Auld Granny Neep – by Eilidh Swinton (College)

Auld Granny Neep raised the greatest turnip field in the Burn. Visitors from Inverness to the Highlands alike would come with their weans to pick out the best turnips to be carved for Halloween.
She did not grow them for money, nor did she do it for popularity. Her wish was only to hear the laughter and bonding of families.
But slowly and surely, as the seasons changed, so too did the ways of Scottish Halloween. No longer did the weans look to turnips to carve their fearful imaginations. From America came the round orange pumpkins – the weeds to her turnips.
Auld Granny Neep’s fields lay forgotten.
The field of turnips lessened to a garden. That garden soon held one turnip, while thistles and daffodils dominated the rest. Auld Granny Neep, once the most popular Granny in the Burn, had only the turnip to remember.
Then one October night, as she settled into her garden chair, her nephew and grand-niece came round for a visit. Her eyes crinkled as her smile widened. She did not have weans of her own but bore the love of a mother for her nieces and nephews.
Slowly, she strained to climb out of her chair to greet them. Her nephew’s hands found her arms, helping her up. She patted his hand gently and looked to her niece. A frown found its way onto her lips.
In the young girl’s arms was a pumpkin.
Her nephew smiled apologetically. He had told his daughter of Auld Granny Neep’s legendary carving skills and she wanted to learn everything from her auntie. Her niece’s eyes were as round as saucers and full of eager pleading.
Auld Granny Neep smiled softly, looked at her turnip in the garden, and then to her niece. With a laugh, she told her nephew to pick up the turnip then led her family indoors. By the end of the night, a smiling faced pumpkin sat on the porch while the family enjoyed bonding over turnip soup.
Some traditions never end.

Learn more about the author:

Eilidh Swinton

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Photo Flora 2019-02 – Scary

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