The Cat that scarred aw mice. A Cairn

“The Cat that scarred aw mice.
A Cairn’’

 efter Mei Yaochen

When Eh hid ye, ma Jekyll of a cat,
Ye saved ma beuks fae rattans, like.
But ye’re deid the day, ma Jekyll cat,
An yon’s a cairn fir me tae mind.
Eh see ye drift alang the burn —
An yon’s a sang fir ye anaw.
Lang syne ye snackt a moose —eh mind,
Ye caucht it richt atween yer jaws 
An ran aroon an ‘roon the yaird
As tho tae scar aw mice an men
An fling them oot ma but an ben.
Fir lang we bid on board this boat,
Fir lang we shared a bed, anaw,
An tho barley wis dreh and rare
Eh didnae dreid nae rogue ava’.
That’s ’cause ye were eydent, forbye,
Mair sae nor chicks an swines, ken ye.
Folks phrase aboot their gallus mare:
They say there’s naethin wirth a cuddie…
Ach awa —nae argie-bargie,
Let me just greet an mind o ye.

Scots version by Paul Magrati & Deng Liping

The cat that scared all the mice. A memorial.

When I had you, my Jekyll cat, you saved my books from vermins. But you are dead today, my Jekyll cat, and here’s a memorial for me to remember. I see you drift long the river —and here is a sonf for you as well. A long time ago, I remember, you bit a mouse. You caught it right between your jaws and ran around and around the garden as though to scare all mice and men and chase them out of my cottage. For a long time, we stayed on board this boat, fir a long time we shared a bed, too, and whilst cereals were dry and scarce, I didn’t fear any thief at all. That is because you were diligent, besides —more so than chicks and swines, you know. People boast about their proud mare —they say there is nothing wirth a good horse… Ach enough! No need to argue, let me just weep and remember you.

Paraphrased in English by Paul Magrati