Rough Scan
~XIII~
 
THE gairden is lookin' real bonny-I dinna mind of as bonny a gairden any place I've been in. It wanders away up the brae to the wee wood on the top, and when you keek over the wall there's the hill, and the heather, and the ky, as the poet says-
 
==In simmer when the gress is green,
===An' grossets crumpin' sour,
==The cows is in the meadow seen
===Wi' mony anither flower.
 
The grossets are no' forward yet, although Miss Celandine says she's seen them in the shop-windy with "Ripe" on them; just a lee. They grow on the flat ground, no' far from the house, and there's sweet-peas and forget-me-nots round about them, but I dinna see the Masterpiece Pansies; they'll no' be out yet. The kitchen-gairden is far up the hillside and so is the clothes-green, and there's naething to be seen round about but green hills, and blue hills, and the loch lapperin' down below. The vegetables were gettin' on fine till a vegetarium lady came for a week-end and gave them a fright; but they're gettin' the better o' it now.
The wee gairdens the young ladies had when they were bairns is still there; I showed Mr Tosh Miss Celandine's. It has a fine healthy leek in it, and a tatie in full bloom, and a good few pinks. He lookit at it, and says he, "It's like the Gairden o' Eden - there's gey little intull't."
I asked him what way he made out that there wasna muckle in the Gairden o' Eden? "Weel," says he, "there's nae mention o' taties intull't; and there's nae mention o' ing'ns; and there's nae mention o' cabbage: na, na; it couldna ha' been ony great shakes o' a gairden-no' for a faimly. It micht hae dune weel eneugh for a new mairret couple, like, but no' for the folks doun at the hoose." He's well-learned in the Scriptures, Mr Tosh. Him speakin' about the Gairden o' Eden minded me of a pictur we saw of it in Rome. I think it was pented by a man they ca' Dominic Keeno-he would likely be a schoolmaister. There was the gairden, as like as life, and Eve sittin' on a grassy bank on the left-hand side lookin' real disjaskit. Adam was up a tree, and down below on the green gress, amongst the bonny flowers, there was a row of animals and birds mixed, sittin' lookin' on, sad-like. Poor wee craturs, they felt that something had gone wrong in the peacefu' place where they got their names; it was a waefu' pictur. It put me in mind of the Sological Park. Sam'el said it would never succeed with all the wild beasts perowlin' about, and eatin' the flowers. I told him they were a' shut up in cages. He said it was a daft like thing to keep wild animals in cages; and I said it would be a dafter-like thing to let them out once they were in; so, for fear he would conter me again, and I would loss my temper, I asked him where was the dwarf peas? "Thonder," says he, lookin' at the sky-poor body, he was vexed-like-they were wavin' far ower his head! They will have sent the wrong kind, mebbe. The taties with the stylish names Miss Celandine and me seleckit are comin' on fine. I was askin' which was the best kind, and Sam'el Tosh says they might just as well have ca'ed the three of them the same name for a' the odds there is betwixt them. Catalugs is deceivin'.
Miss Celandine told me this very day that she doesn't believe Snabbie (she will call him" Snabbie" behind his back), kens anything about insecticides; she thinks she heard a mealy bug singin' in the nighttime-she said it put her in mind of the frogs at Grenoble-and I must say that I met a good few slugs takin' a daunder round about the place yestreen; but the weather has been gey an' saft. I said to Sam'el, "There's a box of slugicide on the shelf in the tool-house"; but he just said, "Is there?" He's dour whiles. He's been usin' the wasp-destroyer, though, and he says they like it fine - they're back and forret to it a' day; it appears to ack as a tonic. It's no' what was intended, but "All ills are gude untried." I hope Snabbie will no' try it on hissel', though, or it will be a case of Sam'elcide, I doubt. He's awfu' contemptious about the "Corpses," as he calls them, meanin' the eccremocarpusses; they're dwobbly-lookin'.
Miss Celandine is gettin' on fine wi' her poetry-book - it's to be ca'ed "Little Lays and Big Lies." I never mind of seein' her sittin' as steady at anything afore, so Miss Jean and me encourages her for peace sake. It's all to be written in broad Scotch- "Dialeck," she ca's it-and many a time she comes ben to me for a word she's seekin'. The last piece she's done is founded on fack-but let me not antissipate. There's a bit of readin' out of an old Scotsman at the top, as follows: - "Scotland's share of legislation during a certain session was a measure for the protection Of the wren in St Kilda. . . . Almost the sole fruit of the numerous discussions in the course of the session now closing will be an Act for the purpose of regulating the capture of the whale in Shetland waters."
Then there's the poetry-
 
=It's a grand thing legislation!
==But mebbe ye'll no ken,
=The M.P.s up in london
==Ha' been sittin' on the wren?
 
=An' syne they've got that settled,
==They've yokit on the whale;
=An' there's word that, come next session,
==They'll mak' up on the snail.
 
=They keep their eye on a' thing
==That roves the sky or sea;
=It's a maist exackin' business
==To be a Scotch M.P.
 
=For, troth, there's naething great or sma'
==But what they'll put it richt
=They'll sort the hale creation
==If they sit up hail the nicht!