14 FEBRUARY 1903, Page 17


[TO THE EDITOR. OF Tux "SrscrATort.1 SIB,—The pied or water wagtail is certainly "dish-washer," not "ditch-watcher". (Spectator, February 7th). It haunts the neighbourhood of clear, shallow streams. Being as kindly regarded as the robin and the wren, it is, like them, companion- able and fearless. Where the hamlet lies along "the never- failing brook," fresh from the heart of the Downs above, wells are unnecessary, and village crockery is cleansed in the crystal stream at the door. The sight, constantly associated, of the little cottage drudge stepping and stooping, dish in hand, beside the purling brook, and of the sociable wagtail tripping and dipping over the pebbles close by her, led child Hodge in Wessex, generations ago, to call the wagtail "Little Polly Wash-dish."—I am, Sir, &c., ARTHUR HARINGTON.