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Zilas an’ th’ Zider

Our L’il Village by Sal Tregenna.

Well me deers, tiz zummer wether now, an’ no mistook ‘bout it. An’ May’s out, too, an’ Jane cum in, zo I spoase everybody hev bugun to cast the’r clouts now. There’s a purty passell o’ th’ youngsters yur in our li’l village gain roun’ wi’ nex’ to nort on, witch I reckons iz carr’in’ things a mite too vur mezel’. Coarse I b’leeves in th’ noo-vangled ways to a zartin decree, ez th’ zayin’ iz, but wot I mains iz this, maidens should be maidens, an’ tidden vitty zimmin to me to zee ‘em all drest up in boy’s shorts, ez they caals ‘em. Coarse, I spoase I’m ole-vashuned in me noshuns, but I reckon if us ‘ad a’dun zitch a thing when I wuz young th’ p’leece would hev tooked us up vur it! Mine you, twuz all too mutch th’ tother way in they days. They used to dress us up in gowns trailin’ th’ vloor, an’ raid vlannel petticoats an’ stays an’ bussells like a hosses harness! I shall never vurgit, you, when I wuz married an’ waint away vrom ‘ome, I made up me mine I wadden gain be trusses up like it, zo when I bort me nex’ gown I ‘ad’n made zo’s ‘e cum jist to th’ tops o’ me shoes. An’ when ‘pore ole Mawther cum to zee me ‘er purty nigh vainted cuz ‘er could zee me veet! Wotever th’ deer ole critter would zay now, if ‘er could cum back an’ zee wot th’ maidens dress like I do net knaw!
Coarse, I tould’ee ‘ow ole Jane got th’ roomaddicks droo gain out wi’ a thin vrock on when twuz that there cold wind, dedden I? Nashun bad ‘er wuz in ‘er laigs too, but ‘er’s got auver’t now, an’ drest up in all ‘er zummer trade agane. Brave ole kickshaw zum o’t iz, too, vur Jane can never git rids o’ th’ noshun that ‘er’s a mite o’ a dress maker, an’ tiz wunderval wot trade ‘er do put together. Ez vur th’ stile o’t, well it vits where it tutches, if you will. Th’ lates’ iz a noo vrock wot ‘er’ve made out o’ a pare o’ orringe curtins wot zumbody gi’ed ‘er! When ‘er put’n on vust Zilas zed ‘e wuz gain vix ‘er out ‘mongst th’ teddies to skeer th’ rukes away! Pore ole Zilas! Us hav ‘ad a gude ole grizzle auver ‘e theze week! Zilas wurks vore to Varmer Brown’s an’ las’ week ‘e put Zilas tainin’ sheep. Coarse, ‘e idden zo young ez ‘e wuz, poe ole veller, an’ I reckon moast o’ they there sheep wuz a zight younger an’ more acktive than wot ‘e wuz. Varmer Brown oft to hev lef’ th’ boy ‘elp Zilas catch th’ beggars I zed, but Varmer Brown’s like all th’ rest o’ ‘em, ‘e wants ‘is munney’s wo’th an’ a mite more too, zo pore ole Zilas ‘ad to git on wi’t bes’ ‘e could. Me an’ Jane happed to go vur a walk thikky arternune, an’ us waint down pas# Varmer Brown’s. Us zeed pore ole Zilas in th’ medda sheerin’ a sheep ez us waint past, an’ when us got ‘way up top th’ ‘ill tother zide us looked back an’ zeed’n rinnin’ roun’ th’ medda like a two-yur-ole, tryin’ to catch anether sheep. ‘E ‘ad an ole dog there wot wuz spoased to be a ‘elp but th’ ole varmint wuz draivin’ ‘em th’ wrong way all th’ time, an’ wurryin’ th’ pore o’e sheep jist out o’ the’r wits. Like I zed to Jane, if I’d a’bin Zila I’d a’gied ‘e a taste o’ th’ sheers, that I would! But I spoase ‘e’d hev ‘ad to catch th’ varmint vust! When us cum ‘ome-wurds Zilas wadden to be zeed, zo I thort ‘e’d got out o’heart wo’t, an’ gi’ed it up.
When I got ‘ome I wuz bizzy gittin’ th’ tay reddy, an’ I dedden think nort ‘bout pore ole Zilas. But when I wuz waashin’ th’ deshes, in cums Jane, an’ ‘er zed Zilas wadden cum ‘ome vrom wurk. “’E’s purty an’ late then Jane, idden ‘a?” zes I. “Aw, I deer zay ‘e ‘ad to fo zo menny ole sheep vur e’s day’s wurk.” Zes Jane, “an’ I spoase ‘e heb’n vanished it ‘et.” Ennyway th’ aivmen waint on, an’ twuz got jist nine o’clock an’ still there wadden no zigns o’ Zilas. “Look yur Jane.” Zes I, “I should take down a can ‘o tay an’ a crib to’n if I wuz you, an’ zee wots ‘e’s ‘bout” “Aw ‘e’ll be ‘ome when tiz baid-time, bless’ss,” zes she, an’ ‘er wadden a bit worried, net she. When ‘er waint away in ‘bout half-pas’ nine, I wuz got in a regler ole stoo, an’ I could’n res’. “Vather,” zes I, “do’ee take an’ go down an’ zee if you can zee’n,” zes I. “Zilas idden no checken, no more’n you be, an’ I doant b’leeve it dun’n enny gude gallopin’ roun’ an’ roun’ in th’ blain’ zen. ‘E mite hev ‘ad a heart vetrack or a zenstroke all we knaw.” Zo Vather put on ‘is ‘at, an’ waint away off. Twadden long avore ‘e cum ‘ome vur th’ wheel-barrer! Zilas’s boy, Bill, wadden ‘ome thikky aivmen, zo ‘e knawed ‘e ‘ad to git’n ‘ome be issel. “Wotever’s up, Vather,” zes I, swettin laiks. “Zider,” zes ‘e, “but ‘e cant’t walk. I tould’n I’d bring down th’ barrer, an’ dra’n ‘ome when it got dimmit! You’d bedder tell Jane ‘e’s bad, witch ‘e iz, but doant ‘ee zay tiz zider wot dun it, Wotever you do!” “No,” zes I, cuz I knawed ‘e’d git it zummin ‘orrable if Jane knwed that. “I’ll zay ‘e’s auver-cum wi’ th’ ‘ait, witch is true railly, cuz th’ ‘ait gied’n th’ therst, arter all.”
Zo I waint in an’ tould ‘er, an’ ‘er zed ‘er wuz gain down to ‘elp’n ‘ome but Vather would’n laive ‘er go. Well arter a time Vather wuz cum wi’n, ‘E tould me arter ‘e ‘ad purty wurks to git’n to zet in th’ barrer, an’ ‘e kipt on gittin’ out arter ‘e ded vix’n in. But pore ole Zilas idden bigger’n a gude boy, zo Vather got auver’n in th’ aind. Us put’n to baid, an’ gi’ed zum strong tay, an’ ‘e wuz Alrite nex’ day ‘ceps vur a haiake. Jane zes ‘e wuz allus waik in ‘is haid, zo tha’s ‘ow ‘e wuz took!

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