In this briefest post I want to record how difficult and engrossing I am finding this piece that I have already cited: http://alangarner.atspace.org/votd.html.
The suggestion that was becoming a link between the anomalies, that Thursbitch evolved…as a special place, a site taking different forms through different cultures, and the concept of þyrs as “something big”, made sense. Geologists and geographers, when they feel themselves to be among friends, will talk of the concept of a “sentient landscape”. Since I’m neither, I’ve no trouble over using the term. It describes my experience.
What is a þurs? Grendel – and always Grendel the shadow-walker? A giant? An ogre? Athirsty giant, fee, fi fo fum? The murderously dangerous wargus on the moss, Long Lankin? A woodwo? Am I back (I suspect I am) with my homo sylvestris – Fit silvester homo?
And am I straying from my path? I am writing about children and literature and landscape (sentient?) yet here I am somewhere on the confused and confusing contours of a landscape of demons, folklore and even cryptozoology. Garner himself calls it “something of a Wild Hunt.”
And then comes Garner’s haunting realisation of buried babies. I need a whistle like my moorland rescue whistle.