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Aesop's Fables in Scots #4

Part 4 of our first serialised ebook.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
12 mins

The Lassie an' Her Lorny

A wee farmyaird lassie, roamin' the byre wi' her pail, milked the coos till they were dry as a kipper's back. Heavin' the foamin' pail onto her heid, she set aff hamewards, mind wanderin' like a sheep in a kilt.

"Ach, this creamy goodness," she dreamt, "surely it'll churn intae butter saeft as a bairn's bum. Wi' the siller frae the market, I'll nab a wheen o' eggs, an' hatch wee cheepers by the dozen. Soon, my wee farmyaird'll be cawin' wi' feathered fiends! Then, I'll swap a clucking hen or two for a braw new frock, the finest in the glen! Aye, the laddies' heads'll turn like sunflowers when they see me at the fair, beggin' tae dance a jig or share a dram. But me? I'll just toss my fiery hair an' leave them gawkin' in the dust!"

Lost in her daydream, she clean forgot the pail perched atop her heid. With a flick o' her wrist, meant for a haughty toss, the pail went tumblin'. Milk splattered like raindrops, curds plopped on the ground, an' her grand visions vanished faster than a midge in a gale.

Moral: Dinnae count yer chickens afore they hatch, lassie! Dreams are grand, but keep yer feet planted firm. A single clumsy step can spill yer milk an' leave ye wi' naethin' but a soggy frock an' a heap o' what-ifs.

The Dolphins the Whales and the Sprat

Aye, there wis ance a grand war in the deep, nae less! Dolphins, sleek an' boastful, squared off against Whales, mighty an' thrawn. The clash wis fearsome, water frothin' wi' rage, fins flashin' like blades in the dim sun. It seemed tae gang on forever, nae victor in sight.

Now, the wee Sprat, a silver sliver o' a fish, couldnae bear tae see the bonnie ocean churned wi' such hate. So, he darted in, tail twinklin', a voice squeakin' oot, "Hoots, why nae just pack it in an' be mates again? Nae worth a gill o' bubbles this fightin'!"

But a Dolphin, haughty as a peacock on stilts, spat back, "We'd rather thrash about till the last o' us floats belly-up than make peace wi' the likes o' you, wee minnow!"

The Sprat, crestfallen but wise, just shook his head an' whispered, "Ah, well, pride fills mair bellies than brawls, mind ye." An' wi' that, he flicked his tail an' darted off, leavin' the giants tae their endless war.

Moral:  Sometimes, the smallest o' voices can offer the biggest o' wisdom. But pride, aye, that's a stubborn beast, deaf tae reason an' blind tae friendship. Remember, a wee bit o' humbleness can go a long way, even in the deep blue depths. And who knows, maybe one day, Dolphins, Whales, an' Sprats will share a seaweed salad in peace, instead o' gnashin' their teeth an' thrashin' their tails.

The Tod and the Wee Sleekit Monkey

Aye, there was ance a tod an' a wee sleekit monkey, traipsin' the road thegither, arguin' an' bletherin' aboot wha haed the grander lineage. This went on for miles, their voices croakin' louder than a flock o' rooks at dawn. But eventually, they stumbled upon a spooky kirkyard, crammed wi' mauseleums an' headstones, all glintin' in the eerie light.

The monkey froze, eyes wide as a barn owl's, an' let oot a sigh that could've knocked the crows outta the sky. The tod, lookin' like a flea had just nipped his backside, piped up, "Ye alright there, matey? Whit's wi' the dramatics?"

The monkey, pointin' a bony finger at the graveyard, croaked, "Every single one o' these fancy monuments? Aye, those are for my kinfolk, grand fellas they were, high an' mighty in their time!"

The tod, stunned for a wee moment, blinked a couple o' times, then grinned like a weasel at a henhouse. "Aye, dinnae hold back on the big stories now, wee pal!" he chuckled. "Nothin' tae worry aboot, none o' yer posh ancestors are poppin' oot o' their crypts tae give ye the lie!"

Moral:  Liars love an open field, especially when there's nobody around tae catch them in their web o' whoppers. Remember, the biggest blaggers often brag loudest when there's nae proof tae be had. So keep yer feet rooted in the truth, an' leave the graveyard tales tae the ghosts that might actually haunt them!

The Donkey and the Lap-Dog

Aince upon a time, there wis a fellae wi' a muckle great Auldfella an' a wee, yappin' Lap-dog. The Auldfella, braw an' strappin', lived a king's life in the stable, oats an' hay comin' his airt like rain at a ceilidh. Wee Daws, the Lap-dog, wis fair doted on by the Maister, cuddled an' fed, aye wallopin' aboot in his lap, gettin' tidbits frae a' the grand dinners.

Noo, the Auldfella, while comfy, had his bit o' wark: haulin' grain, grindin' the corn, luggin' the haill farm on his back. Efter a while, envy fair ate him up, glowerin' at the Lap-dog's leisur as if it wis pure honey. One day, wi' a snap o' his headstall an' a prance intae the hoose, the Auldfella tried tae ape Daws' tricks. He clattered aboot, knockin' ower the kail an' smashin' the crockery wi' his clumsy hooves. Naebody wis safe fae his muckle heids, nae even the Maister's lap!

The gowks, seein' their Maister in peril, chased the daft Auldfella oot wi' sticks an' a heid fu' o' clouts. Half-deed an' greetin', the Auldfella learned his lesson: "Och, ye gowk! Why'd I hae tae chase daft airs? Ma ain life wis fine, honest wark, nae need tae ape that wee, useless dunderheid!"

Moral:  Bide by yer ain worth an' dinna chase shadows, fur they aye lead ye tae a richt guid cloddin'.

The Fir-tree and the Bramble

A Scots pine, braw an' tall, wis gloatin' ower a wee blackberry bramble, sneerin' like, "Ye puir wee thing, ye're nae use tae a soul. Now, look at me: I'm like gowd tae the builders, they cannae build their hooses withoot me." But the bramble, wise as auld age, jinked back, "Och aye, that's fine n' dandy, but juist wait till the axes an' saws come greetin' yer way, then ye'll wish ye were a bramble an' nae a pine."

Moral:  Poverty wi' peace is a hantle better than riches wi' chains.

The Frogs’ Complaint Against The Sun

Aye, there wis once a time, yon blate baws o' the sky, the Sun, wis aboot tae tie the knot. Weel, the Froggies, bein' a tadge ower fond o' their damp dugs, raise a racket the likes o' never heard afore. The noise gied auld Jupiter a richt guid heidspin, an' he roared doon, "Whit in the muck's a' this croakin' aboot?"

So the Froggies, fair shakin' in their lily pads, croaked, "His Majesty o' the Glow, he's bad enough singlin'! Scorchin' the haill marsh wi' his fire, skinchin' us dry as a kipper in the desert. But what if he marries an' spews oot wee Suns like tadpoles? We'll be fair frizzied afore ye can say 'ribbit'!"

Moral:  Sometimes we're best keepin' the heat on ourselves an' not wishin' for hotter days!

The Dog, the Cockerel and the Fox 

A braw dug an' a cocky wee cockerel became the thickest o' pals, decidin' tae wander the world thegither. As the gloamin' settled, the rooster flapped up a tree tae perch in the branches, while the dug snoozed inside the hollow trunk. Come dawn, the rooster woke with a crow so fine it could charm the milk oot o' a crow. A sly tod, hearin' this, fancied a feathery breakfast an' skulked ower, standin' below the tree. "Ye wee beauty," he cooed, "ye've a voice sweeter than a fiddle's cry! I'd just love tae meet the bard behind a sang sae grand." The rooster, never a gowk, chirped, "Aye, well, jist gie a wee knock on the door down there. My bouncer, a braw dug, sleeps a' night an' can let ye in." The tod, fallin' for the trick, tapped the trunk. But before he could blink, oot sprang the dug, teeth flashin', an' ripped the tod tae shreds.

Moral: Never trust a flatterer wi' a twitchy tail, an' a wee bit o' wit can always outsmart a hungry belly. 

The Midgie and the Bull

A wee midgie, feelin' like a braw wee bomber, landed smack on the horn o' a massive bull, perch't there like a king on his throne. Efter a fair skite o' rest, ready tae buzz aff tae its next adventure, the midgie gae the bull a wee nudge an' chirped, "Mind if I fly aff noo?" The bull, unimpressed as a haggis pie wi'oot the tatties, barely lifted an eyelid an' mumbled, "Dinnae fash yersels, wee beastie, I didnae ken ye came an' I'll no' notice when ye gang."

Moral:  Keep things in perspective. And maybe no' land on horns the next time ye fancy a rest.

The Bear and the Chielers

Two chielers, wanderin' the heather-laced hills, were startled by a braw beastie roamin' free - a fearsome bear, teeth glistenin' in the midday sun. One, swift as a red deer, scrambled up a nearby oak, vanishin' amongst the leaves like a whisper in the wind. The other, less spry, found himself stuck on the ground, nae escape in sight. So, he does the only thing he can, tumbles down like a felled fir an' lies as still as a gravestone, breath tucked tight in his chest. They say a bear, superstitious beast, won't touch a lifeless soul. And sure enough, the beastie lumbered closer, sniffin' and pawin' at the wee feigned corpse. But our lad held his ground, fear clawin' at his throat, an' waited 'til the bear, bored an' baffled, shuffled off back into the woods.

Safe at last, the chiel frae the tree clambered down, a smirk on his face, "Aye, so what wisdom did the fearsome beastie whisper in yer ear?" he chuckled. But the other, eyes still wide with the near miss, growled back, "He said, 'Never trust a travel companion who leaves ye to face the storm alone.'"

Moral: When the heather crackles with danger, true friendship shines through.

A Fleein' Slave an' a Fae Lion

A puir, battered soul o' a slave, haein' endured a life o' cruelty at the hands o' his maister, couldnae bide it nae mair. So he took tae his heels, fleggin' like a hunted deer intae the vast emptiness o' the desert. Wanderin' aboot wi' nae bit o' bread in his belly nor roof ower his heid, he stumbled upon a cave like a shadow in the sand. Seekin' solace frae the burnin' sun, he crept inside, thinkin' he'd found a wee bit o' peace. Little did he ken, it wis the hame o' a fearsome lion, the king o' these wild lands.

As the sun dipped low, paintin' the sky wi' blood an' fire, the cave shuddered wi' a fearsome growl. The slave's heart pounded like a trapped bird as the mighty lion appeared, fangs glistenin', muscles ripplin'. He saw his ain life flash afore his eyes, a cruel twist o' fate. But instead o' pouncin' an' tearin', the lion did a strange thing. He lowered his great head, whimperin' an' pawin' at the ground. Seein' the beast's paw swollen an' red, the slave's fear eased a wee bit. He cautiously approached, a healer's instinct takin' over. He examined the paw an' found a wicked thorn lodged deep within. Wi' gentle hands, he eased it oot an' cleaned the wound. Days turned intae weeks, an' wi' the slave's care, the lion's paw healed strong.

A bond wis forged in that desert cave, a friendship born o' shared pain an' kindness. The grateful lion saw the slave as kin, a protector frae his own hidden thorns. But the desert, as vast as it is, couldnae hold the slave's wanderin' heart forever. Yearnin' for the murmur o' voices, the touch o' kin, he bade farewell tae his lion friend an' re-entered the world o' men.

Unfortunately, fate wisnae kind. He wis recognised, seized, an' dragged back tae the chains o' his maister. This cruel man, thirstin' for revenge, condemned the slave tae a gruesome fate: thrown tae the beasts in the public spectacle. The day arrived, the arena buzzed wi' anticipation as hungry eyes fixit on the condemned man. The beasts were unleashed, a snarlin' symphony o' fangs an' claws. Among them, a lion, huge an' fearsome, entered the arena, drawin' gasps o' terror frae the crowd.

But then, a miracle unfolded. The fearsome lion, in one swift movement, bounded ower tae the slave an' nuzzled him wi' affection, like a long-lost friend. It wis the lion frae the cave! The crowd erupted, awestruck by the loyalty o' the beast. Moved by this display o' gratitude, the governor declared the slave a free man an' granted the lion a place o' honour in the city.

Moral:  Sometimes, the bonds forged in the darkest o' places can shine the brightest light, a testament tae the wild, untamed heart o' both beast an' man.

The Flea and the Man

Aye, there wis this fellae, fair steamin' wi' rage, haein' been gnawed at like a haggis by a wee winnick o' a flea. Back an' forth it hopped, takin' its fill an' leavin' its mark, drivin' the man near aboot dotty. Finally, in a fit o' fury, he snatched the wee blighter an' held it betwixt his thumb an' finger, ready tae gie it its comeuppance.

"Ye scunnerl!" he roared, voice shakin' wi' anger, "Wha d'ye think ye are, nibblin' on me like a field mouse on a cheese?"

The flea, wee thing, gnashed its legs an' squeaked in a pitiful wee voice, "Oh, sir, dinnae send me tae the weetimoricoes! I'm but a speck o' dust, nae worth the swat o' yer haund!"

But the man, his anger blindin' him, just scoffed. "Nae matter yer size, ye wee bloodsucker," he snarled, "a pest is a pest, an' pests get squashed! Nae mercy for the likes o' ye!"

An' wi' that, the man did the deed, squishin' the poor flea flatter than a pancake. Aye, a grim tale, an' a sad reminder that sometimes, we forget there's a difference between a wee bit o' bother an' a real threat. So the next time a midgie lands on yer pie, maybe gie it a wee shoo instead o' reachin' for the fly swatter. After all, sometimes, even the tiniest critters deserve a chance to flit another day.

Moral:  I's no always the biggest monsters that need the biggest fear. A wee bit o' compassion can go a long way, even for something as wee as a flea.

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