Peter an tha Wulf

Author: Ian James Parsley

Date: 1999

Source: Ullans: The Magazine for Ulster-Scots, Nummer 7 Wunter 1999


Translation by Ian James Parsley

On tha rice o a muckle tree a wee bird, Peters feir, sat. “Aa’s lown” tha bird blythesom chirlt.

Belyv a deuk cum plowteran roon. Scho wus blythe Peter haedna steekit tha yett sae scho decid fur gan i tha howe stank i tha haugh fur a swim. An tha deuk heinan, tha wee bird taen a flicht doon til tha gress, sut itssel foernent tha deuk an gien tha shoolders a hotch, “Whitna bird wud ye be, an ye canna flicht?” qu’ scho. This tha deuk repoent “Whitna bird wud ye be, an ye canna swim?” an div intil tha stank. The bickert an bickert, an tha deuk i tha stank swiman an tha wee bird alang tha strann hirselan.

Strecht aff Peter taen tent o ocht. He heint a cat spraughlean thrugh tha gress. Tha cat wus thinkan “Tha bird is thrang wae bickerin? A’l juiss tak a claucht o her.” Scho creepit fast til her on hir velvet luifs. “Tak tent!” Peter gullert, an tha bird flichtit strecht aff intil tha tree, an tha deuk fae tha middle o tha stank lean fearfu quacks oot. Tha cat spraughlet aroon tha tree an thocht, “Is it worth sae heich speilan? Whoniver A win til thar, tha bird will be awa.”

Grannpa cum oot. He wus efter takan a scunner, fur Peter wus awa til tha haugh an’ hit’s ae daingersom airt. Gif a wulf kim er tha forest, then whit wud ye dae? Peter taen nae tent o tha wurds o his grannpa. Louns tha liek o him haes nae fear o wulfs. Bot grannpa taen Peter wae tha hann, brocht him haem, an put tha lock on tha yett.

Whoniver Peter wus awa, a muckle grey wulf cum er tha forest. Tha cat speilt quaern quak up tha tree. Tha deuk gien oot a quack, an sae het up, scho taen a lep er tha stank. Bot it niver maed whit scho daen, scho cudna get hirsel awa fae tha wulf. He wus kiman nearder… nearder… kiman richt bae her… an then he gat her, an wae tha ae gaup, he gloggit her owre.

An nou, tha road o thins wus: tha cat wus sitan on ae rice, tha bird on anither… no owre nich tha cat. An tha wulf wus gangan roon an roon tha tree, wae hungrie een seean tae thaim.

Maintim Peter waeoot onie fear ava stuid ahint tha steekit yett seean tae aa as wes a-dae. He run haem, taen a strang raep, an speilt up tha heich waa o staen. Ae o tha rices o tha tree, whar tha wulf wus lukan, streekit oot owre tha waa. Takan hauld o tha rice, Peter licht speilt owre on til tha tree. Peter said tae tha bird, “Flicht ye doon an gae roon tha wulfs heid, bot tak tent he daesna get tha hann on you.”

Tha bird near cum intae contact wae tha wulfs heid wae hir wings, an tha wulf fae aa airts takan haiversom snacks at her. Tha wulf daed tak a pourfu scunner tae tha bird! He wus rail fur getan tha hanns on her! Bot tha bird wus pawkier, an tha wulf cud dae nocht ava anent it.

Maintim, Peter maed a lassoo an, an cannielik letan it doon, taen tha wulf bae tha rumple an gien a pou wae aa his micht. Feelan himsel kept, tha wulf stertit wae wile leps, fur kiman free. Bot Peter tied tha tither enn o tha raep tae tha tree, an tha leps o tha wulf juiss maed tha raep faster roon tha rumple.

Juiss then… tha huntars cum oot fae tha forest, follaean tha rumple o tha wulf, shuitan ilka tied the muived. Bot Peter sitan i tha tree said “Niver shuit! Me an Birdie haes ay tha wulf gat. Nou gie us a hann, an takan him til tha azoo.”

An thar… Think on tha triumphan procession: Peter at tha foer. Ahint him tha huntars leadan tha wulf. An at tha enn o tha procession, grannpa an tha cat. Grannpa gien tha heid a wanchancie shug, “Weel, gif Peter haedna tha wulf gat, whit then?”

Abuin thaim tha Birdie flichtit, an blythesom chirlan, “Weel, whit braw anes we ir, Peter an me! Tak a keek at whit we hae gat!”

An gif a boadie wud geyn cannielik heir tae, the cud heir tha deuk i tha wulfs waem quackan, fur tha wulf, an hiean, haed her gloggit owre.



The Ulster-Scots Academy has been an integral part of the Ulster-Scots Language Society since 1993. The name "Ulster-Scots Academy" is registered to the USLS with the Intellectual Property Office.

Ulster Scots Academy


A new edition of Michael Montgomery’s From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English recounts the lasting impact that at least 150,000 settlers from Ulster in the 18th century made on the development of the English language of the United States. This new edition published by the Ulster-Scots Language Society documents over 500 ‘shared’ vocabulary items which are authenticated by quotations from both sides of the Atlantic. A searchable online version of this dictionary is now also available here.


The Ulster-Scots Academy is currently working on the digitisation of Dr Philip Robinson's seminal Ulster-Scots Grammar and the English/Ulster-Scots part (with circa 10,000 entries) of a two-way historical dictionary of Ulster-Scots. These projects are planned to be completed and available on the site in 2016.



This site is being developed on a purely voluntary basis by the Ulster-Scots Language Society at no cost to the taxpayer. USLS volunteers have been involved in preserving and promoting Ulster-Scots for more than 20 years. All donations, however small, will be most gratefully received and contribute towards the expansion of the project. Thank you!

This site is being developed by the Ulster-Scots Language Society (Charity No. XN89678) without external financial assistance. USLS volunteers have been involved in preserving and promoting Ulster-Scots for more than 20 years. All donations, however small, will be most gratefully received and contribute towards the expansion of the project. Thank you!

(Friends of the Ulster-Scots Academy group)