Suffolk Chalk Pits

More questions than answers in this post: a work in progress.

The more I think of there really being chalk pits in Suffolk, the more I want to explore more deeply my assumptions about the universal mythic landscape. A sideline about a pub called “The Lime  Burners” and here is their link – suggests to me all those out-of-town (or out of settlement) occupations that might have been part of the storyteller’s landscape.  Quarriers, limekiln workers, miners (like the seven dwarfs?), charcoal burners – all people whose occupation maybe allowed them a little latitude.  It is interesting that charcoal is now something of a tourist attraction, even mentionedin the sanitised Suffolk walks discussed here. I suspect no-one on these well-signposted walks will discover demonic figures gleefully plotting by a fire!

Is this part of a warning myth, as I’ve speculated before? Part of a recognition that people away from the huddle of village and town are not recognised? Not “one of us”?

Philip Pullman, in today’s Observer, is deep in Bettelheimland when he talks about the Fairy Tale protagonists and their struggle for Independence and adulthood – and maybe this is where the two themes intertwine, although this is merely conjecture:

Is there a warning about the ‘others’  in the woods because they are dangerous, or because they represent a possible different set of choices? A world away from the close-knit and settled farming community?

Or is it that, for adventures to take place for the young, the protective adult needs to be absent?

It doesn’t answer my query about Tom Tit Tot, though.

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