By Peter Kerr
Lighthearted comedy set in Scotland
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Extra info for Fiddler on the Make
It had been a dream from which Jigger only fully awakened some hours later, when he found himself sitting alone on a tree stump at the edge of a little wooded knoll. It overlooked the village on one side, and the neat, hedge-enclosed fields of Acredales of 40 Cuddyford on the other. It was a place where, since Jigger’s earliest recollections of childhood, old Tam had taken him to look out over the ripening crops of golden barley on warm August evenings, to check on young calves turned out for their first, tail-high romps on the fresh April swards, and to show him how to make whistles from little green twigs cut from the big ash tree whose spreading branches overhung that very stump on which he was now sitting.
It was a technique that involved the idiosyncrasy of holding the forefinger of his left hand rigidly erect, sticking up like a pointer to paradise, while the other three digits danced and glided conventionally over the fingerboard. The stiff forefinger foible had been forced upon Tam following a minor misfortune soon after starting work as a novice horseman on Craigcuddy estate. A particularly frisky Clydesdale mare had taken it into her head to rear up just as thirteen yearold Tam was yoking her to a cart one morning, trapping his hand between the harness and a cart shaft, and snapping his finger like a twig.
Well, well, the high-flying Gormlie-Crightons were at last losing their grip on the trapeze, Jigger mused. a. their tenanted farms) had been sold years ago, the floor of the Craigcuddy circus ring seemed about to be splattered with a family of aristocratic crash-landers. ’ the Duke concluded, his pseudo-noble bearing slumping into a natural stoop of defeat. Jigger, deep in thought, chewed his bottom lip while he contemplated his cuticles yet again. This was a tricky one and no mistake. OK, so the surviving rump of Craigcuddy Estate was all that remained of the once-immense spread of GormlieCrighton landholdings.