In one of the houses in Cock Street there once lived an old woman and her son who, as we sometimes say in Feltwell, was about ninepence in the shilling. This woman, who nobody now can possibly remember, had strange powers such as are usually attributed to witches; she could raise a wind, and, so I am told, would do so to warn her son that he was being watched; for this half-witted son was in the habit of helping himself to this and to that, on behalf of his mother; especially to flour and corn at the Mills. She had power also over horses and at her bidding, any horse passing by would stop and refuse to budge an inch, in spite of the whip. And the old woman would put her head out of the window and tell the man in charge not to use the whip on the horses but to tap the wheel of the cart with it instead. And the horse would then move quietly on. Tales such as these, however absurd they may seem to us, were full of meaning for people a hundred years ago when witchcraft was rife. Even in these more enlightened days it could not possibly be said that belief in witchcraft is dead. A woman, whose husband was dying, once told me that he had been overlooked by a neighbour, in other words bewitched, and nothing would convince her to the contrary. I myself have had a spell laid on me by an old lady said to possess the evil eye. I had offended her; it was years ago and the spell failed to act. In bygone days it was believed that witches at death became or were changed into hares, and many people in consequence refused to eat hare. And though a hare makes an excellent dish, quite a number of people to this day are averse to it as an article of food.
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