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A Folklore Unto Themselves

Dozens of the good folks of Kingston Russell were somewhat alarmed this morning when they found themselves waking to the sight of "at least two people" [later verified as three] sitting on top of "at least three" [later verified as one] tree-stump[s] standing in the conurbation's recently reclaimed urban parkland. Dressed in white robes and with faces "the colour of chalk" they presented, according to one startled observer, "a terrifying sight reminiscent of some kind of gothic or mediaeval horror story" or "perhaps a scene from the DBS mega-hit series Shame of Crones".

RDC Chief Constable Sir Rising Crimewave confirmed that officers under his command had visited the site [several hours after the tree squatters had left] but added that no further action was being taken despite the fact that at least one of the squatters had [allegedly] "urinated from some height though with a considerate aim which avoided splashing nearby observers".

A supporter offers encouragement [and possibly a Dorset pasty] to a dedicated tree squatter several days into his gruelling ritual occupation

Anthropologist Werling De'Vish later explained that in all likelihood the ghoulish trio had been re-connecting with nature and recreating a traditional Dorset Tree-Squatting ceremony once common across the county but now a thing remembered only by an ancient few. Old Yew Tree public house regular Manny O'Pints concurs, adding that his great grandfather and grandfather [Severrall and Toomeny] had both been practitioners ["especially on a warm summer night after a few and when the womenfolk were a'bed"] and that the latter had aided Professor Brian Thrupiece in his researches into this and several other endangered customs in the late 1950s and early 1960s*.

* See Professor B P T Thrupiece et al [1966] "Ancient Dorset Customs and Practices: Ritual Meaning in Body Art, Dance and Stylistic Foreplay" The Threadbone Press

Readers will recall the Professor's attempts [along with several other members of the Dorset Folklore Society] to catalogue rural customs and practices as well as his active encouragement of the Dorset Folklore Re-Enactment movement which did much to preserve memories of so many of the historic and arcane practices; preserving them for future generations to forget and/or ignore. The culmination of his effort - "Dorset Folklore: Understanding Context, Opportunity and Action" [28 volumes] [The Threadbone Press 1966-1972] remains a classic**

**The busy reader is referred to Volume XXII - "Points of Intersection: Trees, Styles, Meadows and Hillsides" for an accessible and characteristic point of entry.

The even busier reader is referred to an extract from The Journal of the Dorset Folklore Society HERE

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