Moon-rakers

The people of Wiltshire are so called. In the “good old times” they were noted smugglers, and one day, seeing the coastguard on the watch, they sunk in the sea some smuggled whisky. When they supposed the coast was clear they employed rakes to get their goods in hand again, when lo! the coastguard reappeared and demanded of them what they were doing. Pointing to the reflection of the moon in the water, they replied, “We are trying to rake out that cream-cheese yonder.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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