Courting the Wild Twin

I first caught the perfume of my wild twin by walking with muddy boots through wet grasses to my scrubby woodland den as a six-year-old. As the trees swirled I caught a scent and started to cry without understanding. I wove a pheasant feather in my hair. I hear it now in the owl court who hoot across the frost grass and moon-touched lawns of my cottage. There’s more than book smarts in that chill delirium. These are not domestic tones, not corralled sounds, but loose as Dartmoor ponies on the hill. They give me ecstasy. Not safety, not contentment, certainly not ease, not peace, but ecstasy. It’s almost painful. Makes me restless.

“The neck! The neck! The neck!” – Kern Dollies, Corn Spirits & Harvest Home

Incorporating folklore can add authenticity, richness and whole new layers of meaning to historical fiction. Novelist Melissa Harrison explores how traditional practices and beliefs around the harvest informed her creative process when she was writing her new book, All Among the Barley

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