Folklore and Urban Legends

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  • 24th March 2014
    Are immigrants eating our swans?: Man reported 'beheading' a swan
    The Daily Express reports that a man witnesses another man beheading a swan while out fishing. The witness - named as Jon Robinson - challenged the man as he saw him stuffing the swan into a rucksack. The suspect fled when challenged and remained unidentified. The story also cites local 'confusion' as to the man's nationality - with some people alleging he was Eastern European or specifically Romanian. No evidence is given for these allegations. The Express also manages to squeeze in the old canard about the Queen's ownership of swans, telling its readers: "The Queen owns all Britain's Mute swans in a law dating back to the twelfth century, when they were considered a delicacy."
  • 4th December 2014
    Are immigrants eating our swans?: The Duck Snatchers of Earith
    The 'sleepy' village of Earith, Cambridgeshire is driven into a flap by the alleged disappearance of a population of tame ducks from the village pond. The ducks had been a feature of the village for some years and feeding them was a popular pastime for the local children. At the beginning of December 2014, they "vanish" apparently along with other local wildfowl over the course of several days. Local councillor Hazel Lambert posts signs around the village reading: "DUCKS ON EARITH VILLAGE POND ARE BEING TAKEN AND IT'S NOT BY MR. FOX. FOUR DUCKS HAVE BEEN REMOVED WITHIN THE LAST WEEK. PLEASE KEEP A LOOK OUT." She tells The Daily Telegraph: "We can all have thoughts about who it might be that has stolen the ducks, but I don't want to point the finger. All I know is in different cultures the idea of capturing and eating wild fowl is quite normal. I suspect they have been taken for the pot, but their meat would be quite tough as they are all elderly." Other members of the parish council are equally forthright in their assertion, despite the tacit admission that there is no direct evidence, Coun. Ron Hodge saying: "It's one of those things, no one sees it and no one reports it so it keeps happening."

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