The legend of Betty Stogs comes from a Cornish folk tale. Betty preferred to visit friends and gossip than stay home with her baby. One evening she returned home to find the baby gone, only for him to be later discovered in the grass, having been washed by faeries, who having been disturbed hid the child and flew off. The shock of the event mended Betty’s ways. Today her name is lent to my favourite beer, but now for dverse she comments on modern life:
Well, I never, you could blow me over wiv a f’ver,
that be ‘free I’ve seen: “Early Childhood Education Centre”.
You say you cans go leave ‘me all day –
bless me soul, it won’t like this in my day.
I’ves never seen anything like it, I can tell ya,
nippers..to be left wiv all these strangers.
Muvers workin’ – you be pullin’ me leg right?
“Gender equality!”, I’ve ‘eard too much tonight,
and to fink, back in the day, I caused such a furor,
‘coz of that time when the faeries came to my door.
I ‘ears there be these “latch key kids”
coming home alone – well, I never did!
We never even had a latch, you’d just walk right on in.
Mind you, if I’d a latch ‘twould never been the ‘appening:
I’ll give ’em this, those faeries knows ‘ow to wash a baby,
found ‘im in the grass all sweet scented like a ‘oneybee.
Oh I, they did bathe ‘im well, ’twas proper job –
don’t look at me likes I’m a bad ‘un, just shut your gob.
I ’twere a time when fairies came by,
now there’s no sign, not even in the sky.
‘Stead you got perverts and neighbourhood fiends,
well, I can tell you I knew nothing but friends.
The thought of women workin’, makes me rather sad –
I reckons, I waz a good muver, I didn’t do bad.
The poem is a very rough attempt to capture the accent, but you can listen here (though my accent here is more Devonian than Cornish):