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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/91

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not seem to consider that he had done a superstitious thing.

Compare this with a communication made to Jacob Grimm, and inserted by him in his Deutsche Mythologie, p.576, ed. 1843. It is a passage from a correspondent in Northamptonshire. "Miss C--and her cousin, walking, saw a fire in a field, and a crowd around it. They said 'What is the matter?' 'Killing a calf.' 'What for?'To stop the murrain.' They went away as quickly as possible. On speaking to the clergyman, he made inquiries. The people did not like to talk of the affair, but it appeared that when there is a disease among the cows, or when the calves are born sickly, they sacrifice--that is, kill and burn one for good luck."

In an adjoining parish to this, three years ago the church-warden, a farmer, was troubled with murrain among his cattle, and he consulted a white witch, who bade him describe a circle on the ground with chalk in a field, obtain a white cock, and throw it up into the air, in the midst of the ring, when it would fall down dead, and the disorder would cease. He got a carpenter who works for me to throw up the cock. He did so, and the bird fell down dead, as had been foretold. From that moment the cattle recovered. I was told