Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group / Literature...                   


eftor Beatrix Potter

Yance upon a time thor wor fower smaaly conies, an' thor names wor Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.

Them an' thor Mam belanged a sandy bank, belaa th' root ova gert big fir-tree.

“Noo, petals,” sed aad Mrs Rabbit yan morn, “ye may gan te the fields or ilang th' lonnin, but ye're nivvor te gan stravagin' in the Hind's garth: thee fethor got his lames thor areet, fer the Hind's wifie keuked him in a pot pie.

“Sae howay wi ye, and dinnut get wrang. Aa'm off on me errands, me.”

Sae aad Mrs Rabbit teuk hor creel an hor umbrella, off te the bakster's. She bowt a broon fadge and five spice-kyeks.

Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail that wor menseful bitty bunnies, went hippin' an' skippin' ilang the lonnin ti plote bumblekites.

But Peter teuk nae notice o' his Ma, an' ran strite te the Hind's garth an' craaled unner the yet! [gate]

Forst he ate some lettuces an' some beans; then he ate some radishes; an' then, feelin' femmer, he went te finnd some parsley.

And jis' as he coined the end ova cucumber frame, whee sud he meet but the Hind hissell!

The Hind was on his hunkers, settin' young kale, but he lowped up and ran eftor Peter, wavin' a rake, and gollerin' “Cum heor, ye lill hoit!”

Peter woz mortally frit; he bleezed aboot tappy-lappy aal ower the garth, for he'd forgetten th' gate [way] ti th' yet.

He lost yan o' his shoon amang th' kale; an' its marra amang th' taties.

Eftor lossin' them, he ran on his fower legs and fand he went faster, an Aa warrnt he meit hae getten clean away if he hednut run, unluckily, inte a goosegog net, an' getten caught be the grand buttons on his jacket. It was a bonny blue pea-jacket, wi brass buttons, an' quite new like.

Peter giv hissell up for lost, an' bubbled like owt; but his blarin' wor heord be some gotherly spuggies, that com fleein' tiv him in a stoor [commotion], and urged him te tak his skite.

The Hind cam nigh wi a riddle, that he ettled to ding doon atoppa Peter; but Peter jus' won free in time, leavin his jacket ahint him.

He bleezed inte the tyul-cree, and lowped intiv a watterin-can. That wad a been a canny place to feal [hide], but fer th' watter inbye.

The Hind woz sartin that Peter wos somwheres in the tyul-cree, mebbies fealed unner a floor-pot. He began whelmin' [turning] them yan by yan, laitin' [searching] unner ivory bit o' boody.

Eftor a bit, Peter neezed – “Attishoo!” The Hind kenned strite off wheor he woz an' woz eftor him. He tried to fetch his feut doon on Peter, but Peter lowped oot a winder, dunchin' three young plantlets as he went. Th' winder wos owersmaal fer th' Hind; he wos pagged wi aal that rinnin eftor Peter, an' went back te his wark.

Peter sat doon fer a blaa; he wos peffy like an' doddery wi' freet, an he hed nae notion whilk gate te gan. Forby, he wos draaked wi fealin' i' th watter-can.

Eftor a bit, he startit te wander aboot, gannin hitchety- hoppety – aal slaa like, an leukin' all aboot him the while.

He fund a door i' th' waa', but it wos lockt an' thor wos nae room fer a chubby young conie te scrush hissell unner it.

An aad mousey was rinnin' in an' oot ower the styen doorstep, leadin' pease an beans tiv hor young'uns i' th' plantation. Peter axt hor th' gate ti th' yet, but she hed sic a vast o' pease i' hor gob she cuddent answer. She on'y wagged hor heed at 'im. Peter started ti bubble.

Then he tried te finnd his gate strite through the garth, but he ony got mair an' mair mazzled. Syun, he got tiv a dub [pool] wheor the Hind filled his watter-cans.

A white cat was glorin' at some gowd-fish; she sat vary vary still, but nows and thens th' tip o' hor tail flicked as it wor alive. Peter jaloused it wos best ti gan on wi'oot taakin tiv hor; he'd heord aal aboot cats frae his cuzin Little Benjamin Bunny.

He's went back ower toward the tyul-cree, but ova sudden, an' reet handy, he heord the sound ova hoe – scr-r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter flee'd ti th' scroggy dyke. But as nowt else happened him, he cam oot yance mair, an' clammered atoppa a wheelbarrer, and teuk a gliff ower the edge.

The forst thing he seed woz the Hind loukin' [weeding] scallions. His back wos torned ti Peter, an' ayont him woz the yet!

Peter got hissell doon aal whisht, an then bleezed pell-mell alang a peth ahint th' curran-bushes.

The gadgie catched seet o' him nigh the corner, but Peter nivvor flackered. He slipt unner the yet, and was safe for fairs i' th' plantation ayont the garth.

The Hind hinged up th' smaaly jacket an' th' shoon fer a flay-craw ti scare th' bords.

Peter nivvor stopt rinnin' nor leuked ahint him while he got hyem ti th' g'eat big fir-tree.

He wos sae knackt he tummeld doon on th' canny soft sand o' th' floor o' th' conie-hole, an' shut 'is een. His Mam wor thrang wi' th keukin'; she wondered what he'd deun wi' his claes. That wos th' second keitle an' shoon that Peter'd lossed iv a fortnith!

Aa'm sorry te tell it, but Peter woz feelin poorly the evenin'.

His Mam set him i' th' bedstocks an' maskt some camomile tea; an' she gav Peter a dose.

“Yan tyeble-speun ti be chun at bed-time.”

But Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail hed boilee an' blackcurran's fer thor supper.