GREAT BRITAIN: One of Those Heathen Customs

In the House of Commons last week brisk Brigadier Ralph Rayner, a Tory, made an eloquent plea to Food Minister John Strachey. All that he asked on behalf of his constituents in the tiny Devonshire village of Kingsteignton was one ram. Each spring for many centuries (no one knew exactly when it began) the villagers celebrated a legendary pagan rite: they thanked the gods for their spring water by sacrificing a ram. Then they drank and danced, roasted the ram and feasted on the mutton. Rayner pleaded: "Is the Minister aware . . . that it is very unlucky...

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