• Sign up or login, and you'll have full access to opportunities of forum.

Lassie-hunting In The Northern Forest

Go to CruxDreams.com

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
I think it's time to start posting this new story I've been working on.
It's about a (sadly :devil:) wholly imaginary custom in the Forest where I live,
the annual lassie-hunt!

Now I've written the narrative in Scottish Standard English,
which is pretty much like English English outwith a few words
that are furth of the English Dictionary :D
But I don't think it will pose much problem for native or fluent English users,
and even those using auto-translate should be able to follow what's going on.

But the dialogue is in Braid Scots, aka Lallans :eek: -
I just couldn't get into the "feel" of the characters without using their natural speech.
Again, I think fluent English users will probably be able to tune in,
though Googeltranslate etc. will be completely baffled :rolleyes:.
But I'll try to ensure the narrative explains what's being said.

And there are a few technical terms I've borrowed from hunting,
and some I've more-or-less invented for this ancient country sport.
I'll make sure I explain most of them as I go along,
but there are a few that need to be made clear from the start.

Rug = 'hunt', so also rugger, ruggin, rugged etc.
Burd = 'woman', same as 'bird' in English which is a variant from Old English bryd . 'bride',
(in origin a different word from the feathered kind ;))
The basic rule of the Rug is that, from Midsummer Day to Michaelmas (21 Jun - 29 Sep),
any marriageable burd who's not born a child, if she's seen in The Forest, is 'fair game',
so she's a game-burd :devil:
Linkie = an agile, nimble lassie, perhaps one who's a bit cunning and crafty too;
in the Rug, any game-burd who's being rugged is called a linkie.

So the story's called The Linkie-Rug
but for obvious reasons I've used a more intelligible title for the thread :D
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
The Linkie-Rug

“Pit me doon here,” I whisper to Mum. No reason to whisper, I’m just so psyched-up already, hardly daring to speak. She pulls into the little layby, pitch dark under the overshadowing beeches. I make to open the car door. “Wait on, pet.” She lowers the car windows, turns off the engine, the lights fade, “Steady, lass, let’s mak siccar there’s naebody aboot.”

We listen intently. It was raining earlier in the night, but now a big bright moon is peering through the clouds, I shiver, this isn’t a night that’ll favour us game-burds, it’s better when there’s a new moon, moonlight shows up girlskin in the dark like it’s luminous, and the warm wetness in the woods will make our scent linger for hours for the hounds to nose.

A soft breeze rustles the leaves, distant cattle moo. My keen ears pick out a shifting of undergrowth, a bird twitters briefly, disturbed. Must be deer. Noise of vehicles, we hear them a long way off, they come closer at speed, their headlamps light us up momentarily as they dash past, and are gone. “D’ye ken who they were, Mam?” “Aye, first one was Jock McConchie’s LandRover. Didna see the ither.” “D’ye think they vizzied us?” “Doot it, they were gaeing like bats oot o hell – dinna fash yersel, lassie, ye’ll be fine.” She pats my thigh.

Quiet again. I lean forward, untie my trainers. Mum looks like she’s about to say I’m good to go, when a distant bark freezes us both. Another bark. “Shit, linkie-hounds!” I breathe almost inaudibly. “Mm…” Bastards, I’m thinking to myself, Nyn said on the phone they’d been watching our house since sunset. I guessed they would, that’s why I stayed over with Gran and got Mum to run me out here at the dead of night.

The dogs bark again. Mum’s listening intently – she’s so cool, in every sense. I know I’m pretty good, but I’m only the daughter of the canniest linkie in the Forest! “They arena comin any closer,” she whispers, “That’s Upper Elrick, they’ll be Hamish McCulloch’s dugs. A jalouse it’s time for ye to gang.”

I wriggle out of my hoodie, kick off my trainers, give Mum a big kiss, open the car door. “Gie em a guid rin, mind!” She pats my bum as I dive out, scramble over the dyke, and scuttle down into the dense undershrubs. I hear her close the car-door quietly, she waits till she’s sure I’m well into the woods before she starts up and drives away.
 
Last edited:

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
The Linkie-Rug

“Pit me doon here,” I whisper to Mum. No reason to whisper, I’m just so psyched-up already, hardly daring to speak. She pulls into the little layby, pitch dark under the overshadowing beeches. I make to open the car door. “Wait on, pet.” She lowers the car windows, turns off the engine, the lights fade, “Steady, lass, let’s mak siccar there’s naebody aboot.”

We listen intently. It was raining earlier in the night, but now a big bright moon is peering through the clouds, I shiver, this isn’t a night that’ll favour us game-burds, it’s better when there’s a new moon, moonlight shows up girlskin in the dark like it’s luminous, and the warm wetness in the woods will make our scent linger for hours for the hounds to nose.

A soft breeze rustles the leaves, distant cattle moo. My keen ears pick out a shifting of undergrowth, a bird twitters briefly, disturbed. Must be deer. Noise of vehicles, we hear them a long way off, they come closer at speed, their headlaps light us up momentarily as they dash past, and are gone. “D’ye ken who they were, Mam?” “Aye, first one was Jock McConchie’s LandRover. Didna see the ither.” “D’ye thnk they vizzied us?” “Doot it, they were gaeing like bats oot o hell – dinna fash yersel, lassie, ye’ll be fine.” She pats my thigh.

Quiet again. I lean forward, untie my trainers. Mum looks like she’s about to say I’m good to go, when a distant bark freezes us both. Another bark. “Shit, linkie-hounds!” I breathe almost inaudibly. “Mm…” Bastards, I’m thinking to myself, Nyn said on the phone they’d been watching our house since sunset. I guessed they would, that’s why I stayed over with Gran and got Mum to run me out here at the dead of night.

The dogs bark again. Mum’s listening intently – she’s so cool, in every sense. I know I’m pretty good, but I’m only the daughter of the canniest linkie in the Forest! “They arena comin any closer,” she whispers, “That’s Upper Elrick, they’ll be Hamish McCulloch’s dugs. A jalouse it’s time for ye to gang.”

I wriggle out of my hoodie, kick off my trainers, give Mum a big kiss, open the car door. “Gie em a guid rin, mind!” She pats my bum as I dive out, scramble over the dyke, and scuttle down into the dense undershrubs. I hear her close the car-door quietly, she waits till she’s sure I’m well into the woods before she starts up and drives away.

Och, I'm a guin tae LOVE this!
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
Staff member
From the title I was expecting border collies, rather than border colleens!

Let's see what happens when (not if!) they catch her :D
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
I'm the one who should say sorry.
I'll try to keep the narrative close to Standard English as possible,
and make it clear from that what's going on.

Is Scots a language?
It certainly was, it was the language of law, government and literature
until James VI moved to London and became James I of England :(
But since then it's declined to a dialect - or range of dialects.
So I suppose I'm not breaking the 'English only' rule,
but for same reason auto-translators don't recognise it as a language :(

 

messaline

Crucified Amazon
I understand well what you means, Eul , but try to take my place : if I wrote in "vieux Français" (old french language), I'm sure that English people, even if they had well learned the actual French, could not understand my text !:D
I've already some difficulties to understand the English language and to also write it that I cant do miracles for Scots ...:(
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
I understand well what you means, Eul , but try to take my place : if I wrote in "vieux Français" (old french language), I'm sure that English people, even if they had well learned the actual French, could not understand my text !:D
I've already some difficulties to understand the English language and to also write it that I cant do miracles for Scots ...:(
I have to agree with Messa. Since Eul types considerable faster than Tree (...what, Ulrika? Everyone types faster than Tree??? ...bitch...) May I suggest you write the story as you have then post it in regular English?

Tree
 

messaline

Crucified Amazon
I have to agree with Messa.... May I suggest you write the story as you have then post it in regular English?
Tree

It could be effectivly a good solution ...:)

I confess that I've re-read the story and I've better understand, excepted the dialogs ...

In fact, Eul could translate the dialogs in (...) and with another color for each episode ... Is it possible ?;)
 

Darkprincess69

High Priestess of Slaanesh
"Colleens"??????????

Do you mean Girls?

Gaelic?

Girls?

I'm pretty sure that "collen" is the Irish form rather than actual Scots, though there are undoubtedly similarities as both languages would appear to have a common ancestry, though Eulalia obviously knows far more about this than I do (or ever will)
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
I have to agree with Messa. Since Eul types considerable faster than Tree (...what, Ulrika? Everyone types faster than Tree??? ...bitch...) May I suggest you write the story as you have then post it in regular English?

Tree
I'll try - at least to give a 'digest' :)

It's a story that expresses a deep part of me,
and it just doesn't feel 'right' in English English,
but I don't want to lose my readers
or be discourteous to those who themselves make the effort
to write in a language that's not their own.

"Colleens"??????????

Do you mean Girls?

Gaelic?

Girls?
It's cailín in Irish and cailin (pretty much the same) in Scottish Gaelic,
but 'colleen' has been taken into Irish English (and even Ulster Scots),
but not generally into Scottish Standard English or Scots.

However, a bit of research in the excellent on-line Dictionary of the Scots Language
tells me that 'callan' was used for a girl in Wigtownshire, the part of SW Scotland closest to Ulster.
Elsewhere in Scotland, though, 'callan' or 'callant' is a boy,
and that's from quite a different origin - Dutch caland. :cool:
 
Last edited:

admihoek

Administrator
Staff member
I'll try - at least to give a 'digest' :)

It's a story that expresses a deep part of me,
and it just doesn't feel 'right' in English English,
but I don't want to lose my readers
or be discourteous to those who themselves make the effort
to write in a language that's not their own.


It's cailín in Irish and cailin (pretty much the same) in Scottish Gaelic,
but 'colleen' has been taken into Irish English (and even Ulster Scots),
but not generally into Scottish Standard English or Scots.

However, a bit of research in the excellent on-line Dictionary of the Scots Language
tells me that 'callan' was used for a girl in Wigtownshire, the part of Galloway closest to Ulster.
Elsewhere in Scotland, though, 'callan' or 'callant' is a boy,
and that's from quite a different origin - Dutch caland. :cool:
Dutch caland another double dutch event?
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Not much dialogue in part 2, but quite a few specialist terms, so I've added some footnotes - hope they help! :)

2


I run with my head down, dodging through dense bracken, horsetail and ivy that make a jungle of the Forest understorey in midsummer, along with my old enemies, prickly holly, thorny haw- and sloe-bushes, and brambles that conspire to tear at my legs.

But I know them well, they don’t trouble a Forest lassie. I know exactly where I am, and where I’m going, though it’s pitch black here in a hollow-way under the oaks, a route known only to deer and to me.

Aye, I’ve been running through these woods since I could toddle. Hide and seeking with my brothers. I started ‘cubbin’[1] when I was only eight, the minimum’s supposed to be nine, but the Maister o’the Whup[2] said I was already well ahead of most of the cub-parcel. I had my first dug-rin, chased by hounds, when I was just eleven, and, my greatest triumph to date, at fourteen I was a ‘braw cubbie’[3]!

‘Cos I’m not just a forest-lassie, born and bred in the Forest. I’m a true ‘linkie-brat’, started when Mum was ‘takken’[4] nineteen years ago today! Dad didn’t have to take any responsibility – the Rules say that – but he acted honestly, he married her. He says he’d planned it all along, he was going to breed ruggers and linkies. Well, he’s got two fine ruggers, Alastair and Nynian, and he’s brought me up to be as good a linkie as Mum!

At school, I always felt a bit shy and awkward as a forest-lassie, the burgh-girls seemed so much more sophisticated and worldly-wise, living as they do in a town with all of 3500 people in it! And, while it’s something I’m very proud of, being a linkie-brat isn’t considered quite nice by the douce[5] folk of the Kirkside.

But when midsummer day approaches, I find myself being viewed quite differently by my peers, anxiously wondering whether they’ll venture into the Forest on the first day of the Rug. They can choose whether or not they want to be game-burds, but as a forest lassie I’ve no real choice! To scuttle away and stay with Gran would be unthinkable, she’d send me straight back to Dad for a whipping, and quite right too. A forest-lassie’s born to be a linkie.

So I’m viewed with some awe, as the queen of The Forest, at least the princess – Mum’s the queen! They all know what I achieved when I was fourteen, in the summer half-term cubbin, I managed to outwit the rug, they still hadn’t caught me when it was getting dark, so they called off the hunt and ‘gied me the best’[6].

I didn’t even realise until I saw the police helicopter quartering over the Forest. Then I thought, uh-huh, perhaps I’d better make myself visible, so I ran down to the tourists’ car-park by the main road and waved frantically. The guys in the chopper must have seen me, they shone their big searchlight right on me, and pretty soon a patrol-car turned up with Dad in it.

I was scared Dad would be mad with me, but he was so proud! Even the policeman was thrilled, he said it was an honour to be chauffering a braw cubbie! He was that nice young sergeant from New Earlstoun. And I had to go and receive a certificate from the Baillie[7], Lieutenant-General Rutherford, and be told that I was only the third braw cubbie in history, and by two years the youngest - what glory I’d brought to the burgh and bailliwick of Muirton Maxwell, the smallest of the six Forest burghs!

Mum got out the cuttie sark that great-grannie wore when she was rugged – that was the linkie’s dress in those days, just a scrimpy short linen petticoat with wee shoulder-straps. It was lucky I’m on the short side myself, it only just covered my pussy, curtseying in front of all the elders of Muirton Maxwell with press cameras flashing wasn’t easy - especially as I was blushingly conscious that, in accordance with tradition and the Ordinar o’Ruggin[8], I was wearing nothing under it! The disco they put on in the evening in my honour was more fun, I wore my little miniskirt that Grannie had bought me for a prize, and a pretty thong - that was from Mum!

Mind, I was marked after that, the laddies were determined to get their revenge. Every trick in the book they tried. Worst of them all was sneaky Wullie McRae, nipping my PE knickers out of my locker, so he could give them to his dogs to sniff all night before the Rug. I was dancing mad when I found out, Mum just laughed and said “Ye were lucky he didna nip em aff ye while ye wis wearin em!”[9]

But now my ‘cubbin’ days are over, this is the big one, the one I’ve been waiting for more and more impatiently all through my years as a wean, a gilpie, a teenie-bash,[10] now at last my first real rug as a fully-fledged game-burd!

[1] Cub – juvenile lassie, learning to run through the Forest in a game of hide and seek, loses nothing worse than her pigtails when she’s caught!
[2] Master of the Whip – imaginary title for the head of the Rug.
[3] As becomes clear below, a (very rare!) cub who’s managed to avoid getting caught.
[4] Conceived when Mum was caught as a linkie.
[5] Douce: posh, refined.
[6] ‘Gave me the best’, a hunting term.
[7] Formerly an official in a burgh and its associated territory (bailliwick), now just an honorary title, but in my story he’s still a figure of authority.
[8] Imaginary ancient volume recording all the Rules and Customs of the Rug.
[9] ‘You were lucky he didn’t pinch them off you while you were wearing them!’
[10] A wean, a gilpie, a teenie-bash = a little one, a junior girl, a teenager.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom