Listen In - The Lade — Listen In - The Lade

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The Lade

A reading of an Antrim story The Lade by James Fenton.
The Scots transcription uses the traditional literary conventions described in Wir Ain Leed, it is a transcription of what was said, not an attempt at phonetic accuracy.

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By Dinsmore's brig, whaur the big watter turnt nixt the caraidh, the lade begun, cut wi spade an sweit tae cairy drivin watter tae the cornmill an lintmill doun at Killagan. The lade, the leevin hert o it, run throu the warld o thon wee chield's endless days an endless years, warld an years lang lost. By thon wee pepane's fields it gane, wee fields weel gairdit wi feat stane dykes rinnin back tae gaird as weel as the slaw, hirdit rowtin o his black plums, agin the scholar's glaumin haunds. An we thocht o the wey the wee knir maun hae wunnert, jumpin again aptly, whit come o the feat hey coles, swam aff in a babbin raw, the day, jumpin an squaverin, he cam aff Bab's howkin dug a snite wi the blackthorn. (Wee chield's cawin: he wis whit he wis.) The first streetch o the lade, on its shuir wey back tae the big watter; the first streetchin o aw we haurd o richt an wrang, on wir wey we niver yit thocht whaur.

Pouin an pechin thegither wi aw wir micht, we wund the sloosh up at the first rin-aff intae the big watter, sendin the watter thunnerin an frothin doun ower the heich roond stanes; cogged it back a wee; luit it faw again; an leukt for a troot whippin an spalderin aboot whan, lik thon, the watterfaw turnt tae puddles. Lik the wey ye'd whiles find ane in the wat meidae whaur the faulty brou, forenenst the fawin face o the bank-field, wad brust - o its ain accord maistly. An it wis nixt the bank-field, tae, whaur the lade run graivelly, we sunk the sheets o roustit zinc, held up wi binged sods an stanes, an taen tae the watter wirsels, an swam, or flailed an splasht an spaldert, onywey. (The wey thon ither thochts, shaidaes yet, raw, hauf-shapit, war jynin, roond thon time tae, tae flail an spalder aboot somewhaur in wir heids, wattin the brous.)

Frae the bank-field tae the watterin bay cut oot o the brou behint Bab's hoose (staundin yit, mair or less, wi the ither ane ower the road, twa crummlin heidstanes), the lade run quater, deeper a wee thing, whaur we sent wir ships aw roond the warld. Troots hung trimmlin in watter as clear as gless, snecks maistly, for the real troots war ower in the big watter whaur, aulder, we suin maistert the heich airts o ginnlin, dullin an baggin. Big troots swam whiles in the lade, tae, but belly-up an gaupin, cairit doun frae abuin the brig whan the lint-watter wis luit aff - near nicht, maistly, men likin the daurk mair nor the licht. But the eels war big, that cam ravenish, quate, quick, daurk shaidaes, whan the herrins war guttit an reinged by the stane staps. Thonder, tae, we catched the stricklies an farder doun, whaur the watter ran shallae ower a stany bottom, the wee soukin-eels, stuck tae the stanes, an - cannie, cannie, efter the stoond o thon first sicht! - the beardit grunts. An whaur the brainches boued ower the watter, twa fechtin men wad speel up an ower, or swing haund-ower-haund, tae drap fierce-ee'd amang trimmlin German sodgers; or twa droukit grilse wad sprauchle up the brou an jouk tae dry thair claes in the byler-hoose afore thay war capturt an taen in.

Whaur the lade gane unner the road tae Knockahollet, stuid the wee shap (a modren business, nou) an the proota store (awa nou): the wee shap, whaur we bocht sparklin speicial (it wis the war time) an sweeties (whan we haed ony Ds or Es) wi wir twa-three coppers an, afore ower lang, the first single Widbines; the proota store, whaur thay cairtit bings o blues an whites war waled on the chute an baggit in hunderwechts an whaur on wat days, a wheen wad gaither, wi us wunnerin (baith weys, whiles), tae regulate the weys an waes o mankynd, frae Killagan tae Spinyorra an back. Behint the store, the heidrace run tae the cornmill, baith lang awa, an anither quate streetch brocht the lade unner the Belnaloob road an doun tae the big dam at the lintmill, the ane lang buiried, the ither quate this mony years.

The lade's journey throu oor warld (an, we niver jaloused, throu time as weel) wis geyly ower. By the last sloosh, unner the mill-roddin, it raced an tummelt doun the back-faw, splashin an chitterin an jibblin unner the hingin brainches, tae rin thegither wi the lintmill's tailrace back intae the watter it cam frae, tae rin on an on throu wir shortenin days, wir quate myndin.

By Dinsmore's brig, whaur the big watter bends, palin-stabs an barbed wire merk oot whaur the lade ance run.