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The Marriage of Robin Redbreast and the Wren

Taken from the recitation of Mrs Begg, the sister of Robert Burns. The poet was in the habit of telling the story to the younger members of his father's household at Mount Oliphant and Mrs Begg's impression was that he made it for their amusement. This little nursery tale was published by Robert Chambers in his "Popular Rhymes of Scotland.

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

THERE was an auld grey Poussie Baudrons, (Pussy cat) and she gaed awa’ down by a water-side, and there she saw a wee Robin Redbreast happin’ on a brier; and Poussie Baudrons says: "Where’s tu gaun, wee Robin?" And wee Robin says: "I’m gaun awa’ to the king to sing him a sang this guid Yule morning." And Poussie Baudrons says: "Come here, wee Robin, and I’ll let you see a bonny white ring round thy neck." But wee Robin says: "Na, na! grey Poussie Baudrons; na, na! Ye worry’t the wee mousie but ye’se no worry me." So wee Robin flew awa’ till he came to a fail fauld-dike (Turf wall enclosing a field), and there he saw a grey greedy gled (Kite) sitting. And grey greedy gled says: "Where’s tu gaun, wee Robin?" And wee Robin says: "I’m gaun’ to the king to sing him a sang this guid Yule morning." And grey greedy gled says: "Come here, wee Robin, and I’ll let you see a bonny feather in my wing." But wee Robin says: "Na, na! grey greedy gled; na, na! Ye pookit (Pluck, strip) a’ the wee lintie (Linnet); but ye’se no pook me." So wee Robin flew an’ till be came to the cleuch o’ a craig (Face of a rock) and there he saw slee Tod Lowrie (Mister Fox) sitting. And slee Tod Lowrie says: "Where’s tu gaun, wee Robin?" And wee Robin says: "I’m gaun awa’ to the king to sing him a sang this guid Yule morning." And slee Tod Lowrie says: "Come here, wee Robin, and I’ll let ye see a bonny spot on the tap o’ my tail" But wee Robin says: "Na, na! slee Tod Lowrie; Na, na! Ye worry’t the wee lammie; but ye’se no worry me." So wee Robin flew awa’ till he came to a bonny burn-side, and there he saw a wee callant (Boy) sitting. And the wee callant says: "Where’s tu gaun, wee Robin?" And wee Robin says: "I’m gaun awa’ to the king to sing him a sang this guid Yule morning." And the wee callant says: "Come here, wee Robin, and I’ll gie ye a wheen grand moolins Some crumbs) out o’ my pooch." But wee Robin says: "Na, na! wee callant; na, na! Ye speldert the gowdspink; but ye’se no spelder me." So wee Robin flew awa’ till he came to the king, and there he sat on a winnock sole (Window sill) and sang the king a bonny sang. And the king says to the queen: "What’ll we gie to wee Robin for singing us this bonny sang?" And the queen says to the king: "I think we’ll gie him the wee wran to be his wife." So wee Robin and the wee wran were married, and the king, and the queen, and a’ the court danced at the waddin’; syne he flew awa’ hame to his ain water-side, and happit on a brier.

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