In the pit mirk nicht at the fit o the stairs,
A heard a wee noise that jist made the hairs,
oan the back o ma neck, staun straight up oan end
ma teeth start tae chatter, ma hert fair bend.

A cocked ma lugs an strained fir tae hear.
Wis it ghaists or folk? Wir they faur or near?
Wid they be freenly craturs or murderers foul?
Wir they here fir a blether or a bluidthirsty prowl?

Wi a flash o lichtnin, an a rattle o thunner,
the storm fair brewed an A coontit tae a hunner.
Then A gaithert ma courage an stertit tae climb
When oot o the shaddas twae fit at a time,

A wee black baw o fur an fluff
Came trottin doon the stairs, fair in a huff.
Ma new wee kitten jist gied me a look,
an walkt strecht past, fair famisht fir her food.
Liz Niven

from The Thing that Mattered Most: Scottish poems for children edited by Julie Johnstone (SPL/B&W, 2006)

Reproduced by permission of the author.
Liz Niven

Liz Niven is a poet, editor and writer who has worked to support the use of the Scots language in education and in creative writing. 

Read more about this poet