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Whit Stones

Standing Stones


The Giant of Grabbist and the Devil had had quite enough of each other. Exmoor wasn't big enough for the both of them. They decided to have a competition and whoever lost would have to leave the place for good.

They met up on Bossington Beacon; it was to be a throwing contest, and they'd each throw a big stone over to Porlock Common, about four miles away. The devil went first. His stone sailed up through the air and landed -douf- on the common, pointing up to the sky. Then it was the giant's turn. Just as he was about to release his stone- "A-HEM," the devil coughed. The stone still flew through the air to the common, but landed about three feet short of Old Nick's.

Well it was obvious: the giant would have to leave. Like heck he was - he gave the devil a shove and sat down on top of him. The devil was squirming and crying, but the giant just took out his pipe and calmly began smoking. When he'd finished he tapped his pipe out on the devil's head, picked him up by the tail, and said "I don't think that was a fair throw. We'll throw from Quantock later on. In the meantime you go and cool your head." He tossed the devil up in the air and batted him out into Porlock Bay.

(retold from a version by Ruth Tongue, who heard it locally in the 1940/50s; Tongue and Briggs, 'Folktales of England' 1965)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th August 2005ce

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