I am supposed to approve all memberships so not sure how that one slipped though.
I will keep monitoring the situation.
Sam Droege Sam_Droege@...
w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
Have You Ever Swallowed a Newt?
Mr. Clifford W. Greatorex in Country Life has an interesting note on an old-time belief. He says:
"In the village where my maternal grandmother lived as a young girl there was a curious belief about newts and indigestion.
The victim, when drinking water from a well, had carelessly swallowed a young newt, or eft. The creature, safely lodged in
the stomach, was supposed to produce the pains accompanying a disordered digestion by wriggling about, or by actually attacking the tissues.
Naturally, the larger it grew the more acute the pains became.
"The circumstance that the sufferer often lost weight was accounted for by the supposition that the newt consumed a large proportion of
the food that ought to have gone to the nourishment of the unfortunate victim.
However, such cases were not necessarily hopeless. Provided the trouble were attended to at an early age, the remedy was simple.
The sufferer must eat a raw salted herring and abstain from drinking.
"By and by the newt would become thirsty, and its uneasiness would be manifested by increased activity. The sufferer must then lose no
time in going to the nearest stream, and there lie on the back, with mouth open. The newt would climb up its host's throat and out through
the mouth in order to obtain the sorely needed water. Immediately it was out the one-time sufferer must arise and quit the spot.
"I remember distinctly my grandmother saying she had actually been acquainted with an old lady who was declared to have suffered and
been cured in the manner just described. In this instance, however, the nearest stream was fully half a mile away, and a bucketful of cold water
was substituted, fortunately with equally satisfactory results."
1931 - The Field, The Country Newspaper - based, apparently in England