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Merry Chresmus

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

Merry Chres’mus by Sal Tregenna (December 1934)
Well, me deers, be th’ time you reeds this, us shall be right in the middle o’ Chres’mus, an’ yur’s ‘opin’ ez ‘ow twull be a merry Chres’mus vur ‘ee all, an’ vur mezel’ too! I b’leeve I’m jist ‘bout reddy vur’t now, th’ puddens be made an’ ‘angin’ ‘pon th’ crooks in th’ deery. Th’ Chres’mus cake’s all made an’ dickerated vitty wi’ li’l robins an’ “Merry Chres’mus” an’ all ‘pon un! Nurse hiced’n vur me theze yur, an’ you would’n knaw’n vrom one o’ they there slap-up ones out o’ a shop. Coarse, ‘er wanted to do zummin to ‘elp, an’ I wuz very glad to git out o’ thikky frickin’ ole job. I can make a cake ’s’well’s th’ nex’, an’ tho’ I zes it mezel’, I’ve never taasted noane to bait me awn, but I’ll omit I bant no terrable dab wi’ thikky hicin’ job. Coarse, I can put on th’ Margery-pan, an’ th’ sugary hicin’ ‘pon top o’t, an’ I can steck th’ robins on wi’ eennybody. But tiz puttin’ th’ vinishin’ titches wi’ thikky  ole hicin’ pump that gits me bait. Willyum Jan bort’n vur me yurs ago, an’ I’ve allus tried to use’n every yur, but zimmin to me, every yur ‘e gits ‘arder to andel. I reckon tha’s awin’ to th’ roomaddicks in me vingers. I shell never vurgit th’ vust yur th’ deer boy gi’ed ‘n to me! Coarse I thort twuz a gran’ catch an’ I wuz jist ez ankshus to use’n ez ‘e wuz vur me to.
Well, thikky yur I’d a’put pink hicin’ ‘pon top th’ Margery-pan, cuz th’ deer boy zed ‘e liked pink hicin’. “There’s a li’l spout there vur’ee to vix on yer pump, Mawther,” zes ‘e, “wot’ll make writin’, zo you can put on “Merry Chres’mus” wi’ white hicin’ like they do ‘pon th’ shop cakes. An’ thikky other li’l spout’ll make roses, zo you could put a ring o’ roses round th’ zides o’n, could’n ee?” “Iss” zes I, li’l dreemin’ wot I wuz laivin’ mezel’ in vur! ‘Owzumaver, I raymimber I wuz gain do this yur job one aivmen zo’s ‘e could zee me do it, zo I got all th’ gear reddy zoon’s tay wuz auver, an’ Vather an’ Willyum Jan wuz there glazin’ like a cupple o’ skule-boys, I allus reckons I should hev Dun a bedder job if I’d bin left mezel, but coare they wanted to zee thikky gadget wurk. An’ purty wurk ‘e dun, I’ll warn that! I sterted wi’ th’ roses, cuz zum’ow or ‘nother I wuz a mite dou’tvul ‘bout th’ writin’. But, bless my days, they wadden no more like roses than I’m like cock-robin! Ames Vather zed, they might hev bin cabbitches vur all th’ odds ‘e could zee; “Well,” zes Willyum Jan, ankshus to put a peace ‘pon it, “I reckon it mus’ be cabbitch roses, Vather!” Be th’ time I’d got roun’ thikky blessid cake, ha’f me roses wuz rinnin down auver th’ blessid zides o’n. “Looks to me ez if they’m rambler roses, boy!” zes Vather, an’ ‘e sterted laffin’ bit to bust. Coarse, that nettled me vitty. Tiz main to laff at a body when they’m tryin’ to do th’r best, an’ like I tould,n I’ll warn ‘e’d have made a wuss mess o’t izzel’. Zo Vather put on ‘is ‘at an’ waint away that quate an’ stand-offish wi’ moast vokes that I’m jist ‘bout ‘fraid ‘er’d spoil th’ ou, but ez ‘e wuz gain out th’ dore ‘e hollered back an’ devised me to hev a shot at it wi’ th’ bike pump! Pore ole Willyum Jan, it must hev bin a ‘ard job vur’n to kip a strait vaace, but ‘e dun it! An’ ‘e got auver me to try th’ writin’, too. But I wuz vitty out o’ hart wi’t be that time, an’ when I tried to make’n do a big M vur Merry Chres’mus, the varmint left out a gurt blob like a young mountain! I could zee then twuz all up th’ tree. Vur one thing there wadden rume enuff to git in th’ rest o’ th’ writin’, zo wot I dun in th’ aind, wuz to make dree more mountains an’ steck li’l robins an’ holly ‘pon ‘em, an’ they looked very purty arter all.
But theze yur, ez I tell’ee, th’ cake’s a regler slap-up one, wi’ writin’ an’ all dun to purfeckshun. An’ Vather an’ Nurse hev ‘elped to dickerate th’ houze, an’ I deklare us heb’n bin zo smart vur yurs. Vather wanted to knaw las’ night when us wuz gain hev a party, an’ I zed us ‘ad bedder hev one th’ week arter Chres’mus. Zo then ‘e axed who us wuz gain  to ax, an’ I zed, “An th’ zame one us allus do, I spoase. Ther’ll be Willyum Jan an’ Mary Ann, an’ Missus Trethewey, an th’ deer cheel. (Can’t bleeve it! ‘E’s two yur ole, an’ you’d hev to travel a brave way to vend anether cheel to bait’n!) Then ther’ll be Jim Snell an’ Ann, an’ Zilas an’ Jane, an’ Bill an’ Mary, bezides ourzels.” “An’ wot about Missus Newcum?” zes Vather. “Bant’ee gain ax ‘er to cum?” “Well, I dunno what to do ‘bout it,” zes I. “Er’s party. Bezides, I doant spoase ‘er’d cum if I axed ‘er. “Well you can but ax  ‘er,” zes Vather, “an’ if ‘er doant cum tiz ‘er awn vaut. But ‘twould’n be nayberly to my mine, to hev a party an’ laive th’ pore zawl out o’t.” “Alrite,” zes I. “I’ll ax ‘er, an’ I ‘ope if ‘er do cum ‘er’ll join in th’ vun wi’ th’ rest, an’ net spoil everything.” Like I zed to Nurse, I could’n abide th’ thorts o’ us hevin’ a rare ole spree in yur, an’ thikky pore zawl zettin’ all be ‘erzel all droo th’ Chres’mus wi’ never a zawl to zay Peep-bo to, ez th’ zayin’ iz. All the zame I dedden want nobdy zettin’ ‘pon th’ aidge o’ th’ cheer, lookin’ like a vish out o’ wadder, when th’ party wuz on. Nurse zed ‘er thort Missus Newcum would be ez lively’s th’ rest if ‘er ded cum. “Er’ve ‘ad trubble, pore zawl,” zes she, “an’ tiz time vur zumbody to shake ‘er up a mite, an’ git ‘er to laff agane.” ‘Owzumever I axed ‘er thze mornin’ if ‘er’d like to cum to th’ party, an’ I tould ‘er us allus looked vore to a jolly aivmen, an’ I ‘oped ‘er’d cum in an’ hev a gude time ‘long wi’ us. An’ bless’ee ‘er zimmed vitty titched you, to be axed, an’ ‘er zed ‘er’d deerly luv to cum! When I tould Vather ‘e waint out zumwhare an’ got ‘old to a gurt buch o’ misseltoe, an’ e’ve bin an’ ‘itched it up out in th’ passidge! Nurse zes us shell hev to watch Vather thikky aivmen, else ‘e’ll be out in th’ passidges canoodlin’ wi’ Missus Newcum! “I thort all along ‘e ‘ad a zoft spot vur ‘er.” Zes Nurse, winkin’ ‘er heye to me. “E’ll hev a zore spot arter I’ve vanished wi’n,” zes I, “if I catches’n up to any o’ is ole vulery. Bezides, ‘r idden that zoart. ‘Er’d knack ‘is haid off if ‘e tried to kiss ‘er.” “I dunno zo much about that.” Zes Nurse. “’Bewar o’ th’ widders’ I allus bin tould; an’ generally spaiken’ tiz gude devise!” I’ll tell’ee all ‘bout th’ party nex’ time I writes, me deers. Zo long, ‘an yurs wishin’ ee all th’ best vur Chres’mus an’ afterwards.

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