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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/428

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392 Miscellanea.

On the Feast Sunday she made a pie of dog's flesh ; and when the navvies had eaten it she then told them what they had had for dinner, with what result needs no telling. To say "bow-wow," or to imitate the bark of a dog, in any street of Painswick was the sure forerunner of a breach of the peace. Occasionally still, on Feast Sunday, a meat-pie is made, within which is placed a china dog, to keep up the remembrance of the ' bow-wow ' pie ; but the custom is dying out, and it would be well to bury it in oblivion."

Another story is, that on one of the church feast-days in years gone by the Painswick people invited their neighbours of Stroud to a venison-feast (red deer were said to be plentiful in those days on the Cotswold Hills). The venison was not forthcoming, and Painswick was in despair at not being able to furnish the proper feast. It was suggested that they could save their repu- tation by serving up dog-pie instead. When the guests discovered the trick, a tremendous fight ensued. The Painswick people conquered, and instituted the feast in honour of their victory; but making plum-pie with a china dog baked in it answers instead of dog itself.

The Rev. W. S. Guest Williams also stated that he had heard that a tradition may have been handed down from pre-Christian times of a British festival in which dogs figured in some form. I have not heard of any tradition to this effect, but there certainly may be one. The connection of this " bow-wow pie " obser- vance with the dedication-festival of the parish church, which the Painswick feast day really is, and with another custom which a correspondent tells me formerly terminated the feast day's pro- ceedings — that of encircHng or encompassing the church by all the villagers joining hands, then swaying backwards and forwards, and finally dancing round and singing— points to the survival of a local cult of a more primitive origin than these modern accounts.

An important point to notice, and one which appears in each of the stories told, is that people of two different parishes are concerned in the quarrel, and that a fight between them occurs.