Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/33

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BATCOMBE CROSS.

climbing a tree, waited for events. Pretty soon a number of bears came into the valley, and the little fellow whistled. At this the big boss bear which had killed so many of the little men, and of which all were afraid, came under the tree, and, sitting himself on his haunches, looked up and asked the little fellow what he was doing up there. To which the little fellow replied, that he was going to kill him, the big boss bear. This reply tickled the bear so that he began to laugh, and making a great guffaw, opened his mouth so wide that the little fellow could see far down his throat, when quick as lightning he drew his bow and shot one of his arrows with one of these little points on it down the open throat of the bear and into his vitals, whereupon his laugh turned into a roar as he fell down, rolled over, and died. All the rest of the bears took to their heels and scampered up the valley and over the mountains. The little fellow went home and related what he had done, but his grandmother refused to believe him. But the next day the whole settlement gathered to hear the story, and all hands going to the valley, found the dead bear. This made the little fellow a great hero. Ever since that time the bears have hid away in the brush, and are afraid of men. Thus they have lost their power of speech.”

The Indian could not tell how the little men became transformed into lizards.—From the American Naturalist, May, 1888, p. 477.

BATCOMBE CROSS.

ON Batcombe Down, Dorset, is a stone about three feet high, evidently part of a cross, and called Cross Hand Stone. Why should a cross be set up, away there on the down? Well, this “be tïale a twold o’t.” Back in the middle ages, one dark, wild winter night, Batcombe priest was sent for to take the viaticum to a dying man, two or three miles off.