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Wild Huntsman

The German tradition is that a spectral hunter with dogs frequents the Black Forest to chase the wild animals. ( Sir Walter Scott: Wild Huntsman.)

The French story of Le Grand Veneur is laid in Fontainebleau Forest, and is considered to be “St. Hubert.” (Father Matthieu.)

The English name is “Herne the Hunter,” who was once a keeper in Windsor Forest. In winter time, at midnight, he walks about Herne's Oak, and blasts trees and cattle. He wears horns, and rattles a chain in a “most hideous manner” (Merry Wives of Windsor, iv. 4.)

Another legend is that a certain Jew would not suffer Jesus to drink out of a horse-trough, but pointed to some water in a hoof-print as good enough for “such an enemy of Moses,” and that this man is the “Wild Huntsman.” (Kuhn von Schwarz Nordd. Sagen, p. 499.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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