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No. 3829: Where the banshees live and they do live well

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Where the banshees live and they do live well

First | Previous | 2019-11-12 | Next | Latest

Strip by: Manyhills

Garfield: The art of conversation: alive or dead?
Jon: I counted Stonehenge three times and got three different answers
Garfield: A moment of silence, please

The author writes:

I'll let Charles Dickens explain to you the "countless stones" legend, a piece of folklore commonly attached to Neolithic stone structures in Britain, and therefore you can bet attached to what I think of as the Citizen Kane of Neolithic stone structures, Stonehenge. Here he goes:

That was a good inn down in Wiltshire where I put up once, in the days of the hard Wiltshire ale, and before all beer was bitterness. It was on the skirts of Salisbury Plain, and the midnight wind that rattled my lattice window, came moaning at me from Stonehenge. There was a hanger-on at that establishment (a supernaturally preserved Druid, I believe him to have been, and to be still) with long white hair, and a flinty blue eye always looking afar off: who claimed to have been a shepherd, and who seemed to be ever watching for the reappearance on the verge of the horizon, of some ghostly flock of sheep that had been mutton for many ages. He was a man with a weird belief in him that no one could count the stones of Stonehenge twice, and make the same number of them; likewise, that any one who counted them three times nine times, and then stood in the centre and said "I dare!" would behold a tremendous apparition, and be stricken dead.

Wikipedia, citing an article by S. P. Menefee in Folklore, quotes a seventeenth-century courtier as saying that Charles II managed to count them, which is a tremendous bit of suck-upery.

Original strip: 2017-08-21.