she says, ‘ye’ve no found ony gold in that cave but there’s enough guid wool here tae knit ye a new jersey.’ And for once she didn’t skelp his lug, and he got an extra scone to his tea.

Reader: James Robertson
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Guitar: Sorren Maclean
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