A magic bannock runs away but is caught and eaten by a frog....

Date 17 April 1982
Track ID 58043
Part 1
Part 2

Track Information

Original Track ID


Original Tape ID



A magic bannock runs away but is caught and eaten by a frog.

Stanley Robertson introduces a story that he calls the Traveller version of 'The Wee Bannock'.

Long ago, there was a poor old couple who had nothing to eat except cabbage soup. The old woman gave a drink to a wee elfin gadgie [fellow] in exchange for some fairy flour, but she lost most of it, and had just enough to make one wee bannock. The husband was about to cut into it when it screamed for help, jumped off the table, and ran away. Wherever it went people tried to catch and eat it. A crowd backed it against a wall. A friendly puddock [frog] offered to hide it in its hole, but then ate it up in one bite.

The moral is that when your back is to the wall and the whole world's against you, that's just tough. Stanley describes how he tells the story to [his daughter] Nicole and comments on how dramatically Travellers tell stories.

Item Notes

The old man in the story is addressed as 'cove' (chap) and the old woman as 'dil'. Cf. slang 'dilly' (girl). 'Gadgie' (fellow, literally a non-Gypsy) is a cant word of Romany origin.

Recording Location

County - Aberdeenshire

Parish - Aberdeen

Village/Place - Aberdeen


Scots, Traveller Cant (Scots/Romani)





Source Type

Reel to reel

Audio Quality