JOSEPH POORGRASS IN FACT
distance strictly localising the event, although Norfolk usually
Isolated in the fields south of Bramber are two of the quaintest churches in the county—Coombes and Botolphs. Neither has an attendant village.
The owl story, which crops up all over the country and is found in literature in Mr. Hardy's novel F<xr from the Madding Crowd, the scene whereof is a hundred miles west of Sussex, has a home also at Upper Beeding, the little dusty village
beyond Bramber across the river. Mr. Hardy gives the adventure to Joseph Poorgrass ; at Beeding, the hero is one Kiddy Wee. His rightful name was Kidd ; but being very small the village had invented this double diminutive. Lost in the wood he cried for help, just as Poorgrass did. " Who ? who ? " asked the owl. " Kiddy Wee o' Beedin','' was the reply.
It was not long ago that a masterpiece was discovered at Beeding, in one of those unlikely places in which with ironical humour fine pictures so often hide themselves. It hung in a little general shop kept by an elderly widow. After passing unnoticed