The Rooks and the Pear Trees

Gloucestershire Folklore Rooks trees
Folklore Rooks Pear Trees Gloucestershire

Back in the day when horse drawn carts were used to carry merchandise from one place to another and the roads were small and bumpy, a carter was making his way from Newent, Gloucestershire to Gloucester when he came upon 5 pear trees nestled just off the road. The carter was very hungry so picked some large pears off the trees but wondered why a farmer would plant the trees so near to the road?

He bit into the first pear and found it to be delicious! He had eaten quite a few by the time his horse and cart drew up to a pub. He tied up his horse and went into the pub to get himself a beverage before he continued on his journey.

He got chatting to the landlord and the conversation turned to the 5 pear trees and how odd it was to find them planted so near the road. The landlord told the carter of how this came to be. Apparently, the trees were originally from Pershore in Worcestershire and had been part of a fruit farm. For some reason, the ripe pears on these 5 trees were always being eaten by large Rooks so the farmer became angry at this always happening so resorted to placing a sticky substance called Bird Lime on the trees branches. A few days after he had done this, the Rooks filled the branches of these trees and had an absolute feast on the pears. They were so full, they were unable to fly off from the trees. With this, the Rooks made such a noise that the farmer rushed over with his shotgun to kill the Rooks!

The blasts from the shotgun frightened the Rooks so much that they all flapped their wings so hard that they took off with the pear trees still attached to their feet! They flew off towards Tewkesbury, still attached to the trees until a rain storm happened. Once the rain fell, the Rook's feet became loose from the branches and the trees fell onto the ground and that’s where they stayed and took root.