Rough Scan
~IX~
 
TWOPENNY'S got a place. It's the grocer that has taken him, and he looks fine sittin' on a high chair in the front shop with a tartan ribbon round his throat. The last time I was in a message there was a lady awfu' taken up with him. "Oh, you Sweet!" says she; she was sortin' his bow for him, maist attentive. He likes fine for the customers to make a work with him. But appearin'ly his purrin'-works is difeecient; it takes me all my time to hear them goin'. I kind-of miss the cratur; but we've no' been left a'thegither destitute, for Tatty's had four mair kitlings, and we've kept a bonny wee yelly one. It has got the longest claws that ever you saw - perfeck talents, so Miss Celandine called it Santa Claws at first. But when the poor wee thing was a fortnight old it took a tremlin' in the head, and she thought St Vitus would be a mair sootable name. And now, if you please, it's to be Delilah, and what for, do you think? Just because Miss Celandine has got a dog by the name of Samson! Miss Jean gave it to her to make up for the one we wouldna let her bring away from Lucerne. It's a Dandy Dinmont - no' very bonny. It has got a big head, and a long body, and a poor-lookin' tail, and it's bandy in the legs. Miss Celandine says it ought to be bandy-legged-it's a sign of high breedin' - but I told her it didna need to be hen-taed into the bargain; it's ower much to pay for genteeliby, I would think. But he does for Delilah to play with, and he'll no' meddle Tatty, he's feared for her; if she just gives him a look he shivers, so he does.
Now that Miss Celandine has got a dog, she's terrible taken up wi' wild beasts, and no sooner was the new Sological Park opened in Edinburgh, than she pestered me to go with her to see it. I knew fine I would have to go with her some day, so I says to mysel', "As weel sune as syne," and away we started on a Setterday efternoon when the lunch was by. We took a cab, and the cab took its time, but it's a good length of a hurl. When we landed at the gate Miss Celandine cast up to the driver that his horse was fearfu' slow, and he explained that it was that fresh and spirity that he didna dare to let it away, and he had had a job the whole road to haud it in. Miss Celandine said that he had succeeded pairfeckly, and she gave him sixpence to hissel' for his trouble; a nice, respeckful young man, and clean-lookin'. We paid sixpence each to get in, and the first sight we saw was a bit pond with ducks and ither fowls takin' a bit swim in the water. They looked as if they were expeckin' us to feed them; fowls is naitrally greedy, never done eatin'-they're just the same in private life. I never could open the back-door at Carldoddie without all the hens drawin' theirsels up in a row, with their necks stretched and their heads gee'd, and them had a good meal no' ten meenits syne; a fair disgust. Further up the hill we came to a post with a white ticket on the top. The readin' on it was "Proposed site for Sea-lions' Pool." They will likely wait till the pool is made afore they set out for the lion-fishin'. I was askin' Miss Celandine what like sea-lions was, and she said the very same as ither lions, wet through; but I dinna believe she's ever seen them.
The next thing we saw was sheep of various sorts. The first kind we came to wasna there, but we saw where they were goin' to live. Every couple has a wee green to theirsels with a fence round about it, and their name on the gate handy for visitors.
I was forgettin' to enumerate the poler bears; there was three o' them, but they've no' got a pole yet, so they just splash about in the water, and fish for the bread, nuts, etc., that the folk throw to them; it's an idle life.
But the thing I was set to see was the Lion's Den, for many a time have I pictured Dan'el at the bottom of he's. It was away up the hill, and when we got there here we sees anither nottice with "Site of Lions' Den" on it, and no' a single lion in it, so appearin'ly there's as many sites as sights in the place. Miss Celandine says that's a pun. I'm sure I dinna ken; I was meanin' it for a sort of a joke, but they say Scotch folk canna see jokes. Anyway we saw the Den plain enough. It looks fine and dry, but it's no' furnished yet.
Along a bittie we saw wolves, lionesses, zebras, leopards, and very near the whole Noah's ark collection, sittin' in cages, or takin' a turn back and forret behind the railins. It must be a fearfu' change from rampin' about in desert lands, seekin' whom they may devour, and enjoyin' their denners in peace and quiet withoot folk that has paid sixpence each to get in glowerin' at them, and passin' remarks. The one I liked best was the very moral of a domestic cat, but out-size, like. I took a good look at the Zebra, for I minded the verse in the Book of Beasts for Young Persons that I was learned at the school: -
 
==The Zebra from African clime,
===A beautiful quadruped kind;
==Smooth hair, is most pleasingly striped,
===If we view him before or behind.
 
He was lyin' on his side, though; so we just had to view him flat.
Miss Celandine and me started to yawn at the very same meenit (these excitin' amusements is gey wearisome, some way), and she said she couldna be bothered with any more beasts of any sort whatever; so I says to mysel', "Laziness is muckle worth when it's weel guided," and I started to daunder down the hill, hopin' to see a ticket with "Proposed Site for Exit Out" on it; but it wasna needed, for most of the folk was goin' the same way, and we fand the gate easy. We saw a pair of Golden Eagles on the road; they opened their bonny brown eyes and gave us a sorryful, despairin' look; my heart was wae for them. I doubt a Sological Park costs more nor money.