Tha Moss

Author: John McGregor

Date: 2012

Source: Ullans: The Magazine for Ulster-Scots, Nummer 12 Wunter 2011/12

John McGregor

A niver wus yin fur gan tae tha moss tae dae ony werk. Oor yins at hame jist bocht a wheen o’ baags o’ coal an’ that daen is tha week. Onyhoo tha place A leeved as a wean had a grate big moss rinnin’ fur miles an’ miles. Naw a wile lock o’ fowk ust it cause it wus giely wrocht oot an’ thir wus jist yin ir twa o’ tha auld han’s still cuttin’ peats in it. Bit near ivery Sunday a’ tha fowks aboot wud heid aff tae tha moss fur a big lang wakk. It wusnae sae bad in tha wunter if tha wather wus guid, fur tha auld grass an’ weeds werenae that pooerful lang; bit in tha simmer the auld rushes an’ weeds were herd tae waak throu, an even mair sae quen yur a wean wi’ wee short legs.

Tha yin thing that stans oot in mae mine aboot tha moss is gan fur a wakk yin winter’s day. A wus onlie thrie ir fower at tha time an’ thir wus maesel’ an’ mae granny an’ mae mither; an’ we a’ set oot fur a wee danner efter tha Sunday denner.

Tha wather on tha day wus guid, wi’ a winter’s sun in tha sky, bit tha week aforehan’ had a wile lock o’ big heavy shooers gan aboot, sae tha grun wus a bit on tha watt side. A wus a’ excited, cause wi’ tha grun baein’ watt A wus toul A wud haetae weer mae new wellies tae wakk throu tha grass in tha moss. It wus tha furst pair o’ wellies A iver had an’ thir wus quare excitement quen A wus toul A cud weer them. They wur A luvly blue color an’ iverybodie sayed A lukked wile cute in them.

We a’ got pult th’gither an’ heided aff fur oor wakk. Efter a wheen o’ minits we wur at tha enn o’ tha rodden an’ tha grun felt herd enuff below fit sae aff we went. We wakk’d fur A’m shure near half an oor quan mae granny sayed she wus gan ower tae see tha binks quere tha auld boys haed bin cuttin’ in tha simmer. We wannered aff tha herd rodden an’ heided ower bae tha binks an’ that wus a big mistak’; fur tha grun ower thonner wus a bit saft, an’ we hadnae wakk’d err far tae ye cud hear tha smak cummin’ frae tha saft peat. Ye cud hae tuk a stick an’ stirr’d it.

A hud jist taen aboot a dizzen steps quen A managed tae get lair’d richt up tae tha tapp o’ mae wee blu wellies. A wus in a bit o’ a panic cause A cud feel maesel’ startin’ tae sink intae tha peat. A wus stannin’ shoutin’ mae heid aff, bit mae granny cum ower tae me and taen yin o’ mae airms an’ mae mither taen th’ither yin an’ they started tae pu’ me oot. Weel tha bit o’ pechin’ an’ gruntin’ wus nithen ornery, bit they manag’d tae git me pu’d oot; bit quen A lukked doon at tha grun mae whole wurl near ended, fur A had jist tha yin wellie on. A lukked oor quer A had laired an’ ma ither wellie wus still stuck in tha auld saft peat. A wus set doon on the herd rodden an’ mae granny went bakk tae try an’ get mae wee wellie; bit nae metter hoo herd she pu’d, it jist wudnae cum oot, so she had tae gie up, an’ a these yiers later it’s still stuck thir.

That wus yin o’ mae furst trips tae tha moss that A can mine o’ an’ A think it haes mebbe pit me aff tha moss fur life.



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