Aal Mrs Lowe wiz affa come at. She’d geen tae milk Jinty her goat but she’d only produced aboot a quarter o the milk she usually did ilka day. She thocht tae herself that something wiz wrang wi Jinty so she gid her a drappy meal mixed wi treacle tae see if that wid help tak her milk back. Onywye she tried that but neist day her milk wiz still the same. Noo the milk she hid in the coggie wiz perfect as usual so there wisna ony signs o illness. Aftimes fin a goat’s milk fell like this ye could smell it if something wiz wrang or fyles a budy could find a bleed spot in the milk if there wiz ony kind o infection. She washed Jinty’s teats an checked them tae see if there wiz something wrang there but nae a thing did she find.
That nicht she tellt Wully her man fan he came hame fae the plooin. He didna ken muckle aboot goats ava an apart fae aitin a bittie goat’s cheese noo an then he couldna care less. But seein foo upset his wife wiz he tried tae help wi a puckle suggestions. Mrs Lowe jist shook her heed for it wiz obvious he kent bugger all aboot goats. But one thing though he did say in the passin wiz that he mind fan he wiz but a bairn een o the cottar wifies that bade aside them hid heen the same kind o problem wi her goat and aifter puzzling ower the heeds o this for a fair fylie hid fun oot that futtritts hid been sookin the goat at nicht. She’d come across wee preenpricks on the goat’s teats. Seemingly they’d been wunnin intae the shed faar the goat sleepit. She’d closed aff aa the places faar the futtritts could wun in and that hid solved the problem. Mrs Lowe teen this een onboord an decided she’d hae a closer look at Jinty’s teats in the morning. Jinty sleepit in fit hid been an aal henhoosie at ae time. It wiz a gweed set up wee hoosie but the biggest problem wiz that Jinty widna aloo herself tae be shut in ava and twice hid kickit the door doon tae wun oot. Aifter that Mrs Lowe hid left her tae sleep there athoot a door.
Jinty wiz a gyan aboot goat an jist wannert aboot the placie as she pleased. She nivver wannert far apart fae fyles she’d gyang intae Fukiesteen widdies aside the Mains searchin for a tasty morsel.
Neist morning afore she milkit Jinty Mrs Lowe checked the goat’s teats an tae her amazement she fun wee preenpricks. Ye jist widna hae spotted them if ye hidna kent fit tae look for. That nicht at supper she tellt Wully fit she’d fun. He tellt her the best thing tae dee wid be tae shut Jinty in at nicht tae stop them. But Mrs Lowe reminded him fit happened the last time they tried tae close her in. Wully fairly mind on that so he suggested she should keep a watch faar aboot the futtritts came fae and he’d set traps for them at their hole.
So that very forenicht Mrs Lowe teen oot a stool fae the hoose an settled doon tae her wyvin watchin the henhoose aa the while. Jinty wiz fair kinichted wi her sittin there so came inaboot and made a fuss roon her for a fylie then headed tae her hoosie. By gweed luck she liked tae sleep jist inside the entrance so that wiz fine she’d be able tae keep an ee on her for as lang as the licht laisted. It wiz a fine saft nicht so Mrs Lowe enjoyed sittin deein her knittin in the fresh air but ayee keepit an ee on Jinty. Jist afore it got ower dark Mrs Lowe decided there’d be little pynt on her sittin ony langer as there seemed tae be nae ongyans ava fae the futtritts. She put her oo intae her pyoke an wiz aboot tae leave fin she saw Jinty comin oot fae her hoosie an start walkin doon the road towards Funkiesteen widdies. Her knittin pyoke forgotten she follyt Jinty. Ivvery noo-an-then Jinty stoppit an wid hae a quick look aroon afore she carried on makkin her wye tae the widdies. Mrs Lowe hid nivver seen sic ongyans fae Jinty afore so she keepit ahin but at a distance. Doon doon Jinty wint towards the widdies as if she kent exactly faaraboot she wiz gyan. Ivvery noo-an-then she’d stop for a look aroon afore she carried on eence mair.
It wiz gye dark in the widdies so Mrs Lowe hid tae tak care as tae faar she put her feet. The last thing she’d nott wiz tae braak her ankle on some unseen stickin oot tree reet. Eventually Jinty stoppit an started bleatin oot o her. She did this for a minty or twa an Mrs Lowe hidin ahin a tree oot o sicht wiz fair puzzled at this strange ongyans fae Jinty. It wiz gye eerie in the widdies as the licht failed an it got eerier by the meenit an stories lang forgotten aboot goats bein the ‘Gweed Man’s’ servants came tae the fore in her mind. As a bairn she’d heard plenty strange stories aboot the goats an their ongyans that mony’s the time she’d geen tae her bed an happit her heed wi the blankets terrifeart o seein ‘the ‘Gweed Man’s’ goats. Noo aa this thochts came rushin back tae her an the fear came ontae her hidin ahin the tree watchin Jinty bleatin oot o her. Mrs Lowe let the wee lassie in her free as she imagined that Jinty wiz summoning her maister tae come up fae Hell tae gie him some o her milk for it wiz said there wiz nithin he liket better than a sook o fine fresh goat’s milk. Mrs Lowe in a spleeter o panic an thoroughly terrifeart thocht she’d better leave afore ‘Aaal Leather Tail’s’ heed an shooders started tae wun up fae aneath the grun. She wiz on the pynt o takkin tae her heels fin oot o the corner o her ee she saw movement comin fae allo a coupit tree’s reets. Oh me she wiz ower late Leather Tail wiz comin oot fae the tree reets. She started tae whimper a wee bit an wiz on the point o knypin back tae the hoose as if the hounds o Hell wiz nippin at her heels. Aa this kind o thochts an mair came tae the fore fin she then saw fit the movement actually wiz. Fae below the reets aboot a dizzen wee black an fite kittlins ran up tae Jinty an started haein an affa excited cairry on wi her, gyan roon aboot her as if playin. Mrs Lowe jist steed there open mooed at this ongyans fin Jinty lay doon on her side an allowed the wee kittlins tae suckle her. There wisna enough teats for them aa at eence so them that wyted their turn played on tap o Jinty as ony geets wid dee. Jinty wid push aboot at them wi her nose an ivvery noo-an-then she’d lick at their cwytes like their ain mither wid’ve deen. Aifter they’d aa eventually gotten fed they left tae gyang back allo the tree reet eence mair. Jinty aifter a wee check they were settled made her wye back tae her hoosie folliet at a distance by Mrs Lowe faa felt she’d jist seen a miracle happen afore her very een. She’d came tae the conclusion that kittlins’ mither hid maist likely deet or been killed an somehow Jinty hid came across the wee catties starving tae death an started tae feed them. Jinty wint intae her hoosie an syne settled doon for the nicht. Mrs Lowe steed lookin ower at her goat wi her hert filled at fit she’d been a witness till an dichted awa the tears. She nivver tellt her man Wully aboot fit she’d seen the nicht afore but only let him ken him aathing wiz fine an that Jinty’s milk wiz back tae normal. Aifter this though Mrs Lowe wid watch fae the scullery windae ilka nicht as Jinty made her wye doon tae the widdies tae feed the wee catties. She’d wun back in aboot an oor’s time an gyang intae her hoosie an contentedly settle herself doon for the nicht. This wint on for a fyowe weeks till eventually ae nicht Jinty nivver left her hoosie. Neist morning Mrs Lowe wint doon tae the spot she’d seen the catties comin oot fae an apart fae the usual obvious signs o habitation the catties were gone. Jinty hid fed them till they could fend for themsels. Wi the tears fleein fae her she made her wye back and gave Jinty loads o bosies as she sat at the door o her hoosie. The catties noo? Well fyles she’d see een or twa gyan aboot the place but they’d nivver come near nae matter foo muckle she trysted them tae wun tae her. Aifter aa they were wild beasties. But they’d ayee hae a work wi Jinty though an mony’s the time she’d see a puckle o them playin aboot wi her inside the hoosie.
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A series of longer stories from Sanners Gow's collected works to entertain you through lockdoon an' beyont.