Big Schuil

"Ar yous gaun ti the big schuil nou?"

Me an Peter leukit doun an saw wee Jeemie. "Ay," A says, "what div ye 'hink oo'r waitin on the bus for?"

"Ar yes no feared?"

"What ar the ti be feared fae?"

"The big laddies."

Peter lauched at him, "What, like you'r feared fae us?"

Wee Jeemie juist stuid leukin up, sae A says, "What cless ye in this year?"

"Primary shree."

Peter leukit ower at iz. "Miss Sheilds?"

"Ay, Miss Sheilds," A says ti Jeemie, "ye'll like her, wulln't ye, son?" He never says onything but he wis as fair-heidit as Oor Wullie and his face gaed bricht pink, sae A says, "Bonny dous, haesn't she?" Rid as a beet he went.

"Heh," Peter gied iz a dunch wi his elbae, "tell him the rubber baas joke."

"Na, he's ower wee for that, Peter."

"A am nut," says wee Jeemie, "A'm no a wee ane, A'm in primary shree."

"Ye ar sut a wee ane."

"A am nut." An he startit up wi his, "Aw, go'n, tell iz the joke, go'n, ai? Aw go'n. Go'n. Och, goooo'n, ai? Go'n." That's hou the wee anes talks, "Och, go'n. Go'n, ai?"

"Ay, aa richt an shut up," A says, "it gauns like this. Efter aa'hing A say, you hiv ti say rubber baas. Reddy?"

"Ay, go'n."

"The war this wumman."

"Rubber baas."

"She faintit in the street."

"Rubber baas."

"The poliss got thare."

"Rubber baas."

"An they lowst her claes."

"Rubber baas."

"Hou wad ye bring her roond?"

Wee Jeemie went quiet an me an Peter leukit up at ane anither. "By jingo, he gits it," says Peter, "he gits it."

"Ay, his wee brain cells is gaun like the clappers in thare." But A wisna lattin him awa wi this, spylin ma joke. "Hiv ye ever soukit a wumman's dous, Jeemie?"

"Nut."

"Ye hiv sut, ya clarty wee sou."

His face wis like a fresh-skint beetruit nou aa richt. "A hiv nut."

"Ye hiv sut."

"A hiv nut."

"Jeemie, ye hiv sut," Peter cam ti ma rescue, "ye'v soukit yer mammie's dous."

Ye want ti seen the colour o his wee face at this. "A hiv NUT!" He hit Peter in the belly wi his schuilbag an went stourin awa doun the Wynd ti the primary schuil, leavin us staunin thare lauchin as the bus puld up.

The bus wis aareddy croudit wi bairns fae the ither villages, a lot o big laddies an lassies oo'd never seen afore. Oo couldna git a saet thegither sae Peter went an sat wi a lassie, the maddo. A sat doun aside this laddie. "Whare ye fae?" A'm sayin as the bus puls awa.

"Kinchie."

"Kinchie? Whare's that?"

Ye want ti seen the leuk he gien iz. "Kinchie. Whare the whisky comes fae, div ye no ken?"

"What cless ye in?"

"Third year."

A keikit roond the bus at some o the big lassies. Ye want ti seen the ane ahint iz on the ither side. Whan A leukit roond at the Kinchie fellae the war a smile on his soor pus for a chynge. "She's fae Pencaitland," he says.

"No bad," A says, "guid baas."

"Baas? What ye talkin aboot?"

"Baas, ye ken?" A made the weel-kent sign wi ma hauns.

"What ye talkin aboot? It's men haes baas, no weemin."

"Na, that's baas," A made the sign again, a wee bit cadgier this time for fear o attractin attention.

He went aa soor-pussed again an leukit doun at iz oot the corner o his ee. "Awae, min, that's hou bairns talks."

"It is nut."

He juist sat thare wi his soor pus an never says a word.

"A says it is nut."

"Ay, A heard ye." That's aa he says, A heard ye. An ye want ti seen the pus on him. It's mibbie juist ma first day at this schuil but A aareddy ken A dinna like Kinchie fowk.

© Sandy Fleemin 2003. First published in Lallans 57 (ISSN 1359-3587).