and the deep question of why.

We have thee, mammoth cheese,
Lying quietly at your ease.
Gently fanned by evening breeze,
Thy fair form no fly dare seize.
Pete McCabe...April 16, 1998

Composed in the 1930s in honor of a truly huge cheese created for a state fair in Wisconsin. I believe that this was the 3rd largest cheese ever, although my information could well be out of date.

No information on how mighty this mighty large cheese is or was.

Britain Revives Cheeserolling Race 04:41 PM ET May 31 1999
LONDON (AP) Runners tore down a steep 300-yard course in pursuit of an 8-pound double Gloucester cheese wheel Monday at a revival of the custom of cheeserolling.

The cheese always comes first, but the person who crosses the finish line right behind the fast-rolling wheel gets to keep it.
Stephen Brain, 30, of Gloucester, was the big cheese this year, winning all three men's races at Cooper's Hill near Gloucester, 115 miles west of London.

"The trick is to try and stay on your feet,'' Brain said.

That isn't so easy. The races were canceled in 1998 because 27 racers were injured in the previous year's competition.

This year, only one contestant was taken away in an ambulance, and he was not seriously injured.
Richard Jefferies, a member of the organizing committee, said new safety measures, including crash barriers and a rescue team, paid off. So did a change in time.

"I think the decision to move it to noon stops people having too much to drink before they come,'' he said.
According to "The Customs and Ceremonies of Britain,'' cheeserolling was once an event at a big spring celebration that included long-forgotten sports including "grinning for the cake,'' "jumping in the bag,'' and "chattering for a bladder of snuff by old women.''

The reference book does not give any further explanation of those games.

Copyright Colin Summers 2006 and other years.