15 JUNE 1929, Page 16

Country Life


" Every other Norfolk man," someone said-, " is a naturalist." An unexpected succession of examples was vouchsafed to me last week. I wandered about the historic, but vanishing corners of the Yarmouth of Dickens with "John Know-little," as he has called himself for a generation. His " little know- ledge " of birds, insects, and especially fish, is more extensive and peculiar than was ever Sam Weller's knowledge of London ; and since he has lived over seventy years in the district his omniscience is generally recognized. It seemed to me that every other person we met—and all the meetings were pure chance—had some query in natural history to propound. First we came upon a boatman on the quay. He began at once to apologize. He was very sorry. He had found an eel with the yellow markings of a viper and a curious green line down its back. It had been put aside, but an officious boy had packed it with the rest of the common eels for market. A few minutes later a woman met us and said they had a rare butter- fly for identification at the Yacht Club. It proved to be an eyed hawk-moth when we found it later fluttering its wings against a tumbler. The moth flourishes especially among willows and alders. We were next told that a fishmonger was in possession of a little shark, caught in the fishing nets. This we found displayed' outside the shop with an orange in its mouth as an adornment. Preparations were at once made for sending it to London to have a cast made.