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An account of the Burns' Household as told by
Gilbert Burns the Poet's younger brother

"To the buffetings of misfortune, we could only oppose hard labour and the most rigid economy. We lived very sparingly. For several years butcher's meat was a stranger in the house, while all members of the family exerted themselves to the utmost strength, and rather beyond it, in the labours of the farm. My brother at the age of thirteen assisted in threshing the crop of corn, and at fifteen was the principal labourer on the farm, for we had no hired servant male or female. The anguish of mind we felt at our tender years, under these straights and difficulties, was very great. To think of our father old (for he was now above fifty) broken down with long continued fatigues of his life, with a wife and five other children, and undeclining state of circumstances, these reflections produced in my brother's mind and mine sensations of the deepest distress".

Imagine you are a young boy like Robert Burns

(a) Say how you might spend your day 'yoking' the plough?team and spending 8 ? 10 hours in the field. Describe some of your thoughts.

(b) Draw a picture of a plough?team. (NOTE: two horses would be unable to draw the Scots wooden plough).

(c) Draw a picture of an 18/19th century ploughman?lad.