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Poems from Francis Kerr Young
Grandfather Tells the Story of the First Ne’erday


Excerpt from Francis Kerr Young’s Hang on a Second! A story about a young Scots engineer on his first voyage aboard an old passenger liner.  Look for Frank’s hilarious novel at Amazon.


   Angus pondered for a moment.  “Ah’ll cheer ‘em up.  Ah’ll tell them a Bible story that my Grandfaither telt me.  He cleared his throat and in a loud clear voice began to recite Grandfather Tells the Story of the First Ne’erday.

   “Noo accordin’ tae some devout mathematician wha coontit back a’ the years recorded in the Holy Bible, the world wis created in the year 4004 BC, at nine o’clock, oan the mornin’ o’ October twenty-third.  But that isnae quite true.  Ye see, he never took leap years an’ such things intae accoont because there wisnae ony guid wind-up clocks then.  The maist accurate measurement tae date calculates oot tae be December, the thirty-first, fower thoosan’ an’ three years BC.  So if we gang back tae yon time, we micht get an inklin’ o’ whit happened:

   “If bells had’ve been invented then they wid’ve been jist aboot ready tae ring midnicht when Archangel Gabriel came daun’erin’ alang the road.  He noticed Oor Lord sittin’ oan a mountain lookin’ a’ pecht oot.  Gabriel had been ower busy practisin’ high notes oan his new horn an’ quite forgoat that his Maister hid sterted a new project jist six days afore.  He felt fair ashamed o’ himsel’ for no’ offerin’ tae help.  Still, it wis never too late. ‘Ah’ve come tae gie ye a haun’ wi’ yer project, Lord.’

   “Ach, ye’re too late Gabe,” rebuked The Lord, feelin’ fair wabbit.  ‘The joab’s aboot done.’  He swept His Haun’ acroass the hivens, the seas, an’ the Earth an’ said, ‘Ah’ve jist goat this wee haun’fy stour left an’ Ah’ve been wonderin’ whit tae dae wi’ it.’

   ‘Man, a’ yon looks braw,’ whispered Gabe, his e’en wide-open in awe at the stors an’ the moon an’ a’ the planets birlin’ their wey through the black-velvet nicht.  He gazed up at His Lord an’ pondered for a meenite afore makin’ his suggestion.  ‘Ye ken Lord, a’ great artists sign their work yince they’re done.  Why don’t ye dae same?’

   ‘Man, that’s a rare idea,’ announced The Lord.  He opened up His Michty Haun’ an’ looked doon at the wan or twa ounces o’ stour layin’ in His Palm for a wee while then blew life intae it.  Richt awa’ a young man came intae being.

   Gabriel gaped in amazement at the lad who stood, ballock nakit, richt in front o’ him.  ‘Oh my Lord, he’s the deid spit o’ ye.’

   ‘Aye Ah ken Gabe,’ said The Lord.  ‘Ah’ve made him in Ma Very Ain Image.  He’ll be ma legacy tae this braw world that Ah’ve jist created wi’ ma ain twa haun’s.’  He sighed wearily.  ‘Ah’ve been pittin’ in triple shifts oan that loat for the past six days an’ Ah’m fair wabbit.  Ra morra, Ah’m gaun tae tak the day aff.’

   Adam, for that wis the name His Faither gave him, stared aboot his strange surroundin’s in amazement an’ won’ert whit tae dae.

   ‘Here laddie,’ said The Lord, yawnin’.  ‘Dinnae hing aboot like a lang drink o’ watter.  There’s some trees ower there.  Awa’ an’ cut doon some branches and build a bothy for yersel’.  Ah’ll see ye first thing Monday mornin’.’

   Monday came alang an’ The Lord gave Adam a few pinters oan livin’; like whit kind o’ animals gave the best meat; whit kind o’ fruit an’ tubers tae eat, how tae make fire, an’ such like.  So three months went by an’ it wis spring.  No’ that Adam kent for the weather in Eden wis smashin’ a’ the time.

   He hid been lazin’ aboot a’ yon time because he’d nuthin’ tae dae.  Adam wid kill a coo or a sheep yince in while so he wis a’richt for fresh meat - an’ there wis plenty o’ fruit oan the trees an’ bushes for his dessert.  When his bothy goat dirty an’ untidy wi’ bones an’ such he jist moved away an’ built anither yin.

   It wisnae lang efter when Archangel Gabriel came daun’erin’ alang the same road an’ noticed Oor Lord sittin’ oan the same mountain lookin’ teed aff.  ‘Whit’s the maitter Lord?’

   ‘Och Ah’m fair upset wi’ Adam.  It turns oot he’s no’ like me at a’.’

   ‘In whit wey Lord?’  Gabe asked, cranin’ his heid tae view Adam up oan the ither side o’ a glen.  ‘He’s the very spit o’ ye, can ye no’ see?’

   ‘Aye, he diz look like me richt enough.’  The Lord said in agreement.  ‘Bit he’s no’ as industrious as me.  He disnae seem tae ony ambition.’

   ‘Whit dae ye expect him tae dae Lord?’

   ‘Weel, Ah thocht that he’d mibi roond up some kye an’ build up a dairy herd.  Or mibi, learn how tae make a ploo an’ plant barley, corn, wheat, an’ ither cereals.  He could make breid frae the wheat, make butter frae the dairy, an’ mibi jam frae the fruit trees.  There’s nuthin’ better than a doorstep laden thick wi’ butter an’ lashin’s o’ strawberry jam.’

   ‘Mibi he disnae ken how tae dae these things.’

   ‘Aye, he kens a’ richt!  Ah gied ma brains tae - did Ah no’?’

   Gabe stroked his chin.  ‘That’s a’ very weel bit it’s obvious that he’s no yasin’ them.  Mibi he needs some incentive.’

   ‘That’s a grand idea Gabe!  Ah’ll gie the greatest incentive ever.’

   ‘An’ whit might that be Lord?’

   ‘Ah’m gaun tae gie him a wumman!’

   ‘Whit’s a wumman?’

   ‘That’s a question Adam will be askin’ himsel’ for the rest o’ his days - stertin’ the morra.’

   So the very next mornin’ Adam woke up wi’ a terrible pain in his chist.  Too mony ingins in the mince, he thocht.  He sat up an’ noticed this young thing sittin’ grinnin’ at him.

   ‘Wha ur you?’ he asked in amazement.

   ‘Ah dinnae ken.’

   The Lord showed up jist then an’ telt Adam that he noo hid a companion wha wid stey wi’ him for the rest o’ his days.  Her name wis Eve an’ they hid tae be fruitful an’ multiply.  Adam wunnert how he could multiply athoot a slide rule.  The Lord, readin’ his thochts, telt him that he already hid a six-inch wan - bit he jist didnae ken how tae yase it yet.  So Eve took charge an’ pit Adam tae work.  She wis smart enough tae make him think it wis a’ his ain idea.  So everythin’ wis hunky-dory until the day afore the first anniversary o’ the world’s creation.  Whit happened that mornin’ hid a loat tae answer for.

   Ye see - Eve wis quite happy drivin’ Adam tae get oan in the world.  That is until the Lord telt them no’ tae partake o’ the Tree o’ Knowledge.  That wis only fruit in the hale o’ Eden that wis forbidden tae them.  Noo Eve, bein’ the prototype o’ original wummun, didnae like onyboady tae tell her whit tae dae, or in this case, whit no’ tae dae.  An’ of coorse the Serpent, in the guise o’ Auld Nick, jist egged her oan.

   That efternin the Lord watched Adam an’ Eve set up the banquet table wi’ black bun, shoartbreid, sultana cake, an’ ginger wine.  ‘Gabe,’ says He.  ‘Keep an eye oan things for me.  Ah’m awa’ tae yon stors.’

   ‘Rho Coronae Borealis?  That’s nearly fifty-seeven licht years awa’!’

   The Lord nodded his heid.  ‘Ah ken that!  Ah made it - did Ah no’?  Bit dinnae fash yersel’ Gabe, Ah’ll be back for Ne’erday.’

   Sure enough that next mornin’, the Lord fun’ Gabe sittin’ oan his usual mountain wi’ his heid in his haun’s.  ‘Whit’s the maitter Gabe?’

   ‘Och Lord, Ah’ve let ye doon.  Yon Serpent pult a fast yin oan me.  He talked Eve intae pu’in’ some fruit frae yer Tree o’ Knowledge.  She gied it tae Adam, an’ when he et it, a bit goat stuck in his thrapple.  So that it widnae happen again she biled some o’ the fruit tae make it saft.  Then she baked a sponge cake oan tap o’ the stewed aipples an’ ca’d it Eve’s Pudden.’

   ‘Gabe, noo ye’ve goat me beilin’!’

   ‘Och, that’s no’ the hauf o’ it Lord.’

   ‘Ocht Gabe - whit next?’

   ‘The De’il spiked the ginger wine an’ they a’ goat steamin’ drunk.  They talked Eve intae daein’ a dresstease.  It’s amazin’ whit ye can dae wi’ a couple o fig leaves.  When Adam’s turn came he pit oan a doaken leaf.  Everyboady kens whit the proper use o’ a doaken leaf is.’

   ‘That’s it!  Ah’ve heard enough!  Whaur ur they noo?’

   “Och, they’re a’ sittin’ ootside the bothy haudin’ their sair heids an’ too sick tae eat their Ne’erday denner.  Man, how can onyboady turn doon steak pie wi’ tatties, neeps, an’ beetroot, is beyond me.’

   ‘So-o,’ saith the Lord, staun’in’ ower the trio.  ‘Ah turn ma back for five meenites an’ a’ yon-ither-place breks loose.  Weel, ye hid yer chance - an’ ye blew it.  Yer life o’ Riley’s ower.’

   ‘Aw gie’s anither chance Lord,’ pleaded Adam.

   ‘Na, na.  Ye’ll be celebratin’ next Ne’erday oot in the boonies.  Awa’ doon the road wi’ ye!’

   An’ so Adam an’ Eve were cast oot o’ Eden.  ‘Never mind,’ the Serpent shouted tae them.  ‘Ah’ll be yer First Fit again next year.’

   The Almighty glowered at him.  ‘An’ Ah’m thinkin’ that ye’ll find it gey hard tae First Fit wi’ nae legs, ye haun’less cratur ye!’

   An’ so the Serpent crawled awa’ oan his belly.  Bit some o’ the curse hit Adam an’ Eve tae - because in the followin’ generations a loat o’ their progeny hiv been fun’ legless at Hogmanay!”


His books can be purchased at:

Canada:

The Legend of the Mary Celeste and Other Poems
 
Hang on a Second!
 
UK:
The Legend of the Mary Celeste and Other Poems
Hang on a Second!
 
United States:
The Legend of the Mary Celeste and Other Poems

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