Scything

The ancient skill of cutting  hay, mowing grass or reaping other crops  has been brought back into fashion by the new TV series ‘Poldark’ based on the novels by Winston Graham. I didn’t watch it but couldn’t escape the news coverage of it; in particular scenes where the hero stripped for action and went scything brought a lot of attention as some people found him utterly gorgeous anyway but even more so when busy showing off his muscles as he cut grass. I wasn’t very interested at all, but I was interested in scything.

The word scythe comes, as so many words connected with farming and implements and old skills, from the Anglo-Saxon ‘siðe’. Scythes are very ancient tools aWinstonnd appear in varying shapes and sizes, to a certain extent to suit the crop they are harvesting, and are used across the world; although to many people they may seem old-fashioned, they are ultra eco-friendly, and also offer a good form of exercise.

War scythes were also, as many other weapons, adapted from the every day tools that ordinary agricultural workers would have to hand… they sound ferocious and horrible! However the agricultural scythe is an efficient thing of beauty – have a look at this lovely little video:

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