The Trapper Lad Starts Work

Mi gran-fadder Tim, this is in 1860,
Startid wark as a trapper-boy in the pit (Aa think - at Elemore).

His Mam com waken'd him, reet dark still it woz aal abowt;
"The caller's been, seea get up, or thoo'll be late."

His Mam set him on the way, fer it woz pick-black thor,
Hand in hand, till the lit-up pit-shaft an' open cage.

"Leave him ti mi - he's Dick Platts' lad in-he?
His fadder's waitin' at the bottom," the man sed.

Forbye it woz aal wheest an' black. Wiv a whoosh
Th'cage shot doon; it made his ears pop.

His Da wor waitin' for him at the bottom:
"Here lad, tak this lamp. Howay, the owerman's waitin' fer us."

In the flickerin' shaddy an' lamp-leet they com tiv a door;
"Leave him with me, Dick," sed th'owerman, "ye can see him later."

"You're ti stay here Tim," he sed, "an' mind the door.
Open the trap like this wi' this rope when thoo hears the coal-tub comin'."

Tim tried it oot, it was not ower-heavy for him,
An' he judged it nice when he heer'd the tub comin', yowked the door open.

Oot thru the gap com a fiery-eyed pony, pantin' and gleamin' i'the lowe,
An' the putter caal'd, "How, lad, new?" an' th' pony snorted.

Wick as owt, the little cavalcade hed passed,
An' oor Tim woz on his ahn again, on the listen.

An' roon' his bit cove, raas o' dottid e'en lit up,
Mouse-folk it woz, wadda et his bait if it wornit ina box.

There woz tubs and waits an' then his Da com an' et bait wi' him.
Then, "Back ti wark. Noo be careful thoo dinnut faal asleep."

But ten hours is a dowly lang time; Tim dover'd ower
But waken'd a'reet jus' in time fer the las' tub.

An' then they was oot, hiem agen in the dark, ti wesh an' eat.
His Da settled doon tiv a pipe. "Come an' sit doon lad.

"Timorra, thoo'l collect thy ahn lamp; rimembor ti return it.
Second! Dinnot faal asleep agien."

"Aye (an' he laff'd) - the owerman com by an' seed yi asleep
But it was near lowse, yi forst day, se yi got nae bunch.

"But mind it diznut happen ye again.
Them doors, they're ti be shut for the air-flow an' wopen fer the tubs."

"Aye, fadder, Ah'll mind," sed Tim. Then his big brother com in:
"How did thoo mak oot?" sed Sam, "Ah bet thoo's tired." "Aye, some."

ON