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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/94

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usage of a group of parishes which surrounded Applecross N.B. to sacrifice a bull on the 25th August, the feast of St Thomas, the patron saint; and the Presbytery of Dingwall had frequent occasion to interfere and interdict it. The sacrifice took place usually in the island of St Rufus, or Innis Maree, where the saint had a cell. From the records of the Presbytery we learn that there were monuments of idolatry in the island, and stones which were consulted as to future events; that the people adored wells and poured libations of milk on hills.

To this day at King's Teignton, in South Devon, a lamb is drawn about the parish on Whitsun Monday decorated with boughs and flowers, and contributions are solicited. On Tuesday it is killed and roasted in the middle of the village. The meat is then sold in slices to any who will buy. The origin of the custom is due to a remote period when the village suffered from a dearth of water and the inhabitants were advised to sacrifice a lamb. They did so, and water sprang up in an abundant fountain at Rydon, that never fails even in the dryest summer. Since then the lamb is sacrificed annually. Although the custom has lost nearly all its Pagan characters, yet it remains a survival.