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Feast of the Holy Innocents

And also my mother's birthday. Grandfather was so worried about the negative folklore connected to the date he insisted the birth certificate be put back to the 27th. Which just goes to show that even old wives tales can be right now and then.

Thinking back to our time at Cranbourn this Christmas, the one photo I took with my phone camera doesn't tell all the story, though it's quite evocative:

The horse's tail was plaited up at the back; he's a very bonny Irish cob being made up for a Boxing Day meet. My sister-in-lawish is a kind lady whose life entails various form of rescue for dogs, chickens, people... but she has to do what's necessary to keep the livery stables working, and part of that is looking after hunters' horses.

The nearest we have had to a discussion was many years ago, when she admitted she had been hunting, though it was more about riding fast across fields and through woods than actually catching a fox. I believe her, and know of no reason why, provided no harm is done to the environment/private property/wildlife, trail-hunting should be disallowed. Problem is that those provisos are often ignored, or even broken with/without intention. When it comes to yer actual fox-hunting, I know of no rational justification for it. I did get the impression that one of the guests wanted to make a conversation of the issue, but my sister-in-lawish skirted away from it fast, for the sake of peace and goodwill.

Thing is, with these countryside places, you do have to deal with the strange bloodlust that underlies the bucolic beauty of the countryside. I am a fan of re-wilding personally, and couldn't help smiling at the pro-hunting guest who said; 'I don't want bears in Devon, thank you very much'. So blood is all right as entertainment when it comes from a creature half the size of a dog, pursued by many, all larger, all better equiped, but when there's a proper predator in the field, something that belongs as part of the wilderness, well then, even as the faintest of possibilities, blood must remain an absolute no-no! Nice person, mind, not having a pop at her in general; but there is an irony in the disconnect. I wonder if this kind of cognitive dissonance is at the root of the literary genre increasingly described as 'English Eerie,' that sense of all being lovely barring something unspoken in the Green and Pleasant Land.



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