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Document 796

Dipper: 50 - The Auld Jenny Heron

Author(s): Dr James A Begg

Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg

Audio transcription

M623 The Auld Jenny Heron

Silent an solitary, staunin sae still,
'Neath a mossy bank by the tail o the puil,
Hauf hid by the feathery fronds o a fern,
Watches an waits an auld Jenny Heron.

Wi her heid set low on her streikit breist,
She luiks fast asleep, or dozin at least,
But her bricht yella een are luikin aboot
For an eel or a puddock, or even a troot.
Wi her braw grey shawl roun her shouders happt,
She dreams o times whan her craw wis stappt
Fou o rainbow troot frae the rearin pond
O yon fishery ferm at the back o beyond.

'Twas no oot o greed, but mair oot o need,
Wi a hantle o steirin weans tae feed,
That she an her mate gaed aft tae this spot,
Till yae April mornin her guid-man wis shot
By some chiel wi a gun an nae mair sense -
- Whan aa that wis wantit - a wee wire fence
A fuit or sae heich, at the edge o the watter,
Wad hae stoppit the need for sic senseless slaughter.
For try as they micht their lang necks tae streitch,
The end o the rainbows'd be aye oot o reach

But sic is the wey o Man wi Nature,
Whan his ploys are threitened by some puir craitur;
He claims aa the warld as his ain dominion,
An rides ruch-shod ower ony opinion
That denies him the richt tae dae as he pleases,
An the 'Balance o Nature' can gae tae the Bleezes

That a Heron itsel, as ane o God's wonders
Micht juist hae a richt tae a share o the plunders,
Is no tae the likin o some tottie minds
That dwell in the realms of their maisters' behinds,
Whase answer tae aa thing things they cannae work oot
Is tae rax for the gun, tak guid aim an shoot.
- An fishermen tae maun shouder some blame
Whan they grudge the auld Heron a troot for its wame;
Their heids fou o nonsense an common hearsay
That a Heron eats ten pun o troot in a day!

If they'd juist haud a-wee at the back o thae birks,
An no breinge on throu like a couple o stirks,
Tae fley the auld burd, mak her bend at the knees,
Tak fricht an gae screichin up ower the trees;
But staun an tak tent o the wey she bides still,
Patient as Job by the edge o that puil,
Waitin for some unsuspectin wee treat
Tae linger ower lang forenent her big feet.

Stey still, haud a meenit, Auld Jenny's steirin,
Neck set like a spring, her neb ready for spearin,
She bous hersel forrit, her heid bendin low,
Then faster than lichtnin, a daith-dealin blow
An a puir wee bit beardie is gruppt like a vice,
Turnt roun heidfurst an gulped doun in a trice;
Gies her heid a wee shoogle, plumes wavin like hair,
Then luiks roun aboot - she's got room for some mair.
Her een lippen on something faur oot o her reach -
- Nou watch weel ye fishers, this auld yin can teach
Ye juist hou tae gang warily efter a fush,
Cannily, daintily, nae hint o a rush.

Wi her heid set weel forrit, her een niver stray
As she ever sae slowly creeps up on her prey,
Yae fuit at a time, nae ripple or splash,
She hovers a blink, then quick as a flash
Heid's in/oot the watter an twists tae reveal
The frichtsome deid-thraws o a muckle great eel
Wrappt ticht roun her neck like a hengman's noose!
- Auld Jenny's hauf-chucklt afore she breks loose,
Syne draps the big eel, then grups it again,
Pecks twa or three times, dauds its heid aff a stane,
It's tossit an turnt till she's got it juist richt
Then it's slid ower her thrapple, an doun oot o sicht
Whaur it rummles aboot for a while in her wame,
Till she's poukt aa her feathers - An flees awa hame.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Dipper: 50 - The Auld Jenny Heron. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=796.

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 50 - The Auld Jenny Heron." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=796.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 50 - The Auld Jenny Heron," accessed January 2021, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=796.

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2021. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.

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Information about Document 796

Dipper: 50 - The Auld Jenny Heron

Audio

Audio audience

General public
For gender Mixed
Audience size 1000+

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Fully scripted

Audio footage information

Original title The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils
Year of recording 1993
Recording person id 752
Size (min) 4
Size (mb) 15

Audio footage publication details

Published
Publisher/Broadcaster Scotsoun
Publication/Broadcast date 1993-01-01
Place of publication/broadcast Glasgow

Audio medium

Radio/audio

Audio setting

Leisure/entertainment
Private/personal

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Friend
Speakers knew each other Yes

Audio speaker relationships

Friend
Other Co-authors of book from which recording was made

Audio transcription information

Title of original The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils
Transcriber id 689
Year of transcription 2005
Year material recorded 1993
Word count 684

Audio transcription publication details

Published
Publisher/Broadcaster Luath Press
Publication/Broadcast date 1991-01-01
Place of publication/broadcast Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227

Audio type

Poetry reading/song/ballad performance
General description From a recording of a selection of short stories and prize winning poems (Scottish National Open Poetry Competition)

Author

Author details

Author id 623
Title Dr
Forenames James
Initials A
Surname Begg
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 623
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work

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