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The Puddock
by J M Caie

Click here to listen to this in RealAudio read by Marilyn P Wright

Born and educated In the North-East, Caie was a lecturer in agriculture who became a senior civil servant in the Department of Agriculture. His poems come from his upbringing in the country around Fochabers in Banffshire. ‘The Puddock’ has long been a favourite recitation piece for schools.

A puddock sat by the lochan’s brim, 
An’ he thocht there was never a puddock like him. 
He sat on his hurdies, he waggled his legs, 
An’ cockit his heid as he glowered throu’ the seggs. 
The bigsy wee cratur’ was feelin’ that prood, 
He gapit his mou’ an’ he croakit oot lood:
‘Gin ye’d a’ like tae see a richt puddock,’ quo’ he, 
‘Ye’ll never, I’ll sweer get a better nor me. 
I’ve fem’lies an’ wives an’ a weel-plenished hame, 
Wi’ drink for my thrapple an’ meat for my wame. 
The lasses aye thocht me a fine strappin’ chiel. 
An’ I ken I’m a rale bonny singer as wed. 
I’m nae gyaun tae blaw, but the truth I maun tell —
I believe I’m the verra MacPuddock himsel’.'

A heron was hungry an’ needin’ rae sup, 
Sae he nabbit th’ puddock and gollup’t him up; 
Syne runkled his feathers: ‘A peer thing,’ quo’ he, 
‘But — puddocks is nae fat they eesed tae be.’

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