A Curious Olde Devonshire Customme
Before the concept of money reached Devon and the currency was barter it was traditional to pay the thatcher in barrels of cider (sometimes spelt "cyder" by those who wanted to show off how many letters they knew).
This practice died out as master thatchers decided that cash was more useful when they needed a new Toyota pick-up but a relic of the old ways remains. When a thatched roof is finished the owner of the house gives the thatcher five apples. He throws them hard at the thatch and for each apple that sticks his reward is a flagon of fermented apple juice based alcoholic beverage. There is a bit of science behind this as if the thatcher has used some substandard straw or reed in the roof the soft ends won't pierce the apple to hold it. Some miserly householders select a specially hard apple variety such as "Old Moll's Blush" to try and avoid having to award the bonus.
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