Gather around wee ones and I’ll tell yez a tale that my granny Simpson telt me when I was just a wain like you. Now Granny Simpson used a lot of the auld wurdz in Scottish so I’d best explain some to yez. Yes, Wee Boy at the back there, Willyum Fredric, sit ye still and I’ll tell it just for you, like you askt me to on Twitter.
A “taddy” is what you modern kids call a tadpole. You know the life history of a tadpole but when I was a wee gurl we loved this story. A “puddock” is a frog or toad. We don’t mind which – we love them both. As a very wee gurl I often had a toad in my pocket for half a day til I found somewhere nice to let him go. People soon learned to keep their paws to themselves when I told them proudly “I got sumfing interesting in my pocket”. It would always be alive and usually slimy.
Taddy Puddock lived with his brothers and sisters in a burn which is a small river up in the hills. There were a lot of them.
They all continued growing bigger and bigger but their tails were shrinking. Mrs. Puddock, the frog, told them to go for a nice swim around and eat plenty of weed so they’d grow big and strong. Taddy was worried about his shrinking tail but, like most adolescents he was too shy to talk about it. After swimming in the burn and munching all the weed he could find, he suddenly realised that his tail was gone! Somebody had stolen it. Frightened to go home and tell his mummy that he’d lost his nice tail, he swum about desolately looking for it.
Still Taddy wasn’t sure so he asked Dr. Toad who was sitting on a stone, sunning himself.
‘Dr. Toad, Sir, I’m sorry to bother you but have you seen my tail around her anywhere? I’ve lost it!” Dr. Toad gulped a few times, shot his tongue out to feel Taddy’s brow and said ” You are fine, Taddy. Your mother knows about your tail. Go home at once and tell her I said it was perfectly natural.”
Thanking Dr. Toad very much (for he was a polite wee Taddy) he swum home and realised that he had started to grow legs too. He was very confused.
His mother smiled at him. “Ach ye wee numpty! Yer just becoming a Puddock, yer no a taddy any more.”