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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/411

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Correspondence. 375

The Hare. (Vol. vii. p. 404.)

About the year i860 I frequently accompanied my father (Mr. James, of Pontsaison, Pembrokeshire) when he went out shoot- ing. One day as we were beating a gorsy hill-side near Moil- grove, a white hare sprang up suddenly and made off at full speed. My father fired at her, but missed her. One of the beaters re- marked that it was useless to fire at that white hare, as she was a witch and could turn into an old woman if she liked and when it was convenient. She was afterwards pointed out to me in this form : a very poor, very old woman who lived in a cottage under the hill, which was afterwards accidentally destroyed by fire, and the supposed witch had a very narrow escape of being burnt. This should at least have re-established her character, as showing her to be no cleverer than her neighbours.

M. E. James.

Greenhill Cottage, Tenby.

Fertilisation of Birds.

Mrs. R., a Yorkshire woman of the old school, who must be seventy or more if now alive, once gave me the following mar- vellous account of the courtship of turkeys. When the cock is fussing after the hen he does not act like other birds, but throws up " the tread " from his beak. The hen then swallows it, and thus her eggs are fertilised. This " tread," if got possession of before the hen can seize it, is good for the prevention of sterility in men.

To my surprise, I find that the same story exists in Siberia in connection with the Cock-of-the-Woods, otherwise Capercaillie, In the Interjnediaire, October 10, 1897, column 435, the following passage occurs :

" Les amours du ' TJ^TREAU ' ou ' souRDEAU.' — Le Figaro du 24 aotit contient un article sur la chasse en Siberie, tire des notes de M. Edgar Boulangier. Dans cet article je lis, au sujet des amours d'un oiseau que I'auteur appelle le tetreau ou sourdeau,