Caterpillars Bid For Freedom!
"You may take our cabbages, but you will never take our FREEDOM!"
Today's "Colour Me July!" piece comes from a childhood memory of mine.
When I was a wee boy in the early 1980's, my brother, sister and I would get trooshed onto the bus to go to Skipness and stay at my Granny's farm for the summer holidays.
To earn our keep (and get out from under my Granny's feet), we were all given tasks to do - chopping kindling, tidying the coal stack, cleaning the dog kennels, etc.
One of my wee jobs was to go into the garden and pick the caterpillars off the cabbages and blackberry leaves.
Well, don't ask me why, but one day I decided that I would collect them all in a matchbox and leave it on the mantelpiece for my Grampa. I probably had it in my mind that he would pay me something for each one, and I could go and spend it at Tarbert Fair. I'd had my eye on some coasters commemorating Prince Charles and Lady Diana's engagement, and I could win them by throwing darts into 3 large playing cards. Anyway, I digress.
In an earlier blog post I told you about my Grampa's ritual of cutting the tobacco, popping it in his pipe and lighting it (check here). It was a relaxing process, from which he would eventually settle down to enjoy a good puff of his pipe. So you can imagine the scene...the tobacco pouch is opened, some of it is cut off with his wee penknife, rubbed between the thumb and forefinger, and sprinkled into the pipe. All that was needed was to light the pipe.
Thankfully I was having dinner at the kitchen table when he opened the matchbox expecting to find matches. I think I would have been launched clean over the cowshed roof if I'd been at arms length, judging by the amount of Gaelic cursing and swearing that was emanating from the living room! I did run through and keek through the crack in the door jamb, and there was my grandfather standing looking at all these wee caterpillars crawling out the matchbox, one by one in a wee procession ambling along the mantelpiece.
Luckily he had a good sense of humour, and had calmed down by the time my dinner was finished.
I did go to Tarbert Fair with a pocket full of pennies, but being useless at Darts, I never came home with the Royal Engagement Commemoration coasters. The lady on the stall however liked my wee freckly face, and instead gave me a 'gonk' for my efforts.
I carried it around like a trophy for a day, until one of the sheepdogs ran off with it thinking it was a rat.
Anyway folks, see ye tomorra!
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.