Document 537

Craiters: 13 - E Cheer

Author(s): Alexander Fenton

Copyright holder(s): Alexander Fenton


It wis a hell o a cheer. Fin e new suite wis bocht, it wis tae be putten oot. Bit naa, naa, ay es savin tippies, niver throw onything oot, it might ay come in handy. Weel, it wis handy enyeuch. E cat likit it. An seein it wis in e extension, I got intill e wye o ay usin’t masel. Fin I got shachlet doon in e mornin, doon e stairs at I’ll niver take twa at a time again, ben e passage an throwe e kitchen, bye e table an ower tae ma nyeuk, I wis richt glaid tae back ma airse intill e cheer. It took’s a twa-three meenits tae get ma breath. E eyns o e airms wis raggety an maist o e front hid teen on a gweed shine. Ere wis twa cushions on e seat wi an aal cover ower em. Noo an aan ye’d start tae skite forrit, an syne ye’d hae tae get e seat sortit, bit een o e cushions wis leakin fedders an ony shiftin aboot garrt em flee. Syne es bleddy hooverin wid start. Gweed kens I didna like e din-raisin thing powkin aroon ma feet. I’ll sweer it jist sooks in e styoo at ae eyn an lets it flee at e ither.

Ere wis glaiss windaes aa roon’s. Ye cd watch e rain spittin on em, an hear’t dirlin files on e flat reef. A hell o a din it cd mak tee. Gin e win wis ony strong it’d min’s on bein on a boat, like e time I geed tae Lewis fin e win rove in a windae in e lounge. I’d heen a ham an egg an sassige brakfist bit naa, I wisna sick. I kinna likit stannin up till e elements, bit ere’s an aafa pooer in yon watter, it flegs ye. I wisna ill-pleast tae get intae Stornowa.

Iv coorse, it disna rain aa e time. Files ere’s a blinkie o sin, an wi aa es glaiss, it’s jist like a greenhoose in here. I’ve seen’s haein tae cast ma gunsey. Fin ere’s naething else ye can dee, ye notice fit’s aboot ye mair. An wi e trees, ye ken, ye can ay think ye’re back in e country.

‘Country born, country bred,

Big in hoof, fat in head’,

- at’s fit a mannie fae Devon eence wrote in an aatagraph album I hid as a wee loon, an maybe ere’s something in’t. Onywye ye niver forget if ye wis brocht up amon parks an trees an ye niver jist tak e same tae concrete an tarmacadam, nor tae raas o hooses at block oot a richt braid glint o e sky. I min I wis richt disappintit fin ma neeber – a toon lad fae Glesca – haggert e tap aff e bonny big stracht tree in eez gairden. E trunk gangs up stracht as an arra, bit a gweed third o e pint’s awa. E boddem branches spread hyne oot an syne ey’re jist dockit-lookin at e tap like a cleanin wifie’s mop if ye haad it upsides doon. Fit wid gar a man tak it intill eez heid tae spile a tree at wye? I see’t as it is an I see’t as it wis, an it wis jist a topper.

Ere wis a spider on e reef o e extension ae time. It sat ere, niver meevet, for a gweed three days. Fin I cam doon ae mornin, it wis jist awa, leavin aa at ye’d ken o a moose wob ahin’t. Queer at, eh?

Bit ma best divert wis a cat. A fyow ear back, fin I wis aa at ye’d ken swacker, I opent e back door an ere on e girse wis a grey cat an God ye’d a thocht its een wis gold. It jist lookit at’s, quairt’s ye’d like, syne cam stracht till’s, tholed a stroke ir twa, an intill e hoose. It hidna been weel lookit aifter. Ere wis marks roon its neck, I doot fae a hangin pairty, an scurs on its back. It didna wint tae ait an onywye naebody fed it. Bit a twa-three days aifter, fin it hid been oot an in, oot an in, an aye thinner lookin, it got a tooshtie o mait an syne we wis cleekit – it wis jist e hoose cat syne.

It niver hid a name, aye a richt name, ye ken. Nae doot it hid een afore it cam. Bit ilky mornin fin I opent e door – it ay bade oot aa nicht, it couldna thole being crivvd intill e hoose – some name can intae ma heid, I niver thocht aboot a name, it jist cam. Beast, grey beast, hairy beast wis stracht forrit enyeuch, bit ye couldna say e same for some o e ither eens. If it hid been a weet nicht, it got scruff or stinkpot, soggy peat or soppy geet. Bit fit wye wid ye come oot wi a name like squat ballamby, or delaney or blenkinsop? It it wis makkin a din at e door it’d be myowler or howlin banshee. Noo an aan it got a dose o wirms – ye ay kent – an syne it wis snufflebum. Fin it wis aa frazie roon yer cweets it got names tae match – pusskin, Peter Pushkin, Thomas, baggins, bumblechowks, alaboobyakum, silly boo, boozy puts, gloopie, gloopie soopy, Sambo. Aye, ere wis mair tee – I min on spango, sprogworthy, sparkle bonko, spode neck – an I’ve heard fowk sayin, come on, dog! Fit wye wid ye caa a cat a dog? Bit I will say files it wis mair like a dog’n a cat. It hid a great big heed, a richt strong neck, an es golden glowin e’en. Fin it wintit ma cheer, it’d jist sit starin’s oot. It wid a been aal fin it cam. It laistit fine a twa-three ear, syne it took tae nae aitin. Ye’d triet wi tasty bitties, bit naa, naa, ir if it took some it wid jist spew. E wirmin tablets wis nae eese. It wis jist aal age, e breet wis deen. I saa’t ae day haadin ower e road, gey slow an canny, nae heedin e cars, an intill e plots. It niver cam back. It man a jist curlet up in a nyeuk, quairt ‘s ye like, nose tae dowp, an dee’t. Aye, it wis a fine breet.

I doot I’ll be haadin till e plots ir lang masel, tee. Maybe ey’ll chuck e cheer, syne.

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Craiters: 13 - E Cheer. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 537

Craiters: 13 - E Cheer


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Informed lay people
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 1994
Word count 1136

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Tuckwell Press
Publication year 1995
Place of publication East Linton
ISBN/ISSN 1898410739
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in Craiters. Or Twenty Buchan Tales

Text setting

Other Putting the dialect on record, Aberdeenshire

Text type

Prose: fiction
Prose: nonfiction
Short story


Author details

Author id 27
Forenames Alexander
Surname Fenton
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1920
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Academic/Writer/Editor
Place of birth Shotts
Region of birth Lanark
Birthplace CSD dialect area Lnk
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Edinburgh
Residence CSD dialect area Edb
Father's occupation Shoemaker
Father's place of birth Aberdeen
Father's region of birth Aberdeen
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife\Crofter
Mother's place of birth Keith
Mother's region of birth Banff
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Bnf
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes At home and wherever possible