1-8 1s half petronella, finishing on opposite sides;
9-12 1s turn by the right, retain hold to face Ls' side and lead out to finish in 1st position in the Ls' sideline;
13-14 retaining hold, 1s cast below 3s WHILE 2s step up;
15-16 retaining hold, 1M followed by 1L dance up to finish facing 1L's first corner;
17-18 retaining hold briefly and giving right shoulder to start, 1s dance the first half of an alternating tandem half reel of 3 with first corners, finishing with hold released and 1L leading;
19-20 1s complete the alternating tandem half reel of 3 with first corners, finishing with 1L facing her second corner, 1M following;
21-24 giving right shoulder to start, 1s dance alternating tandem half reel of 3 with second corners, finishing with 1M facing his first corner position, 1L following;
25-32 1s repeat bars 17-24 with 1M's corner positions (but without retaking hands), 1s finishing in 2nd place on own sides;
33-40 1s3s dance the knot for 2 couples, finishing 2s3s1s.
(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)
12-17 In stubborn Modestine's style, 1L should hang back slightly behind 1M, finishing by being fully behind him when he releases hold.
18-18 After releasing hold, 1M should tap 1L on the back of the left shoulder to encourage her to go ahead of him.
26-26 Again, 1M should tap 1L on the back of the left shoulder to encourage her to go ahead of him.
It refers to Robert Louis Stevenson's donkey, Modestine, who carried his kit during his famous Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (in southern France) in 1878.
Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879) is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's earliest published works and is considered a pioneering classic of outdoor literature. See Modestine's Romp Celebration, 2018 for more information about the celebration of the 140th anniversary of RLS's journey.
The deviser and her husband have walked RLS's trail twice; having seen his problem played out by fellow travellers, they could well imagine the struggles between Modestine and her master which the dance reflects! The tap on the shoulder is a very gentle recognition of RLS's need to prod Modestine with a goad, prepared for him by a friendly innkeeper, to encourage her to keep moving.