Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Enchanted Cap

So, this guy turns up on the Greenock dock, and he's keen to get doon the road tae Largs fairly sharpish. And time's knockin' on, so he figures he'll jist nip up the hill and take a short cut across the moors. Only thing's Halloween.

He's up the backroad, and he jist passes Dunrod Hill when this big storm starts...and it's lashin' doon. Absolutely lashin'. Thunder. Lightning. It's murder. And he's struggling along, walkin' intae the storm, when he spies this wee hut.

So he goes inside, heads up to the corner, wraps himself up in his jacket, and nods off.
A few hours later, oor man gets woken up, by aw these voices...murmurin'. And there's a wee peat fire gaun in the hut. There's a pot on the fire and roon aboot it, there's three witches, muttering and incanting. Heedorum. Hodurum. Ye know the sort o thing.

And the first witch, the oldest wan, she brings oot this sorta pointy hat. She wrings it oot, as if she wis dryin' it, puts it on her head and says 'Ho! For Kintyre!' and whoosh! She goes fleein' oot the lum. And after she's gone, the cap jist falls back down the chimney. So the second witch, sorta middle aged like, she grabs the hat, wrings it oot and shouts 'Ho! For Kintyre!' and she's away as well. The hat falls back doon, and the third witch, young, naw bad lookin', she picks it up 'Ho! For Kintyre!' and there she goes, firin' oot the chimney."

Yer man looks oot the windae, an it's still lashin' doon. And the cap floats back doon intae the hut and he thinks tae himsel'...ah wouldnae mind a wee go oan that hat. So he picks it up, and he says 'Ho!For Kintyre!' and...he's hurled intae space, still holding the cap, and he is speedin' through the air and he gets to Kintyre. And here, when he gets there is there no a big room full a witches. And they're aw waitin' there for the Dread Master of All Evil. The Devil. And this year he's decided to have his big Halloween bash in the King of France's wine cellar. Fur reasons unknown, this happens to be in Kintyre.

Anyhow, the witches don't seem tae mind, and he's invited tae enjoy the party. But here, he mebbe has a few wee glesses too many o the auld elderberry brew. And he's dancin' aboot and swearin' like a loon, and the devil turns up and he has a wee dance wi him, and, well, he jist has a right good time. But, he sorta comes to in the mornin' a wee bit the worse for wear, and he's in a cell in Kintyre jail. Seems he was wanderin' about the streets swearin' and smashin' things. And when he tries tae explain that it wis really aw the fault o the witches and the devil...naebody believes him.

He's in a right pickle, cos he's caused so much bother wi aw his swearin' and carryin' on, that he's been sentenced to hang. Must have been a right rough night. So they're aboot tae hing him, which as you can imagine, he's no aw that keen on, and so he says 'Would it be awright, if ah wore ma favourite bunnet on the gallows'...So they march him up to the gallows, and the big chap there, he's aboot tae put the rope roon his neck, so oor man puts the enchanted cap on sharpish and says 'Ho! For Largs!' and he's away. Jist like that.

Historical Note - There are versions of this story all over Scotland, most famously, Burns used one as the basis for Tam O Shanter. Enchanted Cap most definetly Greenock's. Tell it to someone and keep it alive a wee while longer...

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