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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Rhyme-Games - The Wadds and the Wears

Similar to the foregoing, in some respects, is "The Wadds and the Wears",— which John Mactaggart, the writer of The Galloridian Encyclopedia, describes as (in his day) "the most celebrated amusement of the Ingle-rind;" in the south-west of Scotland. As in the "Wadds", the players are seated round the hearth. One in the ring (says Mactaggart), speaks as follows:-

I have been awa' at the wadds and the wears,
These seven lang years
And's came hame a puir broken ploughman
What will ye gie me to help me to my trade?

He may either say he's a "puir broken ploughman," or any other trade; but since he has chosen that trade, some of the articles belonging to it must always be given or offered, in order to recruit him. But the article he most wants he privately tells one of the party, who is not allowed, of' course, to offer him any-thing, as he knows the thing, which will throw the offerer in a wadd, and must be avoided as much as possible--for to be in a wadd is a very serious matter, as shall afterwards be explained. Now the one on the left hand of the poor ploughman makes the first offer, by way of answer to what above was said: "I'll gie ye a coulter to help ye to your trade."

The ploughman answers, "I don't thank ye for your coulter, I haae ane already." Then another offers him another article belonging to the ploughman's business, such as the mool-brod. but this also is refused; another, perhaps, gives the sock, another the stilts, another the spattle, another the naigs, another the naig-graith, and so on; until one gives the soam, which was the article he most wanted, and was the thing secretly told to one, and is the thing that throws the giver in a wadd, out of which he is relieved in the following manner:-

The ploughman says to the one in the wadd, "Whether will ye hae three questions and twa commands, or three commands and twa questions, to answer or gang on wi', sae that ye may win oot o' the wadd? For the one so fixed has always the choice which of these alternatives to take. Suppose he takes the first, two commands and three questions, then a specimen of these may run so:-

"I command you to kiss the crook," says the ploughman, which must be completely obeyed by the one in the wadd—his naked lips must salute the sooty implement.

"Secondly,'' saith the ploughman, "I command ye to stand up in that neuk, and say:-

'Here stan' I, as stiffs a stake,
Wha'll kiss me for pity's sake?'"

Which must also be done; in a corner of the house must he stand and repeat that couplet, till some tender-hearted lass relieves him. Now for the questions which are most deeply laid, or so touching to him, that he finds much difficulty to answer them.

"Firstly, then, Suppose ye were sittin' aside Maggie Lowden and Jennie Logan. your twa great sweethearts, what ane o'm wad ye ding ower, and what ane wad ye turn to and clap and cuddle?" He makes answer by choosing Maggie Lowden, perhaps, to the great mirth of the party.

"Secondly, then, Suppose you were standin' oot i' the cauld, on the tap o' Cairnhattie, whether wad ye cry on Peggie Kirtle or Nell o' Killimingie to come wi' your plaid?"

He answers again in a similar manner.

"Lastly, then, Suppose you were in a boat wi' Tibby Tait, Mary Kairnie, Sallie Snadrap, and Kate o' Minnieive, and it was to cowp wi' ye, what ane o'm wad ye sink? what ane wad ye soom? wha wad ye bring to Ian? and wha was ye marry?'' Then he answers again, to the fun of the company, perhaps, in this way, "I wad sink Mary Kairnie, soom Tibbie Tait, bring Sallie Snadrap aneath my oxter to lan', and marry sweet Kate o' Minnieieve."

And so ends that bout at the wadds and the wears.

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