A ‘Untin We Will Go.

A Cornish Tale about Our L’il Village by Sal Tregenna.

Iss, me deers, you’ve all o’ee yurd thikky zong, heb’n’ee, an’ ‘elped to zing’n, too, moast o’ee, no don’t. Well, u bin ‘untin’ yur theze las’ week. I’ll warn that, an’ purty caper us hev ‘ad too.
It sterted Zenday aivmen when us wuz all zettin’ roun’ th’ vire, taalkin’ an’ hevin a dish o’ tay. All to once everybody went quate all ‘pon zudden, likes you do zumtimes, an’ I yurd zummin rattlin’ away in th’ corner behend Vather’s cheer. “Ark!” Zes I, “wot’s thikky noise you?” Us all harked, an’ us all yurd it — rattle–rattle–rattle–all zoft and gintle like. “Tis paper rattlin,” zes Jane, “tha’s wot tiz!”. “Well,” zes Jim Snell, “paper doant rattle be itzel’, Missus! There must be zummin in there makin’ o’t rattle. P–haps tiz a mouze!” “Gor bless my zawl!” Zes I, “I should ‘ope there–idden no mice in th’ huze, wi’ a gurt ole lazy, vat cat yur slaip avore th’ vire!”
“Tha’s th’ trubble, Mawther!” Zes Vather, “zame’s I allus tell ‘ee, you’m allus stuffin’ th’ ole cat tight, zo ‘e idden gain caatch no mice, vur zartin.” “Well, but I’ve never zeed no zigns o’ no mouze in th’ plaace,” I zes, “zo I cant onderstan’ whare ‘e could hev cum vrom.” “Bless’ee,” zes Ann, “you bant sure there iz a mouze there not ‘et! Rouze up th’ ole cat Missus an’ le’s zee wot ‘e makes o’t.” Zi I gi’ed Nick a poke in th’ ribs, an’ arter a purty struggle ‘e manidged to open one heye. Th’ paper wuz still rattlin’ away in th’ corner, zo Vather got up an’ us pulled ‘is cheer ‘out o’ th’ corner. I allus kips a box in thikky corner, wot I kips me stecks in vur lightin’ th’ vire, an ‘coarse I puts odds an’ ainds o’ paper in there too, vur th’ zame purpuss. Us lissened agane arter th’ cheer wuz shifted, an’ us could still yur it, zo I carr’ed Nick vore to th’ box, an’ put th’ nawze o’n in un!
DROO OUR VINGERS!
Us waited a vew minutes, an’ Nick never took no notiss wotever, an’ I could’n make it up. Then Jane lookied to’n an’ ‘er zed “The’ vamint’s gone to slaip there–right!” An’ zo ‘e wuz, or purty nigh. “Tedden no gude to trest it to ‘e,” zes Vather. “Us ‘ad bedder try to catch th’ varmint ourzel’s between us.” Well, me an’ Ann wadden terrable keen ‘pon it, but zame’s I zed us could’n go to baid an’ laive th’ varmint there in th’ box like that.
“Cum on, now,” zes Vather, “you all do wot I tells’ee, an’ us’ll zoon put paid to ‘e. You stan’ there Jim, an’ take ‘old to th’ poker. Ann, you’d better hev th’ wire–showl, an’ you stan’ there. Mawther, you hev th’ tongs, an’ stan’ yur, an’ Jane, you take ‘old theze steck, an stan; vore there.” Us wuz all standin’ roun’ in our plaaces, wi’ our wheppons in our ‘ands; “an wot, “ zes I, “be you gain do in th’ gurt war, Vather!” “Aw,” zes ‘e, “I’m gain hev the scraper, an’ sterted to ferrick roun’ th’ stecks in th’ box. Nort never ‘appened vur a brave wile, an’ jist ex us wuz all thinkin’ there wadden no mouze there, out ‘e cums like a stake o’ graised litenin’, you! All o’ us zeed th’ varmint, but tha’s all! Us all den our best, but ‘e sipped droo our vingers clain’s a wissell! Laistways, I spoase, ‘e waist droo our veet, railly. Us all lashed out gude an’ rolid wi’ our weppons, but us never ‘it nort! Laistway I ded, but twadden th’ mouze. I catched Jim Snell a wincer cross th’ zait o’ ‘is pants, but zame’s I zed ‘ow wuz I to know th’ tongs wuz gain viy abroad like that? Bezides Jim no bizzens to jump right avore me like ‘e ded. Never ‘ad no manners, Jim dedden, but like I zed, ‘e ‘ad ‘is recaipt vur’t thikky time. Then us ‘ad a purty caper wi’ Jane. ‘Er declared th’ mouze ‘ad stapped ‘pon ‘er voot, an’ I deklare, you, ‘er purty near waint off in historicks auver’t.
“Jane,”  zes I, “I’m shamed o’ee, iss fay I be! A grawed wummin, like you, acktin’ like a cheel vower yurs ole! Wot of ‘e ded stap ‘pon yer voot! ‘E would’n hev cum nigh ‘ee if ‘e could hev ‘elped it, I’ll warn! But ‘e ‘ad to pass out zum ‘ow, dedden ‘at.” Tha’s th’ trubble!” Zes Jane, “th’ varmint dedden pass out! ‘E’s still yur!” Us all catched ‘old to out himplements agane, an’ glazed like congers! “Tedden no gude glazin’ roun’ th’ ‘ouze!” Snaps Jane. “E rinned up auver me laig, I knaw ‘e ded!” Coarse us all busted out laffin’, an’ I thort Jim Snell wuz gain kill ‘issel’. But pore ole Jane wuz in that there state that I wuz fo’ced to take ‘er ‘ome, an’ put ‘er to baid! Coarse, us never zeed nort more o’ no mouze thikky night, an’ be th’ time us ‘ad all ‘ad a dish o’ tay, an’ I’d a’carr’ed in a mite o’ zupper to Jane, well twuz gain up th’ ‘ill vur tain o’clock, zo us waint away off to baid.
“VATHER’S CATCH!”
Well, it waint on all thikky week, an’ I wuz kippin’ me heyes skinned vur thikky mouze. I could’n onderstan’ whare ‘e’d a’gone to, cuz like I zed to Vather there wadden no signs o’ no ‘ole nowhare, vur’n to go into. ‘E’ve vound a ole zumwhare,” zes Vather. “I deer zay ‘e’ll cum to light agane in a day or two.” An’ trew ‘nuff ‘e ded, an when Vather wadden expectin’ o’n, too! I teeled mouze traps all roun’ th’ plaace every aivmen, but nort never ‘appened, an’ I wuz beginnin’ to wunder wot th’ zind o’t wuz gain to be. I can’t abide a baistly ole mouze waalkin’ roun’ th’ plaace be night/ You never knaws wot they bin up to, do’ee? I dedden like to put down pizen, cuz’ o th’ vowles an’ trade, an’ zum’ow I got a draid o’ that ole pizen, zince pore ole Varmer Brown’s dog ait zum once, wot wuz put down vur th’ rats.
Vather zed ‘e should’n kip on wurryin’ if e’ wuz me. “E might hev got out agane, zame way ‘e cum in,” zed ‘e “an’ us might never zee’n agane.” But I wadden containt like that. I veeled I wanted to catch th’ vamint, an’ knaw th’ aind o’n. Th’ Zender arter Vather axed me if I wuz gain to church. Nurse hap to be out all day an’ I zed I would. Zo off goes me an’ Vather to church, an’ us axed ourzel’s into Wllyum Jan’s to denner! Well us wuz in church zettin’ down, an’ Passen wuz praichin’ away bootivul, when all o’ a zudden Vather gi’ed a yelp, an’ I thort ‘e must be tooked ill, Everybody in th’ plaace gazed to’n vur ‘e rozed right up out o’ zait a vule in me life, an’ I could hev gi’ed Vather th’ gigges’ talkin’ to e’ ever ‘ad in ‘is life, if aunly us ad’n bin in church like that. Ez twuz I gi’ed a look that ought to hev killed’n jist bout! But ‘e wuz zettin’ bolt upright, glazin’ in vrent o’n, like a statyew. When everybody wuz zettled agane, e’ wispered to me, “I got the varmint, Mawther. Looky there!” An’ ;e tooked ‘is ‘and out ‘o is auvercoat pocket, wi’ th’ daid mouze in un!” ‘Ow it all cum about is more’n I can tell’ee. ‘E might hev bin heedin’ away in thikky  coat pocket, I spose, cuz ‘e wuz ‘angin’ in th’ passidge. One thing ‘e ‘ad’n dun no damidge, more’n vullin’ th’ pocket wi’ crums an’ chowed paper, an’ like I zed to Vather I deer say ‘e left a bag o’ nubbies in ‘is pocket, or zum zitch thing! Still, I wuz gald ‘e wuz catched, an’ I’ve laffed zince to think ‘po wot Vather must hev veeled like when ‘e put ‘is ‘and in ‘is pocket, an’ vound th’ mouze there! If it ‘ad ‘appened ennywhare else but in church I reckon ‘e’d hev left’n go, wot zay you! I knaw I should hev, church or no, if I’d a’vound th’ varmint in my pocket! Tell ‘bout killin’ ducks, you! Tedden nort kumpared wi’ killin’ mouzes in church wi’ yer bare ‘ands! Tho’ even to think o’t, Vather ‘ad ‘is bes’ gloves on!