Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Hedley Kow, a bogle

The Hedley Kow is a bogle from Northumberland who delights in making a nuisance of himself by putting machinery out of order, knocking over cooking pots and unravelling knitting but his favourite pastime is carrying out practical jokes.
There is an old story of a poor woman who managed to scratch a living by doing chores on the neighbouring farms. She was on her way home after a long day when she spied a big black pot at the side of the road.
'Now that' she said 'Would do for me if only I had something to put in it.' She looked around to see if she could see it's owner but seeing no one picked it up. Exclaiming at the weight she lifted the lid.
'Mercy me! she cried out. 'If it isn't brim full of gold pieces.'
She could do nothing for several minutes but admire the gold and plan how she was going to get it home. So the old woman fastened the end of her shawl to the pot and dragged it behind her down the road.
All the while she chuckled to herself , telling herself how lucky she was and planning on what to do with the gold. By and by the old women got tired of pulling the heavy weight behind her and stopped to rest, glancing behind her to make sure her treasure was safe she was astounded to see that the pot of gold had disappeared and in it's place was a lump of shining silver! She stared and rubbed her eyes for a while then congratulated herself that the silver would be less trouble to look after.
So the old woman went on her way again, congratulating herself on her luck and planning on what to buy with the silver. But it wasn't long before she began to tire again and had to stop and rest. Again she turned to check on her treasure and as soon as she set eyes on it cried out in astonishment.
'Oh my!' she said 'Now it's a lump of iron. Well that beats all and it's just real convenient. I can sell the iron much easier than the silver and gold and get lots of penny pieces for it!'
So on she trotted still feeling very pleased with her luck until she glanced over her shoulder.
'Eh my!,' she said 'If it hasn't gone and turned into a gurt big stone! Well isn't that a piece of luck, I was looking for something to prop my door open with.'
The old woman hurried home dragging the gurt big stone behind her until at last she reached her front door. She bent to unfasten the shawl from the stone when all of a sudden it gave a jump and a squeal and grew until it was a large as a horse. Four lanky legs sprouted from it's body and from it's head popped out two long ears, it flourished it's tail at the old woman and ran off kicking it's hooves into the air while laughing like a naughty schoolboy.
She stared openmouthed until it had disappeared from view.
'WELL!' she said at last. 'I do be the luckiest body hereabouts. Fancy me seeing the Hedley Kow all to myself and making so free with it. I can tell you I do feel that grand!' And she spent the rest of the evening congratulating herself on her good fortune!

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