KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

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THE SUSSEX DOWNS                 209
has written on the subject of the " good people " of the Downs :
" Mark yon little T-shaped cuttings on the slope below us ? Those are the snares set by the shepherds for tne delicious wheat-ear, our English ortolan. The fairies still haunt this spot, and hold their midnight revels upon it, as yon dark rings testify. The common folk hereabouts term the good people ' Pharisees ' and style these emerald circles ' hagtracks.' Why, we care not to enquire. Enough for us the fairies are not altogether gone. A smooth soft carpet here is spread out for Oberon and Titania and their attendant elves, to dance upon by moonlight; and there is no lack of mushrooms to form tables for Puck's banquet."
Gilbert White, in his " Natural History of Selborne," refers to the sheep of the Downs :
" To the west of the Adur River all such animals have horns, smooth white faces, and white legs, but east of that river all flocks were poll sheep, or hornless, more­over, they had black faces with a white tuft of wool on their foreheads, speckled and spotted legs, so that you might almost think that the flocks of Laban were pastur­ing on one side of the stream and the variegated breed of his son-in-law Jacob on the other."
And then there are the flowers ; mostly on the
Downs they are small. We find the creeping
yellow rock-rose ; clovers, red and white ; wild
thyme and birds-foot, trefoil—the last two are
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