Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Parson and the Raven

E.G. Walsh, ed., The Poacher's Companion (Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 1983), p. 37.

This puts me in mind of a story told me of a raven. The bird was tame and pinioned, and had strayed from his owner's house into the orchard of the village curate. A lot of rooks having visited the parson's cherries, the reverend gentleman kept his gun in readiness, and seeing the raven under his trees, he stalked him by the aid of a hedge. Bang went the fruit-avenging gun, and the raven, having felt a shot or two rattle on his feathers, began to hop and flap along the ground as fast as he could. Up ran the parson, thinking to secure an offender, to be impaled as a future scarecrow, when just as he was about to grasp the raven, the bird opened his mouth to bite, and cried, 'D--n your blood!' So startled was the divine that he threw down his gun, and ran away. -- The Hon George Grantley Berkeley, Reminiscences of a Huntsman (London, 1854).