The Quarrelsome Kittens

Scots-Doric & Illustrations

by Teresa Maria

This poem is a part of a current project I am working on, to re-tell old poems and stories and translate them into Scots-Doric. Ma Ain Language – Oor Mither Tongue.

1890
The poem seems to have made its first appearance in the Letter’s Page of the:
Montreal Daily Witness – Jul 8, 1890

1902
Then, 12 yrs later in the newspaper: Thames Star, Volume XXXX, Issue 10340, 17 May 1902

1920
And finally it was written into a book of Traditional nursery rhymes:
“The Quarrelsome Kittens” – Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
“The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes,” edited by Walter Jerrold,
London: Blackie and Son, Ltd., 1920.

The Quarrelsome Kittens 1

The Quarrelsome Kittens 2

The Quarrelsome Kittens 3

The Quarrelsome Kittens 4

The Quarrelsome Kittens 5

Original Poem in English

The Quarrelsome Kittens

Two little kittens one stormy night,
They began to quarrel and they began to fight;
One had a mouse and the other had none,
And that’s the way the quarrel begun.

“I’ll have that mouse,” said the biggest cat.
“You’ll have that mouse? We’ll see about that!”
“I will have that mouse,” said the eldest son.
“You shan’t have the mouse,” said the little one.

I told you before ‘twas a stormy night
When these two kittens began to fight;
The old woman seized her sweeping broom,
And swept the two kittens right out of the room.

The ground was covered with frost and snow,
And the two little kittens had nowhere to go;
So laid down on the mat at the door,
While the old woman finished sweeping the floor.

Then they crept in, as quiet as mice,
All wet with snow, and as cold as ice,
For they found it was better, that stormy night,
To lie down and sleep than to quarrel and fight.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The poem translated into Scots-Doric

The Quarrelsome Kittens

Twa wee kittens wan stormy nicht,
They began tae quarrel an they began tae ficht;
Wan had a moose an the ither had none.
An that’s the wey the quarrel begun

“A’ll hae that moose,” said the biggest cat.
“You’ll hae that moose? Aye, weel, we’ll see aboot that!”
“A weel hae that moose,” said the eldest son.
“Ye’ll no hae the moose,” said the wee-est wan.

A telt ye afore ‘twas a stormy nicht
When these twa kittens began tae ficht;
The auld wifie seized her sweepin broom,
An swept the twa kittens richt oot o the room.

The grund wis covered wi frost an snaw,
An the twa wee kittens had naewhere tae gau;
So they bith laid doon on the mat at the door,
Whilst the auld wifie finished sweepin the floor.

Then they sneakit in, as quiet as mice,
Aw wet wi snaw, an as cauld as ice,
Fer they fund it wis better, that stormy nicht,
To lie doon an sleep than tae quarrel an ficht.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Listen to Scots online at: http://www.scotslanguage.com

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