The Ulster-Scots Language Society, formed to promote the Ulster-Scots language, our own hamely tongue

The Egg

ChickenLaura Spence

(From Ullans 11, 2010)

Yince thur leeved a mon ca'ed Ben
Wha haed a maist byornar hen.
It wadnae stap at hame fur layin;
But bein' thrawn,
Tha bird be'd yin fur daily strayin'
An' wayward gaun.

Tha hen decided, this yin day,
Intil tha nibor's yaird tae gae.
She flep't her wings an' flew awa'
Ahint the wa';
An' thur a speckled egg she lay
An' geen a craw.

Whan Ben cum oot intil tha yaird,
He luk't aroon tae fine his burd;
An then tha layer's cackles heer'd
Frae nixt door's midden.
It wudnae heed his coaxin' wurd:
It tuk nae biddin'.

An' noo, tha nibor haed cum oot —
A sleekit halyan, hae nae doot.
"Fur Dear sakes, whit's this noise aboot?
Hey - ye'r some geg!
Whaur are ye gaun ye big galoot,
An wi' mah egg?"

"It's no yer egg," quo Ben, quo he.
"This here hen belangs til me.
Tha egg was lained by nane but she,
Ten minits syne.
Ye hae nae richts - jist lea' it be:
Thon egg is mine".

"Indade it's no," tha nibor said.
"'Twas on my groon thon egg was laid.
An' noo a notion's in ma heid —
Fresh egg fur tay,
Scrammled ower het proota breid —
Thon's whit Ah'll hae".

Bek an forrit tha twa men focht:
Fur oors, they cud agree on nocht.
An' then Ben said: "Ah've haed a thocht —
Here's whit we'll dae:
We'll haetae play a game or ocht
Fur paice theday".

"Lay yersel upon tha groon,
Streek richt oot frae fit til croon:
Then Ah'll tak a buck chairge doon
An blarge yer heid:
Gin ye dinna mak a soon,
Ye'll tak the lead".

Then we'll swap oor places owre:
Ah'll lee doon an — if ye daur —
Ye'll hae a chaunce tae win th' oor
An tak tha egg:
Jist boot ma heid wi' tha michty pooer
O yer hefty leg".

Tha nibor viewed tha egg wi' greed.
"Ye'r on, we'll dae't," he then agreed.
He pick't a spot an' doon he layed
An' streetched weel oot.
Ben lukked at thonner waitin' heid
An' flexed his boot.

An' then Ben coonted - yin, twa, thee,
He pace't weel bek an' screwed his e'e.
"Ah'm cumin noo," he ca'ed wi' glee
An' chairged fu' speed.
He sunk his fit, hard as cud be,
Intil tha heid.

The nibor stacher't til his feet:
Tha awfu' pain near gart him greet.
He wudnae e'er admit defeat
Tho' in a stoon.
Determint he wud no be beat,
He stud his groon.

He wakely croaked: "It's your go noo":
Tha bluid wus rinnin' doon his broo.
"Lay doon thonner, streetch oot fu'
Tae ma turn's taen".
Ben lauch't, an' sayed "Ah'll tak tha rue —
Thon egg's yer ain".