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Language has made us more than a group of pack-hunting monkeys – it’s made us a group of pack-hunting monkeys with a dream.
Die Luft ist kühl und es dunkelt,
Und ruhig fließt der Rhein;
Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt
[The air is cool and twilight falls
And the Rhine flows calmly by;
The mountain summit glitters
In the evening sunshine.]
From Die Lorelei by Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)
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In Ireland a woman could raise hens and sell the eggs. Of course there were fights. Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law disputing control of the hens, and some of those disputes were vicious; but still an egg is a pleasant thing to contemplate, warm in a straw nest, carrying all that power and history.
Angela Bourke, ‘Le Soleil et le Vent’, in By Salt Water
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Yan tan tethera pethera pimp: old sheep-counting systems in the UK
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A girl in this region died on her wedding-night while dancing. Soon after her death she appeared to her husband, and said to him: “I’m not dead at all, but I am put from you now for a time. It may be a long time, or a short time, I cannot tell. I am not badly off. If you want to get me back you must stand at the gap near the house and catch me as I go by, for I live near there, and see you, and you do not see me.” He was anxious enough to get her back, and didn’t waste any time in getting to the gap. When he came to the place, a party of strangers were just coming out, and his wife soon appeared as plain as could be, but he couldn’t stir a hand or foot to save her. Then there was a scream and she was gone. The man firmly believed this, and would not marry again.
This story is told by Patrick Waters of Cloontipruckilish, County Sligo, Ireland, and appears in W. Y. Evans-Wentz’s early masterwork of folklore, The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, 1911.
Horse-flourish calligraphy from German book: 'Selbstlehrende Canzleymässig dresdnische Schreibe-Schule' 1755 - gallica.bnf.fr - (the book has 30 illustrations, but only a few seem to be online)
The bloke depicted is presumably one from the list of state leaders in 1755.
"There’s a name on every part of the hill. A name in Irish, that a man would know where he was, and if he saw a sheep lost there, or something else like that, he could tell the man that lost it, and him go straight to where it were, and take it with him."
Robert Bernen, ‘Brock’
Blue Vanga. Photo by Dubi Shapiro
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