Friday, November 30, 2007

Snippet of Savory

From Grain and Chaff from an English Manor (1920)

The only real objection to peacocks, under ordinary conditions, is the discordance of their cries, especially in thundery weather, when they scream in answer to every thunder-clap. Cock pheasants, relatives of the peacock, crow loudly at any unusual noise; and I have known them expostulate at the report of a gun; they took flight, after running to a safe distance, and their crow appeared to be in the nature of a challenge or defiance, just as a barn-door cock will exult if you give him the idea that he has driven you away.

When the vessel which carried the coffin of Queen Victoria was crossing the Solent, in 1901, some very heavy salutes were fired from the battleships, and, the day being still and the air clear, the detonations carried to an immense distance. They were distinctly heard at Moreton-in-the-Marsh, only fourteen miles from Aldington and a distance of nearly one hundred miles from the guns, in a direct line. The reports were so loud at Woodstock, near Oxford, that the pheasants began crowing in the Blenheim preserves.
I love that last sentence particularly

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