Mudcat Café message #2019152 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100517   Message #2019152
Posted By: GUEST,meself
07-Apr-07 - 01:00 PM
Thread Name: BS: Joan of Arc and family
Subject: RE: BS: Joan of Arc and family
Not to mention that French film, "The Return of Martin [quelqu'un]", about the soldier who comes to the wife of a man who had gone off to war many years before, and claims to be that man ...

'I especially liked the wholly fictitious yet authoritatively delivered comment to the effect that "[i]n medieval Europe it was common practice to throw black cats into the pyres of supposed witches."'

Sounds like the sort of fakelore that would emerge in explanation of some common saying; e.g. "The man who would fling the cat would need enough room to be able to swing it over his head several times to build up momentum, and this would be a problem due to the hordes of people crowding around to watch the burning. If the cat wasn't flung far enough into the fire, it could jump back out and, running around in flames, set the village on fire. The notion of having enough room "to swing a cat" became blah, blah, blah ... "