Mowing Devil, The


Mowing Devil, The
   The *chapbook of this title, printed in 1678, sets out to prove the reality of the Devil by a cautionary tale of an amazing occurrence in Hertfordshire that August. A rich farmer, too mean to pay the wages which a labourer wanted for mowing his oats, angrily said 'that the Devil himself should Mow his Oats before he [the labourer] should have anything to do with them'. But God punished his greed and heartlessness. That night, the oatfield seemed to be on fire, yet next morning, when the farmer went to look at his oats:
   he found the Crop was cut down ready to his hands; and as if the Devil had a mind to show his Skill in Husbandry, and scorned to mow them after the usual manner, he cut them in round circles, and plac't every straw with that exactness that it would have taken up above an Age for any Man to perform what he did that one night: and the man that owns them is as yet afraid to remove them.
   The text is accompanied by a woodcut showing a small demon crouching over the oats, which lie in rings around him, the whole being surrounded by flames.
   The chapbook was reprinted as a pamphlet by W. Gerish in 1913, and in his Hertfordshire Folklore (1970); it is mentioned in several books of local folklore (e.g. Jones-Baker 1977). In 1990 it was drawn into the controversy over crop circles.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mowing-Devil — The Mowing Devil Pamphlet. The Mowing Devil: or, Strange News out of Hartford shire is the title of an English woodcut pamphlet published in 1678. The pamphlet tells of a farmer who, refusing to pay the price demanded by a labourer to mow his… …   Wikipedia

  • Devil —    In folk traditions, the Devil is sometimes a powerfully evil tempter and destroyer, sometimes a stupid enemy whose plans fail through his own clumsiness, or because he is outwitted by ordinary humans. Broadly speaking, the stupid Devil is… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Devil's River Minnow — Conservation status Vulnerable (IUCN 2.3) …   Wikipedia

  • The Car — NOTOC Infobox Film name = The Car caption = Promotional poster for American release of The Car director = Elliot Silverstein producer = Marvin Birdt Elliot Silverstein writer = Michael Butler Dennis Shryack (story) Michael Butler Dennis Shryack… …   Wikipedia

  • List of King of the Hill characters — King of the Hill is an American animated series created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels.[1][2] The main characters are Hank Hill, Peggy Hill, Bobby Hill, Luanne Platter, Dale Gribble, Bill Dauterive, Jeff Boomhauer, Cotton Hill, Kahn… …   Wikipedia

  • Crop circle — For the irrigation method that produces circular fields of crops, see center pivot irrigation. A 780 ft (240 m) crop circle in the form of a double (six sided) triskelion composed of 409 circles. Milk Hill, England, 2001 A crop circle… …   Wikipedia

  • 1678 in literature — The year 1678 in literature involved some significant events.Events*Thomas Otway, escaping from an unhappy love affair, obtains a commission in the army. *Printer Joseph Moxon becomes the first tradesman to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal… …   Wikipedia

  • Kornkreis — in einem Weizenfeld Figur bestehend aus vielen Einzelkreisen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cerealoge — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cerealogie — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia