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Hardeep’s story: ‘The Puddock’ Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.

This is a great piece of literature for me since it works on a number of different levels. The idea of a poem about a frog is bound to engage a young boy’s mind; we are obsessed with all things amphibious. The language is richly guttural and cries out for the poem to be spoken out loud; there is a real performance quality in the writing. And finally the sentiment, the moral of the story is more useful to me now than it was when I learnt the poem (which was on a bus on the way to play football in Summerston).

The Puddock
by John M Caie

A puddock sat by the lochan’s brim,
An’ he thocht there was never a puddock like him.
He sat on his hurdies, he waggled his legs,
An’ cockit his heid as he glowered throu’ the seggs.
The bigsy wee cratur’ was feelin’ that prood,
He gapit his mou’ an’ he croakit oot lood:
“Gin ye’d a’ like tae see a richt puddock,” quo’ he,
“Ye’ll never, I’ll sweer, get a better nor me.
I’ve fem’lies an’ wives an’ a weel-plenished hame,
Wi’ drink for my thrapple an’ meat for my wame.
The lasses aye thocht me a fine strappin’ chiel,
An’ I ken I’m a rale bonny singer as weel.
I’m nae gaun tae blaw, but th’ truth I maun tell-
I believe I’m the verra MacPuddock himsel’.”

A heron was hungry an’ needin’ tae sup,
Sae he nabbit th’ puddock and gollup’t him up;
Syne runkled his feathers: “A peer thing,” quo’ he,
“But – puddocks is nae fat they eesed tae be.”

This poem is still in copyright. We have never been able to trace the copyright holders of John M Caie’s estate.

Hardeep Singh Kohli is a writer and broadcaster from Glasgow. He enjoys football, talking about food then eating food, and wearing corduroy suits.


1. Marsha Howard - Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I first read “The Puddock” on the SPL web site. I got my Port Patrick-born husband to read it for me and then he read it at a family dinner which much delighted all, especially the younger kids. Thanks for posting, Hardeep! Corduroy is very poetic as well 😉

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