Burds in ma Winter Gairden
by Nancy Rathbone
Them as kens me, wull be aware o the situation o ma back gairden: tho ah bide in a wee cul-de-sac, wur hooses huv a handy lane aff the main road that accesses wur back gairdens an mine dusnae hae a gate since the day ma summerhoos wis delivered an the bhoys whit brocht it hud tae remove the gate tae get it in; well, efter ah gied them baith coffee an even a tip when they'd finished the wurk, the cheeky buggers didnae pit the gate back an left it in the lane, frae whaur it disappeared – stolen, is the wurd that best describes it! onyhoo an hooanever, the summerhoos is ma latebra, or retreat, an it's whaur a dae ma richtin durin the dey, oan ma wee Ollivetti portable, bein as hoo there's nae electricity in it an naebdy's bin minded tae gie me a present o a portable laptop, huh! so bye-an-bye ah took up watchin nature frae ma hide an developed an interest in burd-watchin: noo, but am urny a swellheid! am nae itcher, ah cannae name aw the burds that visit ma gairden, apairt frae corbies, and blackburds, an robins an sichlike, but nanetheless, ah fair enjoy ma hairmless pursuit an speshully in winter, ah hae burd-feederrs hingin frae the branches o ma trees tae attract me feathered freens; noo, a couple o nichts ago, there ah wis, in ma summerhoos wi a flask o hot toddy an some shortie, fur ma usual nicht-cap afore prayers an bed, when a noo an unexpectit burd entered: it wis thon wee dumpy burd wha works in the Morningside Library and she wis accompanied by that skinny lad wha works in the Dominion Cinema! imagine ma surprise as they stertit tae mak use o ane o ma benches fur their winchin! noo, ah ken Glesca fowk describe us Edinbuggers as wearin fur coats an nae knickers, but imagine ma surprise when this burd in question lifts up her skirt tae reveal that she wis wearin nae knickers – in sub zero temperatures! she probably didnae huv aa semmit oan tae – even wi'oot ma nicht-sicht binoculars ah cood see her big bum gleamin bricht in the moonlicht, a pair o white buttocks, until the laddie goat in the wey an aw ah cood espy wis his, cos he drapt his breeks roon his ankles, took ahaud o her big-moonlik bumcheeks an got stertit! ah wis that astonished, ah gulped doon a hale mugfu' o ma toddy an near choked! bein a loyal member o the Neebourhood Watch, ah kept my eyes – an ma binoculars – glued tae them, but thankfully it didnae tak lang fur him tae feenish his bizness, efter which they sat cuddled thegither oan ma bench an shared a fag, they kissed a bit an his hauns were up her jumper fur a while, an then the burd looked at her watch an said sumthin unprintable – this is a femly pepper an the editor dusnae tolerate smut – an she took oot her phone an ah cood hear her say, no that ah wis deliberately eavesdrappin, mind: "aye, mammy, ah've jist feenished work, oo've bin herd at it oan the stock-takin but am headin hame noo, ah'll catch the bus in five meenits," the brazen hussy has sum barefaced cheek tae lie tae hur mither like thon – it made me appreciate the fact that ah've nae weans o ma ain, an no maun tae – the sicht o their couplin wis near enough tae mak a decent, God-fearing boady boulk an if thon's whit it taks tae get babbs am glad tae be an ould maid; bit efter they left ah noticed ma next door neebour, Madame Madeleine de Parmentier pittin oot her milk boattle, sae ah called oot tae hur, an she cam roon tae ma gairden an jined me in the summerhoos an we shared sum o the Laphroaig ah keep there fur emergencies; noo, she's quite fastidious an she asked me fur a oshibori – a thocht she wis wantin tae borry ma secateurs or strimmer, but it wis a damp cloth tae wipe her hauns afore takkin some o ma sultana cake, she must come intae contact wi a lot o boadily fluids, but ah dinnae want tae think whaur they much come fi; so a gied her the wee face-cloth ah use tae wipe awa the condensation on the inside o the windaes, an that seemed fine by hur – well, ah telt her whit ah'd inadvertently been exposed tae an she commiserated, confiding that the doonside o her profession is that she hus tae be exposed tae the sicht o awfy mony strange men's nekkit boadies – but ah think she wis referrin tae her day joab as a Pathologist, rether than her nicht-time sideline as a Dominatrix, though ah suppose that must hae it's fair share o unpleasant sichts, like thon Chief Constable, the abominable Duncan Doubleday; she did sey that when they're lyin oan their backs, her still livin customers, no the deid anes, maist men's erect penises look like a kin o miniature Leanin Too'er o Pisa or thae wee caterpillars that raise their front hauf tae reach a leaf; she said "it's a wonder that the population keeps growing, if the ones I see are representative of the rest," an wi thon profound thocht in wur minds tae ponder, we said guidnicht and went intae wur ain hooses; ah did ma nightly ablutions an pit oan ma noo nichtie, an knelt by ma bed as ah've dun ever since ah wiz a wee chit o a lassie, but that nicht ah gied thanks tae the lord that ma boadie hus never hud tae mak contact wi either the Leanin Too'er o Pisa, or a hairy caterpillar, an wi that, pit oot ma licht an had the soondest sleep ah've hud fur a lang time; ah wonder if that burd's been in ma gairden afore wi that particular cock-robin, or ithers – she seemed tae ken her wey aboot it wi ower much familiarity, either she possesses prescience or experience – ah'll keep watch ower the next few nichts, just in case!