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Showers, Snails, an’ Spring Clainin’

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

Well, there bin a terrable change in th’ we’ther zince I ‘rote to ‘ee las’ vortnit’ heb’n there? Like I allus ded zay May’s a terrable trecky munth, an’ you got to watch yer stap, ez th’ zaying’ iz, or you’m gain be ‘ad wi’ th’ riggens o’ a cold in yer haid, if nort wuss. One day tiz that ‘ot that a body swets laiks vur to do the’r wurk, an’ you’m terrable tempted vur to laive off yer wes’ coat, or yer body, an’ put on zummin thinner. But jist you go an’ do’t tha’s all, an’ tain to one you’m ad! Nex’ day twull tern that nippy that you’ll be rumped up like a winnard, an’ you’ll be glad ‘nuff to put on yer winter claos agane. Two or dree vokes yur hev bin ‘ad theze yur, Jane vur one. ‘Er cum in yur las’ Zaterday arternune all decked up in a thin vrock an’ a zummer’s ‘at, gain vur a walk. I wuz zettin’ inside the winder knittin’, an’ ‘er zes, “Cum on Sal, chuck yer knittin’ onder th’ table, an’ cum on out vur a walk.” “You’m terrable lively all to once, bant ‘ee?” zes I. “Hev’ee vanished yer wurk Jane?” “Wot idden den iz left to doin’,” zes she. “I’m gain out an’ injoy this yur garn’ zenshine, an’ I’ll catch up me jobs in th’ aivmen.
Well, I put on me ‘at an’ coat, an’ tooked me vrail. “I wants a vew arrants up shop,” zes I, “zo I can git they wiles we’m out.” “Wot in th’ diggens be ‘ee doin’ wi’ yer grut ole coat on Sal?” zes Jane. “Why, tiz ‘ot ‘nuff to roast a hoss; you’ll be jist daid wi’ a gurt coat on. Bezides, doant ‘ee knaw wot a power o’ gude th’ zen do to yer body? Whey they do zay th’ zen ‘ll cure jist ‘bout every kumplaint there iz.” Jane hev allus got ‘old o’ zum ole noo-vangled noshun lately zince ‘er bin borryin’ Maria Brown’s noos-paper to reed. “Ne’er cast a slout till May be out Jane,” zes I. “I allus vound that device wuz zound, an’ I’m steckin’ to’t. I knaws th’ zen’s gude vur ‘ee, but there’s a nippy wind gain, too.” ‘Owzumever, us waint out, an’ I b’leeve I injoyed th’ zen more’n Jane ded, vur every time us got in th’ wind I could zee Jane go all goozey-vlesh, an’ I’m sure ‘er wuz veelin’ all shivered. Th’ out cum o’t wiz that Munday Jane could ‘ardly dra’ one laig avore th’ thother, vur blessid roomaddicks! Zilas zed ‘er’d used a boddle o’ Ellimas Hembercahun vur ‘er laigs! Zame’s I zed, Elliman’s iz very gude trade, but I’d rather steck to me gurt ole coat!
Well, I spoase you’ve all o’ee got droo wi’ yer spring clainin’ heb’n ‘ee? Or bee’ee like me, all behind it, like th’ o cow’s tail? To tell’ee th’ trewth , I bin waitin vur ole Jan Bunt to cum roun’ to swaip th’ chembley avore I dun me kitchen. An’ las’ Munday mornin’ jist ez I wuz up to mneck in waashin’ in cums th’ oe varmint. “Now, look yur, Jan,” zes I. “I bin waitin’ vur you vur weaks, an’ now you got to wait vur me till I vanished me wasjin’! You aut to a’knawed bedder than cum zitch a onhandy time.” ‘E made out ‘e wuz terraable bizzy an’ could’n wait, but I gi’ed’n a dish o’tay, an’ wiles ‘e wuz hevin’ a gude ole tuck-in I vanished me waashin’ an’ got th’ place reddy vur’n. “More ‘aste less speed,” they zay, doant ‘em, an’ I’m beggared, if twadden th’ case wi’ Jan. ‘E wuz gain do’t purty quick, an do purty wunders, but th’ aunly wunder wuz ‘e dedden tare down th’ blessid chembley! ‘E waint an’ got ‘is ole gear ‘itched up zum whare, an’ ‘e an’ me an Jane all tried to vree it, but twuz no gude. “You’ll hev to bring in th’ dunkey an’ ‘itch up to yer ole ‘andel, Jan,” zes Jane. “Git out Jane,” snaps I, “do’ee talk zence, If you can’t shift th’ blessid thing th’ dunkey can’t!” An’ then Jane went away in a huff. Th’ aind o’t wuz’e ‘ad to git a ladder an’ clem up top th’ houze, an’ arter a purty ole tussel ‘e got th’ ole gear out, an’ two or dree brecks an’ ‘bout a wheel-barrer o’ morter bezides. Zame’s I zed, insid o’ me payin’ ‘e, ‘e aut to bin made to pay me vur th’ damidge ‘e dun, to zay nort ‘bout th’ blessid mess I ‘ad!
Wiles I wuz urryin’ auver me chembley, Jane wuz in a purty ole stew auver th’ snals in ‘er vlower knat. “Ther’s ‘undreds there, Sall,” zes she, “an’ I’ll warn ‘ee they ait all they there sweet pays. I never zeed one ‘o ‘em cum up, an’ Zilas zes they mus’ be ratted, avore now. But I b’leeve they ded graw an’ they bloomin’ snails ait ‘em off zoon’s they shawed.” “Well why doant ‘ee catch th’ snails,” zes I. “Tha’s all very well,” zes she, “but th’ sweet pays be gone now. Never mind, I’ll put in zum more, I won’t be bait. Bill reckons I teeled th’ tothers too zoon.” “Well,” zes I, “you’ll hev to catch th’ snails if you’m gain tell zum more, shent ‘ee. They’ll be nashun plainty wi’ all theze showers . You allus zee when there’s showers there’s snails.” “Tiz a baistly o’e job, catchin’ snails,” zes Jane. “Itried it las’ night, but it terned me up vity. Twould’n be zo bad if they wadden zo slipper! I wished I knawed zummin wot would kill ‘em,” “Zalt,” zes I. “I’ve yurd that’ll do th’ treck.” “You got to put a pinch o’ zalt on the’r tails, an’ then they’ll die!” An’ I’m beggared if Jane wadden out nex’ aivmen wi’ a stug o’ zalt waitin’ to zalt in th’ snails! “I got me glasses on,” zes she, “to make sure witchy aind I’m puttin’ th’ zalt on! I do’ant spoase twould hev th’ zame defeck if I put it ‘pon the’r haids, would it?” I tould ‘er ‘er’d bedder ax Jim Snell, cuz ‘e’d knaw bedder’n me. But Jane reckons ‘er’ve vanished wi’ Jim Snell cus ‘e zarved ‘er a baistly treck auver thikky mouze. Zo if th’ zalt do’ant kill th’ snails I reckon ‘er’ll vall out wi’ me! Zo long me deers.

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