Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/354

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31 S Ha7npshire Folklore.

Two men returning to the neighbourhood of Fording- bridge from Ringwood one evening in a farm cart saw in a lane near a lonely homestead a " white cow-thing." This they decided must be Mrs. X's cow got loose. They drew rein and stopped at the cottage to warn her. As no one replied to their knocking, they went up to the window and peeped through. In the room " sat a Thing," a horror with a dead child in its arms. The men turned and ran, but hearing shrieks went round to the back, where they found the widow and her children had taken refuge in the loft, from which the two men rescued them by a ladder. No one ever entered the cottage again, and some said that a child had been murdered there. But the most curious thing is that the white cow was safely tied up in her shed all the time.

The Rev. G. E. Jeans sent me the following story, received from Redway, in the parish of Arreton : —

" Our mason, who comes from there, says that he and his wife one evening as they passed heard a loud noise, "like something as heavy as a horse falling from the top of one of the ricks " ! He jumped over the low wall, but there was nothing to be seen."

Mr. Jeans comments that "this is closely like the grert thing which fell from the loft and scarted the horses," a tale that his gardener told us both the year before last.

" When ee was at Atherfield Farm," said he, speaking of a fellow-labourer of his who like himself lived in the haunted house in question, " ee woke one night, ee got up, — to see what weather were hke maybe, p'raps 'twere for hay or haarvest, — at two or may be dree o' morning, and ee he-ard noise like in yard. Ee got up. Ee thought as might be harse were ill in stables. Ee saw nothing."

I questioned the gardener, who seemed to think the tale ended here, but all he could say was that there had been a noise of " a grert thing which fell from loft and scarted the harses." Then he went on to say that, when he had lived in the house himself: —