20th April 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Kids’ stuff: Tochts fae Tushie Truncherfaece

, by , in Shetland Life

A daander trowe Michaelswood

I ken somewhaar fine tae veesit afore da end o da summer holidays: Michaelswood. Oot on da Wastside in guid trowie territory, Michaelswood is aesy tae fin on da main rodd intae Eid.

Me an Meenie set aff wi da bairns for a lang henk ower da hills. Muttontief, Snurtysleeves, Uggledlugs an Gutteryaggle wir aa startin tae pleepse afore we got dere. But da boannie archwye an cerved widden sign o “Michaelswood” lifted dir speerits.

Uggledlugs skippit alang da girsey path admiring aa da peerie trees. Da first o dem wir planted in 1993, so you widna lippen dem tae be dat big. Hit’s surprising hoo weel some o dem hiv sprootit, parteeklarly dem in da lea.

“Come an see dis!” roared Uggledlugs fae ahead. Da idder bairns skirled wi excitement when dey saa whit wis afore dem. Hit wis a roadmap raised on a platform wi a silver box foo o cars tae hurl aroond. Meenie an me haaled wirsels up ontae da bench for a weel earned blow.

Eftir a guid play, we set aff alang da path tae follow da twists an turns. Gutteryaggle wis ahead dis time an cam across da teddy bear’s picnic. “Mr Yogi Bear and his family are away hunting for food,” she knappit aff da sign. “Niver leet,” she said tae da teddies aboot her. “A’ll hae a scar o tay med in nae time!” Da boys gaffed as dey suppit her imaginary tay fae da peerie cups.

Nixt da bairns took dir wye tae da Bird Hide. Dey stoppit tae read some o da peerie signs we saa alang da path fae da start. Some o da signs hed words o wisdom on dem when idders hed jokes.

“Dis’ll be da ‘Philosopher’s Trail’ dat wis on da map at da archwye,” I telt da bairns.

“Listen tae dis een, Da,” said Muttontief. “What happened to the little girl who slept with her head under the pillow?” he read. “The fairies took all her teeth away!” he lached.

Da Bird Hide wis a boannie widden shed wi a muckle window. Inside wi fen spyglesses an plenty o information aboot birds an wildlife. An we could learn mair aboot Michaelswood. Hit wis planted by da Ferrie family in memory o dir son an bridder, Michael Ferrie. Sadly Michael died at da age o 21. An whit a tribute his faimily hiv paid tae him. Much o da woods has been tocht oot tae mind wis o him. Da “Philosopher’s Trail” captures da wit an wisdom Michael wis kent for. Da birds an wildlife dat enjoy da greenery is whit Michael took an interest in as a bairn on da croft. An of coorse, we wir still tae see da Fiddler’s Den. Michael wis eart kent for his talent on da fiddle.

Wi da help o da Bird Hide spyglesses, Snurtysleeves spied da pond. He fled oot da door an we aa followed ahint him. We fen him tail in da air an nose nearly in da waater. “Wheest!” he whispered. “Dunna gluff yon peerie frog.”

“Geng a bit closer tae see him!” instructed a filskit Gutteryaggle afore pushin him so his nose wis dookit in da green waater.

“Gadge!” roared Snurtysleeves wipin da green pond weed fae his nose wi his sleeve.

An owergeen Gutteryaggle ran aff tae da tree tunnel. As she ran up an doon skirlin wi Snurtysleeves tryin tae yock hadd o her pigtails, I took da time tae read aboot da tree tunnel. A group o young fokk planted da violet willows in da Voar o 2007. Feth, dey’ve fairly grippit in ony a year!

Da windy path trowe da trees den got steeper as we climbed da hill. Wi a choice o paths, da bairns ran aff wan wye, so me an Meenie tried da idder. We crossed a peerie brig an cam tae da “Coortin Stane”. We set wis doon a peerie meenit an held claas. As da wind blew ower Aithsvoe I tuckit Meenie’s hair ahint her pointy lug an said tae her “Meenie, du is da boanniest trow A’m iver seen.” I wis aboot tae gie her a peerie smoorikin when Muttontief interrupted wir romance.

“Ma-aam! Da-a! We need mair dancers!” He wis standin on da ston daek o da Fiddler’s Den pretendin tae play da fiddle. Da idder tree took hit in turns tae birl wi

een anidder. Meenie gied a hooch den yockit me for a birl. Whit we danced.

Whit mair proof do you need dat Michaelswood is a fine place for trows as weel as humans?

See you dere,

Tushie Truncherfaece x