I’ve Broke My Peel.
One winter's day, a long time ago, a man and his boy were ploughing in a field near a wood. Plough, plough, plough, the horses plodded along down one furrow and back up another, and the boy cracked his whip, and the man trudged along behind the plough.
Just as they had come to the end of the furrow and were turning to go back, they heard a voice crying out: “I’ve broke my peel.” However, they didn’t know the voice, so they didn’t think much more about it, and on they went, plough, plough, plough, down the field and back again.
And just as they were turning again they heard the same voice shouting out: “I’ve broke my peel. I’ve broke my peel. I’ve broke my peel.” So the ploughman said to his boy: “Why, there’s that fellow still holloaing about his peel. Perhaps he don’t know rightly how to mend it.” So he shouted out: “If you’ve broke your peel, why don’t you mend it, you stupid fellow, or bring it to me and see if I can help you?” And then on they both went, plough, plough, plough, to the end of the field and turned and came back again, and there lying at the end of the furrow they found a broken peel.
So they stopped the horses, and the man picked up the peel, and took his knife out of his pocket and some string, and he spliced the two pieces of wood together, and made a very neat job of it. “There,” he said. “That’s as much as I can do for him.” And he put the peel down by the side of the hedge and shouted out: “There, I have mended your peel as well as I know how.” And then he said, “Gee up” to the horses, and the boy cracked his whip, and they went on. Plough, plough, plough, plough down the field and back again.
And when they came to the end the peel was gone. And what do you think they found instead? A smoking hot plum pudding! “Well, to be sure,” said the man. “That is a fine plum pudding. I call that very handsome pay for mending the peel. Thank you, thank you, my friend, whoever you be” he shouted out. Then they took the horses out of the plough and gave them some hay, and they both sat down under the hedge and set to work at the plum pudding and had a very hearty meal, and what they didn’t eat they put away into their baskets to take home.
And when they had finished they put their horses into the plough again, and the man said “I wouldn’t mind mending a broken peel every day, if only I could have a good plum pudding like that;” and the boy cracked his whip and on they went, plough, plough, plough, backwards and forwards, up and down, up and down, until it was time to go home. And they never heard any more of the broken peel.