Quick thinking puts shepherd over the moon

The lovely meanders of the river at Cuckmere Haven with the English Channel beyond. At one time it was frequented by a gang of smugglers who had their base a few miles upstream in the village of Alfriston.
The lovely meanders of the river at Cuckmere Haven with the English Channel beyond. At one time it was frequented by a gang of smugglers who had their base a few miles upstream in the village of Alfriston.
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Here’s another Sussex smuggling anecdote that delights in demonstrating how a simple rustic can easily fool the authorities:

A shepherd was sitting on a hill when he espied a small boat come into Cuckmere Haven. Two men disembarked and were seen to carry two barrels to a nearby dewpond and sink them. The shepherd waited until nightfall and then by the light of a full moon went to explore the pond with his crook. His probing was interrupted by the arrival of two excisemen on horseback who asked him what he was up to. The quick-witted shepherd put on an exaggerated country accent and replied that he was trying to catch the moon, which seemed to have fallen into the pool. The officers rode away, laughing loudly at the foolish yokel. The latter was really not so foolish at all as he landed his brandy after a little more fishing.