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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Talking of Gamekeepers
Recently I had to learn the kanji for "decay", which consists of a tree and a snare:


I found that the best way to make it stick was to retrieve a memory from my teenage years, when, wandering alone through the snowy woods near my home, and having stumbled onto someone's private land, I found myself face to face with the wizened corpses of a keeper's gibbet - not unlike the one in this stock image:

keeper's gibbet

If I'd been considering a career as a keeper myself, this mustelidae massacre would certainly have put me off, though I appreciate its effectiveness as a mnemonic (and I like to think the weasels would have been happy about that too); but now I wonder why gamekeepers feel the need for such grisly displays. It can hardly be "pour encourager les autres", after all.

I think "feel" should be "felt"; I am only aware of the practice from childhood reading of books that were already old, not from direct experience of my father's and grandfather's work as gamekeepers.

I can only tell you that there was one extant in Hampshire, circa. 1977, because I almost ran into it!

I too have seen foxes and crows hung up on fences, certainly into the late 70s, possibly early 80s. Nothing quite a grisly as the gibbet in the photo in the post, but sometimes several poor little corpses. :(

I, too, saw one in the mid to late 1970s, in my case somewhere in the Peak District.