Jock And His Mother

: Folk-lore And Legends Scotland

Ye see, there was a wife had a son, and they called him Jock; and she

said to him, "You are a lazy fellow; ye maun gang awa' and do something

for to help me." "Weel," says Jock, "I'll do that." So awa' he gangs,

and fa's in wi' a packman. Says the packman, "If you carry my pack a'

day, I'll gie you a needle at night." So he carried the pack, and got

the needle; and as he was gaun awa' hame to his mither, he cuts a burden
br /> o' brackens, and put the needle into the heart o' them. Awa' he gaes

hame. Says his mither, "What hae ye made o' yoursel' the day?" Says

Jock, "I fell in wi' a packman, and carried his pack a' day, and he gae

me a needle for't, and ye may look for it amang the brackens." "Hout,"

quo' she, "ye daft gowk, you should hae stuck it into your bonnet, man."

"I'll mind that again," quo' Jock.

Next day he fell in wi' a man carrying plough socks. "If ye help me to

carry my socks a' day, I'll gie ye ane to yersel' at night." "I'll do

that," quo' Jock. Jock carried them a' day, and got a sock, which he

stuck in his bonnet. On the way hame, Jock was dry, and gaed away to

take a drink out o' the burn; and wi' the weight o' the sock, his bonnet

fell into the river, and gaed out o' sight. He gaed hame, and his mither

says, "Weel, Jock, what hae you been doing a' day?" And then he tells

her. "Hout," quo' she, "you should hae tied the string to it, and

trailed it behind you." "Weel," quo' Jock, "I'll mind that again."

Awa' he sets, and he fa's in wi' a flesher. "Weel," says the flesher,

"if ye'll be my servant a' day, I'll gie ye a leg o' mutton at night."

"I'll be that," quo' Jock. He got a leg o' mutton at night. He ties a

string to it, and trails it behind him the hale road hame. "What hae ye

been doing?" said his mither. He tells her. "Hout, you fool, ye should

hae carried it on your shouther." "I'll mind that again," quo' Jock.

Awa' he gaes next day, and meets a horse-dealer. He says, "If you will

help me wi' my horses a' day, I'll give you ane to yoursel' at night."

"I'll do that," quo' Jock. So he served him, and got his horse, and he

ties its feet; but as he was not able to carry it on his back, he left it

lying on the roadside. Hame he comes, and tells his mither. "Hout, ye

daft gowk, ye'll ne'er turn wise! Could ye no hae loupen on it, and

ridden it?" "I'll mind that again," quo' Jock.

Aweel, there was a grand gentleman, wha had a daughter wha was very

subject to melancholy; and her father gae out that whaever should mak'

her laugh would get her in marriage. So it happened that she was sitting

at the window ae day, musing in her melancholy state, when Jock,

according to the advice o' his mither, cam' flying up on a cow's back,

wi' the tail over his shouther. And she burst out into a fit o'

laughter. When they made inquiry wha made her laugh, it was found to be

Jock riding on the cow. Accordingly, Jock was sent for to get his bride.

Weel, Jock was married to her, and there was a great supper prepared.

Amongst the rest o' the things, there was some honey, which Jock was very

fond o'. After supper, they all retired, and the auld priest that

married them sat up a' night by the kitchen fireside. So Jock waukens in

the night-time, and says, "Oh, wad ye gie me some o' yon nice sweet honey

that we got to our supper last night?" "Oh ay," says his wife, "rise and

gang into the press, and ye'll get a pig fou o 't." Jock rose, and

thrust his hand into the honey-pig for a nievefu' o 't, and he could not

get it out. So he cam' awa' wi' the pig in his hand, like a mason's

mell, and says, "Oh, I canna get my hand out." "Hoot," quo' she, "gang

awa' and break it on the cheek-stane." By this time, the fire was dark,

and the auld priest was lying snoring wi' his head against the chimney-

piece, wi' a huge white wig on. Jock gaes awa', and gae him a whack wi'

the honey-pig on the head, thinking it was the cheek-stane, and knocks it

a' in bits. The auld priest roars out, "Murder!" Jock tak's doun the

stair as hard as he could bicker, and hides himsel' amang the bees'


That night, as luck wad have it, some thieves cam' to steal the bees'

skeps, and in the hurry o' tumbling them into a large grey plaid, they

tumbled Jock in alang wi' them. So aff they set, wi' Jock and the skeps

on their backs. On the way, they had to cross the burn where Jock lost

his bonnet. Ane o' the thieves cries, "Oh, I hae fand a bonnet!" and

Jock, on hearing that, cries out, "Oh, that's mine!" They thocht they

had got the deil on their backs. So they let a' fa' in the burn; and

Jock, being tied in the plaid, couldna get out; so he and the bees were

a' drowned thegither.

If a' tales be true, that's nae lee.