As a practical device for the protection of horses' feet, the utility of the iron horse-shoe has long been generally recognized; and for centuries, in countries widely separated, it has also been popularly used as a talisman for the preservation of buildings or premises from the wiles of witches and fiends. To the student of folk-lore, a superstition like this, which has exerted so wide an influence over men's minds in the past, and which is also universally prevalent in our own times, must have a peculiar interest. What, then, were the reasons for the general adoption of the horse-shoe as a talisman?
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