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Crows' Feathers


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

In Montgomeryshire it was, at one time, supposed that if a person picked
up a crow's feather he was sure to meet a mad dog before the day was

But in other parts it was considered lucky to find a crow's feather, if,
when found, it were stuck on end into the ground. This superstition
lingered long in Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, a remote, hilly parish in

Some years ago, crows' wing or tail feathers could be seen stuck upright
in the ground in many parts of Wales, but at present such a thing cannot
be seen. The practice and the superstition have come to an end.

A Rookery deserted was a sign of bad luck, but when they nested near a
house it was a sign of good luck.

The writer visited, in the year 1887, a gentleman's park, where for
generations the rooks had made a lodgment, and by several persons his
attention was called to the ominous fact that the rooks had left the
ancestral trees which ornamented the spacious and well-wooded park, and
had even carried their nests away with them. He was informed that the
desertion boded no good to the highly respected family that occupied that
ancient seat.

The writer also visited a friend, who lives in an ancient abode, a mile
or two from the rook-rejected park, and, with a smile, he was informed by
the lady of the house that a colony of rooks had taken possession of the
trees that surrounded her house. He gladly wished her luck, to which she
responded--It has been a long time coming.

Both these places are in East Denbighshire.

The writer remembers a case in which a rookery was deserted just before
misfortune fell upon the gentleman who occupied the house around which
grew the trees occupied by the rooks. This gentleman one morning noticed
the rooks carrying away their nests to a new home. Se called his servant
man to him, and desired him to go after the rooks and destroy their nests
in their new abode, in the fond hope that they would thus be induced to
return to their old home. This was done more than once, but the rooks
would not take the hint; they persisted in gathering up the scattered
sticks that strewed the ground, but these they replaced in the trees
above, which now had become their new home. When it was found that they
would not return, the man desisted, and his master, as he had feared, met
with dire misfortune shortly afterwards (see p. 304).

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