Mythology Encyclopedia 135

body, and if by chance it touches the body it immediately joins itself to it and lives and
grows along with it, (Great Britain, India, Germany.–STRACKERJAN, vol. II, p. 110. cf.
F.L.J., 1883, P. 356.)
The lizard is man’s special enemy, but warns him of the approach of a serpent. Food
touched by a lizard becomes poisonous. (Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 116.)
Biscobra is the name of a kind of huge lizard. According to popular belief, its bite is
fatal. (YULE & BURNELL, Hobson Jobson, pp. 95, 367; ibid., P. 765.)
When Queen Elizabeth sent a sculptured lizard to the wife of the Prince of Orange, the
princess wrote back: "It is the fabled virtue of the lizard to awaken sleepers when a serpent
is creeping up to them. Your Majesty is the lizard and the Netherlands the serpent.
Pray God they may escape the serpent’s tooth."
The Mohammedans say that the lizard is a treacherous reptile. It was a lizard which
pointed out Mohammed to his pursuers while he was biding in a cave.
If you let a lizard run over your hand, you will be a good needle-woman. (Alsace.LAMBS,
p. 30.) Vide Spider.
Llen: Celt. Myth. A Cymric sun-god, son of Gwydion and Arianrod.
Llud: Celt. Myth. A Cymric god of the sky.
Llyr: Celt. Myth. A Cymric god of the sea.
Loadstone: Loadstone produces somnambulism. It is dedicated to Mercury, and in metallurgy
means quicksilver.
Lock: In Cornwall death is believed to be retarded, and the dying person kept in a state
of suffering by having any lock closed or any bolt shut in the dwelling. (HUNT, Pop.
Rom., P. 379; GREGOR, F.L.N.E.S., P. 206; Contemporary Review, XLVIII, 108.)
The Arabs spit on a lock which cannot easily be opened. (DOUGHTY, Arab Des., Vol.
1, P. 227.)
Locust : In South Mirzapur, when locusts threaten to eat up the fruits of the earth, the
people catch one, decorate its head with a spot of red lead, salaam to him, and let him
go. After these civilities the locust immediately departs along with its fellows.
(CROOKE, Pop. Rel. Folkl. North India, P. 380; FRAZER, G.B., Vol. 11, P. 424.)
Log: If logs crackle in the hearth, you will either have good news, or friends will arrive.
(Grecce.–LAWSON, P. 328.).
Loki: Norse Myth. A god, contriver of discord and mischief. He is adroit and cunning
and is able to transform himself into innumerable shapes. He contrives the death of
Balder, and is overcome by Thor. Skathi fastens a venom-dripping snake over him.
Longevity: Plenty of soup eaten slowly produces longevity.
The Chinese worship the peepul-tree for long life. (WILLIAMS, Mid. King., Vol. II, P.

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Limping: To limp with the left foot denotes good fortune with the right, the opposite.
(Bohemia.)
Lin: Chin. Folklore. A supernatural creature with the body of a deer, the tail of an ox,
and a single horn. It is said to attain the age of one thousand years and to be the
noblest form of animal creation, the emblem of perfect good. (MAYERS, Chin. Read.
Man., p. 136.)
Lindwurm: Dragon in Tyrol it is believed that the Lindwurm watches treasures. (ALPENBURG,
Mythen, P. 377 ; cf. Kunos, Turkish Fairy Tales, p. 135 ; LAWSON, P. 281.)
Lion : The lion will not injure a royal prince.
The ancient naturalists entertained the idea that the fiercest lion trembled at the crowing
of a cock.
The lion hates the gamc-cock and is jealous of it; some say because the cock wears a
crown (its crest); others, because it comes into the royal presence "booted and
spurred."
According to a legend the lion’s whelp is born dead and remains so for three days,
when the father breathes on it and it receives life.
Arab women in North Africa give their male children a piece of a lion’s heart to eat to
make them fearless (FRAZER, C.B., Vol. II, p. 355.) Vide Bear, jackal.
Lion-God, Double: Egypt. Myth. They were two lions seated back to back, supporting
the horizon with the sun’s disc, over which stands the sky; the lion on the right is called
Sef "yesterday," and that on the left Tuau " today." (BUDGE, Book of thee Dead, p. 90.)
Lip: Itching of the lips is a sign that someone will kiss you. (Great Britain, Boston.-BERGEN,
C.S., p. 63.) A mole on the lip is a sign either of gluttony or of sensuousness.
Lir Majoran: In New Guinea, he is the god of husbandry, to whom first fruits are offered
when the harvest is ripe.. (FRAZER, C.B., vol. II, P. 463.)
Lisa’s Ring: A ring which by its lustre told Lisa whether her lover was ill or dying. (ST.
JOHN, Leg. Chr. East, p. 163.) cf. Bahmon’s Knife, etc.
Li Tia Guai: Chin. Myth. The sixth of the eight Immortals. (Chin. Volksmarchen, P. 71.)
Live Coal: It is a Scandinavian custom to cast live coals after the mother as she goes
to be churched, in order to prevent the trolls from carrying her off bodily. (TYLOR, P.C.,
Vol. II, P. 178, quoting HYLTEN-CAVALLIUS, Warend och Wirdarne, Vol. I, p. 191, and
ATKINSON, Glossary of Cleveland Dial., p. 597.)
Lizard: The cut-off tail of a lizard lives some time after it has been separated from the

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Mythology Encyclopedia 133

how hard the person tries to approach them, these lights always keep the same distance.
(Brittany.–LE BRAZ, Vol. I, P. 260.)
A light going out of its own accord is an omen of death. (WUTTKE, P. 38.)
If the light is let go out on Christmas Eve, some one in the house will die. (RAGNER.)
Lightning: Witches generally cause lightning. (LEHMANN, A.Z., p. iii.)
He who carries about him a piece of wood chipped off by lightning, will be extremely
strong, (Bohemia.–GROHMANN, P. 40.)
To insure your house against lightning, burn the Yule Log on Christmas Eve. (RAGNER.)
If a person struck by lightning be immediately removed forty paces from the spot where
the accident befell him, he will recover. (Macedonia. -ABBOTT, P. 229.)
Wreaths of red and white flowers hung up on Ascension Day over stable doors, safeguard
the stables against lightning. (Swabia.-WUTTKE, P. 21.) Vide Heitlik, Beetle.
Lilis: Adam’s wife before Eve was created. Lilis refused to submit to Adam, and was
turned out of paradise ; she still haunts the air and is especially hostile to children and
new-born babes. She is usually known as Lilith.
Lilith: Jewish Folklore. A female demon, worshipped by the Jews during the Babylonian
captivity. She was the first wife of Adam who was compelled to repudiate her, Eve
being created for him. In modern superstition she is the queen of demons, pictured with
wings and long flowing hair. (Jew. Enc., Vol. IV, P. 517.)
(ii) In the Middle Ages Lilith was a famous witch. (cf. GOETHE: Faust.) cf. Igarat batMahlat.
Lilitu: A female form of Lilu. Lilu: Night" In Babylonian superstition it was a kind of evil spirit who plied his trade atnight under cover of darkness. cf. Ardat lili. Limbo: (Lat. Limbus "an edge"). A sort of neutral land on the confines of paradise forthose who are not good enough for heaven and not bad enough for hell, or rather, forthose who cannot (according to the church system) be admitted into paradise, eitherbecause they have never heard the Gospel or have never been baptized. (DR. BREWER,
R. H., p. 614. Limbo of the Moon: In the moon are treasured up the time misspent in play, all vainefforts, all vows broken, all counsel thrown away, all desires that lead to nothing, thevanity of titles, flattery, great men’s promises, court services and death-bed alms. (DR.
BREWER, R.H., quoting Orlando Furioso, XXXIV, 70.) Limbus Fatuorum: Or the Fool’s Paradise for idiots, madmen and others who are not
responsible for their sins, but yet have done nothing worthy of salvation. (DR. BREWER,
R.H., p. 614.)

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Mythology Encyclopedia 132

this disease. (SIMROCK, Volksbucher, XII, pp. 31, et seq.; STRACK, op. Cit., P. 14.) Ler: Celt. Myth. A Gaelic god of the sea. Lethe: Class. Myth. The river of Hades, whose water, when drunk, caused forgetfulness
of the past.
Leto: Gr. Myth. The mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus to whom she was married
before he married Hera (Hesiod). In a later story, she was only a mistress of Zeus and
was persecuted by Hera until her children were born at Delos. She is called Latona by
the Romans.
Letter: A moth flying towards a person, denotes a letter.
A bright spark from the burning wick of a candle promises a letter.
If you dream of posting an unsealed letter to your sweetheart, it means that your
secrets be exposed. Vide Cotton, Saliva.
Leucothea: Gr. MYth. A goddess of the sea. Vide Ino.
Lichas: Gr. Myth. A servant of Hercules, who brought him the poisoned shirt of Nessus.
He was thrown from a high mountain, and falling into the sea became a rock which still
bears his name and retains the human form.
Lichen: According to a legend this dry plant was not always so; it became dry as the
result of the curse of a woman. (JALLA, Leg. Vaud, p. 11.)
In the Hebrides fishermen refuse to wear clothes dyed with the lichen found on the
rocks, although it is used in other cases. They say that it comes from the rocks, and
will go back there, (GOODRICH-FREER, Outer Isles, 1902, P. 203; HAZLITT, P. 575.)
Lichoradka: Slavic Folklore. Demons of fever.
Lie: Vide Tongue, Pimple, Speak.
Light: In the superstition of nearly every nation, savage or civilized, it is generally
admitted -that light scares spirits away; hence spirits appear only when it is either dark
or in a state of semi-darkness. (cf. Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 95 ; SKEAT, Malay Magic,
p, 15.)
Three lights burning in a room, is a sign of death. (ABBOTT, p. 99.)
If there are three lights in a straight line in front of an unmarried girl, she will soon be a
bride. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. 1, P. 23.)
Women, who can blow into flame the still glowing wick of a lamp or a candle, are virgins.
(S. Germany, Silesia, Tyrol.-WUTTKE, P. 42.)
A light is seen on the grave of a very pious man. (PH. REDMOND, "Some Wexford
Folklore," Folklore, X. 362.)
Before the death of a near relative, lights are seen moving before a person. No matter

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Mythology Encyclopedia 131

if you do so. (Great Britain, Germany, Bohemia.)
Whoever gets the last piece of cake from the plate at tea-time, will be the first to marry.
(LEAN, vol. II, P. 326.
Lat: Hind. Myth. An ancient Hindu deity. (DUNCAN FORBES.)
Latawiec: Polish Folklore. A spirit which sometimes assumes the form of a man, sometimes
of a fascinating maiden. He likes to beguile belated travellers from their right way.
When he wishes to gratify his lust, he visits witches in the form of a flying fiery serpent.
cf. Ignis Fatuus, Incubus, Succubus, Jhoting, Cuichi Supai, Tululu Supai, Khu.
Latona: The Romans called Leto by this name.
Lazarus, St.: He protects people from leprosy.
Leander: A Grecian youth, lover of Hero, priestess of Venus. He drowned himself in the
Hellespont.
Leap Year: In Hesse and in Westphalia it is believed that the leap year is particularly
suited for important undertakings. (WUTTKE, P. 24.) Vide Twenty-ninth of February.
Leather : Leather is said to scare demons away. (CROOKE, P.R.I., Vol. II, P. 33.)
Leda: Gr. Myth. Wife of the Spartan king Tyndareus. According to the usual accounts,
the father of Helen and Pollux was Zeus who took the form of a swan and had intercourse
with Leda. Other accounts make both Pollux and Castor either sons of Zeus or
of Tyndareus her husband. Her children were Castor and Pollux, Clytemnestra and
Helen of Troy.
Left: Left to right is a good direction. (Greece.-LAWSON, P. 312.)
Leg: To see a man with a wooden leg coming towards you is an omen of good luck; to
see his back or to turn round to look at him portends ill luck. (Great Britain.)
Lemures: In Roman mythology they are the same as the Larvae with whom the living
find it hard to maintain a permanent peace. They were the malevolent spirits of the
departed.
"Lest he behold one of these grim lemures."–LYTTON, Last Days o f Pompeii.
Leprosy: St. Lazarus the beggar protects from leprosy.
Bathing in human blood, especially the blood of a maiden, cures leprosy. (STRACK,
Der Blutaberglaube, p. 12 seq., quoting PLINY, Nat. Hist., XXVI, I, 5.)
Richard, King of England, who was suffering from leprosy, took counsel of a Jewish
physician after all other means had failed him. This Jew advised the King to bathe in
the blood of a new-born babe, and to eat its warm heart raw as an infallible cure for

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A lamp should be kept burning night and day in a room where a baby is born till the
mother is well again; this is to keep the evil spirits away. (Great Britain, India,
Germany.–KUHN UND SCHWARZ, p. 92; WOLF, Beilrdge, vol. II, P. 303, etc.; WUTTKE,
P. 195.)
The spluttering of a lamp foretells misfortune. (Greece–LAWSON, P. 328.)
Langsuir: The Malays believe that a woman dying in childbirth becomes a langsuir and
sucks the blood of the children. (Enc. Brit., Vol. VIII, p. 6.) cf. Choorail.
Lan Tsai Ho: Chin. Myth. The fifth of the eight Immortals. (Chin. Volksmarchen, P. 71.)
Laocoon: Gr. Myth. A priest of Apollo at Troy, who incurred the wrath of Athena by
throwing a spear at her wooden horse. As he was offering a sacrifice to Poseidon, he
was destroyed with his two sons, by two huge serpents which the goddess had caused
to come out of the sea.
Laodamia: Greek Legend. Wife of Protesilaus (q.v.), who, after the death of her husband,
had him restored to life for three hours; when it was time for him to return to the
underworld, she accompanied him.
Lapithes: A mythical race inhabiting Thessaly. They were celebrated for their power of
subjugating horses, and especially for their war against the Centaurs.
Lapwing: A handmaid of the Virgin Mary having purloined one of her mistress’s dresses,
was changed into a lapwing and condemned for ever to cry: Tyvit! Tyvit! (i.e., I stole
it! I stole it!)
Lapwings pick crocodiles’ teeth, therefore they never harm them.
Lar: (Pl. Lares). A tutelary Roman divinity, usually a deified ancestor or hero.
Lard: Vide Ham.
Lark: If you drink three lark’s eggs on a Sunday before the church bells ring, you will
have a sweet voice.
Larva: (Pl. Larvae). A disembodied spirit of the Romans and a malevolent one.
Last Buried: The person buried last in a churchyard does not have any repose, but
must guard the others. (HADDON, "A Batch of Irish Folklore," in Folklore, Vol. IV, P.
363; LADY WILDE, Pp. 82, 93, 213.) An analogous belief is current in Brittany. (LE
BRAZ, Vol. I, P. 303.)
At Kilmurry the last buried has to carry water to moisten the lips of the souls in purgatory.
(K. L. PAYNE, "A Burial Superstition in County Cork," in Folklore, Vol. VIII, P. 180.)
Last Piece: Do not take the last of anything remaining on plate, you will be an old maid

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Labartu: In ancient Babylonian superstition this was the name given to a class of
demons who were believed to be especially dangerous to children and their mothers.
Labasu: "One who throws down"; in Babylonian superstition this was a demon who had
the same powers as the Akhkhazu.
Lachesis: Gr. Myth. The goddess who determines the length of the Thread of Life.
Ladder: To walk under a ladder is not unlucky provided you cross your first two fingers.
(Great Britain.)
Sailors say that you will be hanged if you pass under a ladder. (BASSETT, P. 433.)
To dream of going up a ladder denotes honour, but it is an evil omen to dream of going
down it.
Ladybird: It is unlucky to kill ladybirds (Great Britain), because spirits of unfortunate
beings animate them.(India).
Laertes: Class. Myth. A king of Ithaca, father of Ulysses.
Laius: Gr. Myth. King of Thebes, father of OEdipus by whom he was slain in an altercation.
Lakshman: Hind. Myth. Brother of Rama, with whom he went into exile when Rama
was banished from the land.
Lakshmi: Hind. Myth. Goddess of fortune, wife of Vishnu. She is considered the type of
Indian beauty and is represented sometimes with four arms, but oftener with two.
Lamb: If a sheep give birth to three black lambs, there will be a death in the family.
(STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, P. 24.)
Witches cannot assume the form of lambs.
At Kilkenny, Ireland, it is believed that if the first lamb seen in the season be black, the
person who sees it will die within the year. (LADY WILDE, P. 180; Folklore, X, p. 121.)
cf. Dove, Swallow.
Lamia: Gr. Myth. She was a lascivious evil spirit in the form of a serpent with a
woman’s head and had the power of taking out her eyes. She was a kidnapper and
murderess of children.
In modern Greek folklore the lamiae are hideous monsters, shaped as gigantic and
coarse-looking women for the most part, but with strange deformities of the lower
limbs. They may have even more than two feet; often one of them is of bronze, while
others resemble those of animals. Their special characteristics, apart from their thirst
for blood, are their uncleanliness, their gluttony and their stupidity. (LAWSON, P. 174.)
Lamp: To hold a lamp over a sleeping person causes death. (Massachusetts.)

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Kornmutter: "Corn-mother it is a Teutonic field-spirit in human form. Kornwolf: "Corn-wolf ; the name of a German field-spirit. Kotavi, Kotari, Kottavi: Hind. Myth. A naked woman; a mystical goddess the tutelarydeity of the daityas, mother of Bana the demon. (Dowson, H.C.D., p. 159.) Kra: The vital soul among the Gold Coast negroes. Another spelling for Kla. Kravyad: Hind. Myth. "A flesh-eater." A Rakshasa or any carnivorous animal. In theVedas, Agni is in one place called a Kravyad of terrible power. Fire is also a Kravyad inconsuming bodies on the funeral pyre. (Dowson, H.C.D., p. 160.) Kriemhild: Niebenlungenlied. The beautiful sister of Gunther, King of Burgundy, whobecomes the wife of Siegfried. After Siegfried’s death she marries Etzel, King of theHuns. Later, she brings about the slaughter of her kinsmen, the Burgundians, as arevenge for Hagen’s murder of Siegfried. Kriksy: Russian Folklore. A hag who torments children by night. Krishna: Hind. Myth. The eighth Avatar of Vishnu, and one of the most widely worshipped
deities of the Hindus. He is said to have been brought up by the cowherds asone of them. He is reputed to have dictated the Bhagvat Gita, while Arjuna wrote itdown; he is the hero of innumerable exploits.
His body is supposed to have been turned blue from the poison of Kaliya, king of theserpents, whom he subjugated by standing on his head. Kuda: The demon of disease of Jewish superstition, which attacks women in childbirth.
(Jew. Enc., vol. IV, P. 517.) Kukuchi: A Japanese god of trees, who represents a class (ASTON, Shinto, p. 11.) Kuni no mihashiren: Jap. Myth. "August pillar of earth." A wind-god who is prayed to forgood harvest. Kuvera: Hind. Myth, God of wealth. Kyffhauser: German Legend. Barbarossa is said to sit at a marble table in Kyffhauser. Kyklopes: The correct spelling for Cyclops.

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a fork at it to prevent the devil from carrying off the hay. (SEBILLOT, Coutumes populaires
de la Haute.-Bretagne, PP. 302 seq.) Vide Razor, Sharpening, Drink.
Knock: Three loud and distinct knocks at the bed’s head of a sick person, or at the
bed’s head or door of any of his relations, is an omen of his death. (TYLOR, P.C., Vol.
I, P. 132.)
If on three successive nights a knocking be heard at midnight at the door of a house, it
is a sure sign of death. (DEANEY, Peasant Lore from Gaelic Ireland, PP. 55-60); or, in
Scotland, three knocks at regular intervals of one or two minutes foretell the same
(GREGOR, P. 203.).
To knock on the door and receive no answer is a sign of death. (Virginia, Englewood.BERGEN,
C.S., p. 126.)
To hear a knock at the door and not to find the person knocking is an indication that the
Devil has just entered. (Great Britain.)
Knocker: A spirit or goblin imagined to dwell in mines and to indicate the presence of
ore by knocking. (HUNT, Pop. Rom.)
"In the Cardigan mines, the knockers are still heard, indicating where a rich load may
be expected."-Chambers’ Journal, II, 371-2 (1885.)
Knot: If two persons break a piece of cotton with a knot in it, it denotes the fulfilment of
a wish for the person who gets the piece with the knot. (Great Britain.)
Witches were said to have had the power of making a marriage childless by tying a
knot in a piece of string. (LEHMANN, A.Z., p. III; FRAZER, G.Bl.,Vol. I, P. 392 seq.).
If you are making a shroud, avoid knots. (WUTTKE, p. 210 ; Jew. Enc., Vol. XI, p. 601.)
Vide Wart.
Knothole: Knotholes in a piece of wood used for doors, etc., are the favourite entrances
of fairies, maras and other nocturnal spirits. (Cf. SIMROCK, Mythologie, P. 545 ;
GRIMM, D.M.; THORPE, Northernt Mythology; HARTLAND, Science of Fairy Tales;
WUTTKE, P. 161,)
Kobold: German Folklore. A familiar spirit haunting houses and rendering services to
the inmates, but often of a tricky disposition.
Sometimes they are also underground spirits haunting mines and caves.
Kobud: The Wend name for a goblin.
Kokunochi: "Trees-father." A Japanese god of the tree.
Koma : It is the "shade" of the Wanika of East Africa, which cannot exist without food or
drink. (KRAPF, P. 150; TYLOR, P.C., Vol. I (?) P. 27.)
Konshana-Sakuya-hime: "The lady who blossoms like the flowers of the trees."
Daughter of a Japanese Mountain-god, wife of Ninigi.

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Kiss: If a lady dons a gentleman’s hat, it is a sign that she wants to be kissed.
(BERGEN, C.S., p. 63.)
If you dream you are kissing a pretty maid, it shows you have some evil design. Vide
Dress, Lip, Prick.
Kite: To cure rheumatic pains kill a kite on a Tuesday, cut up the bones and tie them to
the affected part; this brings about an immediate cure. (CROOKE, P.R.I., Vol. II, P. 250;
Panjab Notes and Queries, III, 81.)
The flesh of a kite gives keen eyesight.
Kite’s foot is worn in South Africa to give swiftness to the feet. (TYLOR.)
Kitsune-tsuki: The fox-possession of Japan.
Kitten: To dream of kittens denotes the birth of children.
Kla: The vital soul among the Gold Coast negroes is called by this name. Vide Sisa.
Klabautermann: In German folklore this is the name of the guardian spirit of the ship.
He dwells in the mast and warns the sailors of any imminent danger by certain noises.
(BASSETT, P. 152 et seq.)
Klausenberg: A ruin of a castle in Germany, said to be haunted by a female spirit of a
malicious type.
Klekanicek: In Bohemia this is a kind of spirit which gets hold of children remaining out
of doors after the Ave Maria has been rung. (GROHMANN, P. 15.)
Klekanitsa: Moravian Folklore. A spirit who stalks around after the evening chimes and
entraps children she still finds out of doors. cf. Klekanicek, Bubak, Bogey.
Klytemnestra: Gr. Myth. Wife of Agamemnon, symbolic of seductive sensation nature
allied to the desire mind. (GASKELL, D.S.L.S.M., P. 435.)
Knee: If your knee itches, you are jealous. (Boston, Mass.)
Elephants have no knees.
Knife: Crossed knives denote a quarrel. (Great Britain, India.)
If you let a knife accidentally drop on the floor, it is a sign that you will receive a visit
from a gentleman. (Great Britain.)
In Transylvania they will carefully see that no knife is left lying with the sharp edge
upwards so long as a corpse remains in the house, or else the soul will be forced to
ride on the blade. (ELWORTHY, E.E., P. 223.)
Jack-o’-Lanterns may be driven away by throwing a knife or a key at them. (Silesia,
Mecklenburg.–WUTTKE, P. 220; THORPE, Northern Mythology.)
When a gust of wind lifts the hay in the meadow, the Breton peasant throws a knife or

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