Saturday, April 12, 2008

To My Aid, My Prince! How the hell are my tomatoes going to get any light?

Reading Wikipedia today I learn that the Channel Island of Sark has just become the last country in the world to abandon feudalism as a government system.   Intrigued, I read up on Sark, an island of approximately 2 square miles with a population of about 600 people. The whole entry is highly recommended, but by far my favorite paragraph comes at the end:
Among the old laws of the Channel Islands is the old Norman custom of the Clameur de Haro, a legal device which also still exists in the other Channel Islands.[clarify] A person can obtain immediate cessation of any action he considers to be an infringement of his rights. At the scene, he must, in front of witnesses, recite the Lord's Prayer in French and cry out "Haro, Haro, Haro! À mon aide mon Prince, on me fait tort!"[2] ("Haro, Haro, Haro! To my aid, my Prince! One does me wrong!") It should then be registered with the Greffe Office within 24 hours. All actions against the person must then cease until the matter is heard by the Court. It is not frequently used; the last recorded Clameur was raised in June 1970 to prevent the construction of a garden wall.[3] The Clameur has been used on occasions since then in the other islands.
A garden wall. Somehow I can’t help thinking that was NOT the function for which “Clamuer” was originally intended. 

The world is very odd.  Excitingly so.