"looking with a half-fantastic curiosity to see whether the tender grass of early spring would not be blighted beneath him"

Tender grass of early spring
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTender grass of early spring - Credit: Gregory Williams
Grass affected by pythium blight
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGrass affected by pythium blight - Credit: John E Kaminski
Amongst the many powers which folklore ascribes to the devil is that of blighting grass, plants and flowers. The one day on which he is incapable of this is Good Friday, when Christ's crucifixion is commemorated.