Mons. d’Abbadie, in his Abyssinian Travels (1852), tells us that south of the Herrar is a place where all the men have tails, but not the females. “I have examined,” he says, “fifteen of them, and am positive that the tail is a natural appendage.” Dr. Wolf, in his Travels and Adventures, ii. (1861), says, “There are both men and women in Abyssinia with tails like dogs and horses.” He heard that, near Narea, in Abyssinia, there were men and women with tails so muscular that they could “knock down a horse with a blow.”

(2) John Struys, a Dutch traveller, says, in his Voyages (1650), that “all the natives on the south of Formosa have tails.” He adds that he himself personally saw one of these islanders with a tail “more than a foot long.”

(3) It is said that the Ghilane race, which numbers between 30,000 and 40,000 souls, and dwell “far beyond the Senaar,” have tails three or four inches long. Colonel du Corret assures us that he himself most carefully examined one of this race named Bellal, a slave belonging to an emir in Mecca, whose house he frequented.—World of Wonders, 206.

(4) The Poonangs of Borneo are said to be a tail-bearing race.

Individual Examples. (1) Dr. Hubsch, referred to above, says that he examined at Constantinople the son of a physician whom he knew intimately, who had a decided tail, and so had his grandfather.

(2) In the middle of the present (the nineteenth) century, all the newspapers made mention of the birth of a boy at Newcastle-on-Tyne with a tail, which “wagged when he was pleased.”

(3) In the College of Surgeons at Dublin may be seen a human skeleton with a tail seven inches long.

Tails given by way of Punishment. (1) Polydore Vergil asserts that when Thomas à Becket came to Stroud, the mob cut off the tail of his horse; and in eternal reproach, “both they and their offspring bore tails.” Lambarde repeats the same story in his Perambulation of Kent (1576).

For Becket’s sake Kent always shall have tails.—Marvel.

(2) John Bale, bishop of Ossory in the reign of Edward VI., tells us that John Capgrave and Alexander of Esseby have stated it as a fact that certain Dorsetshire men cast fishes’ tails at St. Augustine, in consequence of which “the men of this county have borne tails ever since.”

(3) We all know the tradition that Cornishmen are born with tails.

Taillefer, a valiant warrior and minstrel in the army of William the Conqueror. At the battle of Hastings (or Senlac) he stimulated the ardour of the Normans by songs in praise of Charlemagne and Roland. The soldier-minstrel was at last borne down by numbers, and fell fighting.

He was a juggler or minstrel, who could sing songs and play tricks. … So he rode forth singing as he went, and as some say throwing his sword up in the air and catching it again.—E. A. Freeman: Old English History, 332.

Tailors (Nine). A toll of a bell is called a “teller,” and at the death of a man the death-bell is tolled thrice three times. “Nine tellers mark a man” became perverted into “Nine tailors make a man.”—Notes and Queries, March 4, 1877.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.