Rondje deur Mien Westerkwartier: Grijpskerk

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GRIJPSKERK – Grijpskerk is een dorp in de gemeente Zuidhorn. Het is ontstaan vanuit een dijkdorp. De inwoners van de plaats hadden vroeger als Groningse bijnaam Smaalruggen. Samen met het buitengebied heeft Grijpskerk ongeveer 2800 inwoners. In 1507 wordt de plaats voor het eerst genoemd als Grijpskercke; het dorp is genoemd naar de dorpsheer Nicolaas Grijp. In de pauselijke bul van 1561 wordt het dorp Engewerd genoemd. Volgens Formsma (1986) is dit een verschrijving voor Rugewerd (Ruigewaard), die men overnam van de kaart van Jacob van Deventer uit 1545. Oudere bronnen spreken over Ruegewerdt alias Grijpskercke of Westerdijcken en een enkele keer over Grijpscapelle. Later gebruikte men alleen nog de naam Grijpskerk. De naam Westerdijken werd sinds de zeventiende eeuw alleen nog gebruikt voor de buurtschap Westerhorn.

Hoazeproat

Bijna had Grijpskerk in het rijtje beroemde dorpen,  Nieuwpoort, Heiligerlee, Waterloo of Bethlehem gestaan. Bijna ….!

Het is het jaar 1815 als knecht Jans Mol na het middageten met een hooivork op z’n schouder naar de weilanden aan de Westerhorn loopt om het hooi te keren. Bij de herberg staan de Maire en zijn wethouders een pijpje te roken alvorens ze in vergadering gaan. Jan tikt vriendelijk aan zijn pet en de Maire groet terug.

Als hij de Westerhorn in slaat ziet hij iets wonderlijks en blijft hij geschrokken stokstijf staan. Tussen het aardappelloof zit een enorme haas van wel twee meter hoog. Het beest springt heen en weer en knabbelt aan het gewas. En ziet hij dat nu goed. Het lijkt net of de staart van de haas in brand staat. Jans weet niet wat hij daar mee aan moet en wil terug lopen naar Grijpskerk om hulp te halen. Dan ineens ziet hij op de Friesestraatweg, toen nog een karrepad met keien, drie Friese soldaten lopen die net terugkomen van de Slag bij Waterloo. Ze zien er zwaar gehavend uit, met hun gescheurde uniformen en kapotte schoenen. Jans vertelt hen wat hij heeft gezien. ‘Kin net’ zeggen de Friezen, maar ze moeten het wel geloven als  ze de haas even later zelf met eigen ogen zien.

‘Ik zil him sjitte’: zegt de soldaat die nog een musket heeft. Maar Jans zegt dat ze eerst naar de Maire moeten gaan om te overleggen. Misschien kunnen ze die haas wel levend vangen. Dat zou bijzonder zijn en het dorp Grijpskerk zou wereldberoemd worden.

Als Jans het verhaal aan de Maire vertelt, wrijft deze over zijn kin en zegt ‘t Kin niet aans weeden of dat is de Duuvel. Die loat zich wel voaker als een dier zien ien e wereld’. De Maire sommeert de schout om een legertroep te verzamelen en niet veel later vertrek een bonte stoet krijgers vanaf de molen de Kievit. Op de stelling van de molen staan de notabelen van het dorp, die de ‘Slag om de Westerhorn’ niet willen missen.

Daar trekt de stoet westwaards. Voorop Jans Mol en de schout, daarachter de 3 Friese Soldaten, dan de Maire en zijn gevolg en tenslotte nog een paar potige mannen, waaronder de bakker, die altijd zegt dat hij voor de Duuvel niet bang is.

Eenmaal bij het aardappelland aangekomen, zit de reuzenhaas nog rustig van het aardappelloof te knabbelen. Het beest heeft het Grijpskerker leger niet eens opgemerkt. ‘Laad je musket’, beveelt de schout aan de dapperste Friese soldaat, die omzichtig zijn kruit en kogels tevoorschijn haalt. Hij poetst de binnenkant loop schoon, knijpt één oog dicht en controleert of het geschut klaar is voor gebruik en begint met een serieuze blik het wapen te laden.

“Nee jong, we vangen de Duuvel leemendeg”, zegt de Maire. De bakker en de schout sluipen met een groot visnet voorzichtig door het groene loof richting de haas. Meter voor meter kruipen ze dichter naar de haas en ze houden het net in aanslag.

Maar als ze omhoog willen springen om hun slag te slaan, klinkt er een luide knal. De Friese soldaat staat er geblakerd bij en kijkt beteuterd naar de gebarsten loop van zijn musket. In het heetst van de strijd heeft hij per ongeluk de trekker overgehaald.

En de haas …….., die is dan al lang opgesprongen en rent met grote sprongen richting Eibersburen. De ‘Slag om de Westerhorn’ is dus verloren door de Grijpskerkers en de haas hebben ze nooit weer terug gezien. En zo komt het,  dat Grijpskerk net niet    in het rijtje staat met Nieuwpoort, Waterloo, Heiligerlee, Den Briel, Bethlehem, Bartlehiem ….

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