All O’ A Bussell

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

Well me deers, be th’ time you reeds this ‘twull be Chresmus Eve, an’ you’ll oll be reddy vur Chresmus, an’ th’ deer cheldern ‘ll be bustin’ wi’ eggzitemint, an’ countin’ th’ minnits till baid-time zo’s they can ‘itch up their stockin’s! An’ I’m sure I ‘opes they’ll all be vulled up, an’ bustin’ wi’ gude things, iss fay, I do.
An’ now, zeein’ that Chresmus iz a cheldern’s time, an’ that there would’n be no Chresmus wo’th kippin’ up, if twadden vur cheldern, I’m gain ‘rite speshal vur they theze time. I’m gain to tell ‘em a li’l story ‘bout wot ‘appened one Chresmus yurs ogo, to two deer li’l cheldern who ‘ad vound out th’ rail mainin’ o’ Chrestmus, an’ tiz a story that’ll do you grawed-up ones gude, too, if you mine to reed it! Th’ story begins in th’ vitty way, like all gude stories do. “Once upon a time, there lived in a li’l cottage, in a deer li’l village, a man an’ ‘is wife, an’ the’r two li’l cheldern, Tom an’ Mary. Tom wuz nine an’ Mary wuz just ‘bout eight, an’ the’r Daddy used to wurk on a varm, zo you can vancy Tom an’ Mary wadden used to no gurt luxuries. Plain an’ zimple vare, an’ plain an’ zimple lives wuz the’r lot, but you would’n mit wi’ two ‘appier cheldern net if you travelled th’ wide wurld auver.”
CHRESMUS.
Well, Chresmus wuz dra’in’ near, an’ like all other cheldern, Tom an’ Mary wuz purty an’ egg-zited wunderin’ wot Vather Chresmus wuz gain put in the’r stockins. Every aimen arter zupper wuz auver, they’d all zet roun’ th’ vire, an’ Tom an’ Mary would holler up th’ chembley an’ tell ‘Zanta’ wot they’d like. Tom allus wanted a train, an’ Mary allus wanted a dolly, among other things. One aivmen while this yur game wuz gain on Tom’s Vather zed, “Mt deer cheldern, hev’ee ever stopt to think ‘ow menny cheldern there iz in th’ wurld, an’ ‘ow menny stockin’s pore ole Vather Chresmus hev got to vull up! If I wuz you I should’n go axing vur too mutch, cuz th’ pore ole man wont be able to car’ it all.” “But Jackie Mason zed Zanta wuz gain bring ‘e a bike, an’ a train an’ lines, an’ a grannyfone, an’ ‘underds o’ things bezides dedden ‘a Ton?” squeaks Mary, “Iss, ‘e ded,” zes Tom, “an’ like I zed to’n, I doant zee why ‘e should bring zo menny gude things to ‘e an’ poke me an’ Mary off wi’ a li’l ole zixpenny toy aich, like ‘e ded las’ yur!” Tom’s Mammy zed, “Well, my deer, Jackie Mason idden strong an’ well like you be, an’ p’raps Zanta Claus brings ‘e bedder things becuz th’ poer li’l chap iz zo poorly zumtimes. Wot do you think Daddy?” An’ Daddy zed that wuz th’ rayson, vur zartin. Then Mary zed, “Aw, but Mam, Jackie Mason zed Zanta allus brings a present vur ‘is Mammy an’ ‘is Daddy bezides all wot ‘e brings vure ‘e. Why doant ‘a bring presents vur you an’ Dad?” “Vur th’ very zame rayson deers,” zes the’r Mammy. “I deer zay Zanta knaws wot a trial tiz to Maister an’ Missus Mason to hev a pore dillykit li’l boy to look arter, an’ ‘e laives a present vur they too, to cheer ‘em up.” Then ‘er put away ‘er medin’ an’ waint to git th’ candel to put Tom an’ Mary to baid. An’ while ‘er wuz out in th’ back house the’r Dad zed, “You cheldern could zave up enny odd coppers you gits between now an’ Chresmus an’ buy a li’l present vur yur Man. You can do it all up nice, an’ us’ll put it in a stockin’ an’ ‘ang it up vur ‘er, all vitty. Aunly you mus;n squeak a wurd ‘bout it! Us’ll kip it a luvly zecret, us dree!” Th’ cheldern wuz delited, an’ waint off to baid vull o’ gurt plans. “An I’ll teel’ee wot, Mary,” whispered Tom, jist avore they avore they valled off to slaip. “If us can git enough munney us’ll git zummin’ vur Dad, too, an’ gi’e ‘e gran’ s’prize too.”
CHOOZIN’ TH’ PRESENTS.
Well, th’ weeks waint by, an’ twuz the’ day avore Chresmus Eve. Tom an’ Mary ‘ad zaved up all their odd coppers, an’ they ‘ad th’ gran’ zum o’ eighteen pence. Course, that doant zim a gurt lot, but it ded to they, cuz they wadden used to hevin’ much munney. In th’ arternune they waint down an’ glazed in th’ shop winders, an tried to make up the’r minds wot to buy. An’ at las’ they dezided on a luvly brown taypot vur the’r Mammy, wi’ a ring o’ roses roun’ un. “I knaw ‘er wants a new one,” zed Tom, “cuz there’s a bit knacked off th’ spout o’ th’ ole one, an’ ‘e dribbles moast ‘orrable, an’ I yurd ‘er zay to Dad ‘er wished ‘er could ‘voard a new one. Bedder go in an’ ax ‘ow mutch ‘e iz.” Zo in they goes an’ axed th’ price o’ th’ tay pot, an’ when th’ wummin zed ‘e wuz two shellin’s, they wuz reddy to cry. “Two shellin’s!” zed Mary, when they cum outside, “an’ us aunly got one an’ six an’ bezides there’s Dad’s present to think ‘bout,” Then Tom ‘ad a brainwave. “Never mine, Mary, le’s go roun’ zingin carrels, an’ try to git a mite more!” “But I can’t ha’f zing; you knaw that,” zed Mary, “wi’ th’ teers rinnin’ down ‘er vaace. You allus zes I makes ‘ee all out.! “Never min,” zes Tom, “le’s try it!” Zo arter a brave ole disheusshun they dezided to make a stert down to th’ Squire’s zoon’s ever it got dummitty. “An’ zeein’ tedden railly Chresmus till tomorrah, p’raps us shall be th’ vust to go roun’,” zes Tom.
“GUDE KING WINKLE-LASS!”
An’ zo ‘bout a hour arter, two li’l tremblin’ cheldern creeped up th’ Squire’s drife, droo th’ rain, an’ th’ vallin darkness, an’ at las’ vixed the’r zels up outside a lighted winder in th’ vrent o’ th’ houze. “Cum on, Mary, think o’ thikky tay pot! Us got to give it lip if Mammy’s gain hev er’ Chresmus present!”
An then they putched up “Ark th’ ‘Eraid Angels zing.” An’ I’m zure th’ angels wuz lissenin’, an’ wuz well plaized wi’ th’e zingin’, tho’ twadden zackly in toon, an’ tho’ Mary’s pore Li’l voice wadden no more moozickal than a bee in a boddle! Ennyway, they got droo an’ then th’ dore opened an’ th’ Squire an’ ‘is Lady cum out. Mary would hev rinned away if Tom ‘ad’n hollered “Tay pot” in ‘er yur! “Wot ded’ee zay?” axed th’ Squire’s lady, lookin’ very s’prized. An’ then it all cum out in a rush, an’ Tom tould ‘er ‘oe they wanted to buy th’ tay pot vur ‘is Mam, an’ zummin vur ‘is Daddy, too. An’ Squire put ‘is ‘and in ‘is pocket an’ gi’ed Tom ha’t-a-crown’ “But you got to zing ‘Gude King Winkle-lass’ to me avore you go” zes’e “cuz tha’s th’ one Ilike best.” An’ Tom an’ Mary zinged wi’ all their h’arts, you may depained, an’ then waint away ez proud ez if they awned th’ parish.
But when they got ha’f way ‘ome they ‘ad to pass Widder Brown’s Cottige, an’ th’ blind wadden dra’ed, an’ they could zee Widder Brown an’ er’ li’l boy, Sanny, zettin’ in th’ virelight. “Le’s gi’e ‘em a carroll, Mary,” zes Tom. “It might cheer em up, an’ I doant spoase th’ other carrell zingers stop yur, cuz they’m too pore to gi’e ‘em ort.” Zo they waint vore outside th’ winder, an’ jist ez they wuz gain putch up, they yurd Sam zay, “I wish Zanta would bring me thikky moter up in shop winder, Ma.” “But ‘e costs a shellin’ deer,” zes Missus Brown, “zo ‘e wont bring’n vur zartin.” An’ then Tom zeed a gurt shinin’ teerdrap vaal down in Missus Brown’s lap. They creeped away, an’ arter a minnit Tom zed, “Mary, if Zanta wont take thikky moter to Zammy, me an’ you will! I doant b’leeve Zanta knaws whare Zam lives, cuz ‘e never gi’ed’n nort las’ yur! Us got vower shellin’s now. Tha’s two shellin’s vur Ma’s taypot, an’ a shellin’ vur th’ moter vur Zammy, an’ that laives a shellin’ vur Dad.” Mary thort they ought to spaind th’ zame on Dad’s present ez they ded on Mam’s, an’ they ‘ad a brave argeymint. But in th’ aind they ‘greed to go an’ but th’ taypot an’ th’ moter, an’ try to git anether shellin’ nex’ day to make up Dad’s munney. An’ they never zeed a zilent vigger that wuz volleyin’ ‘em, an’ lissennin’ to all they wuz zayin’!
BUYIN’ TH’ PRESENT!
A vew minits later they wuz in th’ shop an’ ‘ad bout th’ tay pot on’ ‘th moter, an’ jist ez they wuz cummin out o’ th’ shop, they zeed th’ Squire standin’ inside th’ dore! “Well,” zes ‘e, “an’ wot about a present vur yer Dad? I bin volleyin’ ee, in’ I knaw yer plans, me deers, iss I do! I thort I’d make zure wot you wuz up to wi’ yer munney, an’ now I vend you heb’n spaind it ‘pon yerzells, I’m gain ‘elp ‘ee to pick out a present vur yer Daddy!” No wurds can tell ‘ow glad th’ cheldern wuz. In th’ aind they bout a nice warm pare o’ wool gloves ver th’r Dad, an’ Squire an’ th’ shop kipper ‘elped ‘em to tie up th’ parcels, an’ ‘rite th’ names all on ‘em. Then they waint ‘ome, an’ smuggled th’r parcels upstairs, an’ ‘eed ‘em away under th’ baid. Nex’ aivmen ez zoon’s it got dimmitty they snecked away off down Widder Brown’s an’ put th’ parcel ‘pon th’ dore stap. Then they knacked th’ dore an’ rinned away, an’ ‘edd in th’ bushed ‘tother zide o’ th’ road. But they yurd Zammy’s cries o’ delight when they vound th’ moter, an’ they waint away ‘ome to ‘ang up the’r awn stockin’s. I wish you could hev bin there Chresmus mornin’ when they waked up! Never in all the’r lives ‘ad Zanta gi’ed ‘em zo menny toys, ‘an zitch gude ones. I guess that ole Squire must hev zeed Zanta zumwhere an’ put in a gude wurd vur ‘em! An’ vur th’r Mammy an’ Daddy, well they wuz glad ouver th’r presents, that they vairly cried wi’ joy. An’ later on, when they waint to Church Chresmus mornin’ wi’ th’r Dad, they zeen Zammy Brown, an’ ‘e tould ‘em that Zanta ‘ad gi’ed’n a gran’ moter, an’ later on in th’ aivmen ‘e cum back agane an’ brought a picture buke vur Zam, an’ a gurt basket o’ gude things vur Chresmus. That ole Squire agane. I should’n wunder! I tell’ee me deers, if you give th’ right ‘spirit o’ Chresmus’ there’s no aind to’t cuz other vokes catches th’ infeckshun, too!

Go to the translated version.